Dana to Petra
Drive to Dana and trek to Wadi Feynan
We will make an early start for the drive southwards to the Dana Nature Reserve. Here, we meet our trek crew and trekking guide set off on a first day’s walk which will take 5.5 hours including a stop for lunch. The walk from Dana to Feinan is essentially downhill with the initial 800 metre / 2650 foot decent taking place in the first hour of the walk. After this, the route levels out and we can enjoy a far more gentle walk through a wide open valley flanked by the Dana Mountains. Arriving at Wadi Feynan, we get received by one of the top fifty eco-lodges in the world as rated by National Geographic magazine, Feynan’s off-the-grid lodge is a special place to stay. The building is perfectly adapted to the climate and landscape of this desert, its water heated by solar panels and its rooms lit only by candles. The darkness of the night sky also makes this one of the best stargazing hotels on earth. Meals included: Lunch, Dinner (L, D)
Trek from Wadi Abu Sakakin to Shkaret Msei’d
Very early morning, we will transfer by jeeps (the only necessary transfer in this trip avoiding a long flat walk through an arid desert landscape) to the trail head of today’s hike.
Leaving the stony ‘hamada’ desert behind, there is a steep ascent across rocks and small boulders which eventually leads to a twisting goat herder’s track.
The initial uphill section takes approximately 3 hours. The track leads up into the mountains through a narrow and dramatic valley with wonderful views eastwards towards the Wadi Araba Desert.
This is a steep and challenging section of the route, but extremely rewarding, as we finally reach the top of a high saddle.
The descent to the river valley beyond is on a well-defined trail through rocky surroundings. On reaching the dry river bed, we turn upstream traversing a rocky valley side, gradually ascending by way of dry wadis and indistinct cols.
Look out for the elusive ibex in this remote area. The trail continues along the wadi floor and gently climbs up into the pale coloured sandstone mountains of the Petra region. The climb from the valley to the escarpment (where Petra is situated) is gentle and beautiful with a slight uphill climb towards the end across bare rock slabs. We camp at the col of Shkaret Msei’d. (B, L, D)
Trek to Petra
Leaving the campsite at Shkaret Msei’d the scenery changes dramatically.
We leave the narrow, confining wadis behind and find ourselves amongst wide-open sandstone hills that have something of the feel of a moonscape. The rock is smooth and soft and despite there being no apparent trail the terrain is easy to negotiate, with wide tracks and walkways.
The Nabatean influence is apparent here and the first cut steps can be seen.
The trail passes through Bedouin encampments, before reaching another rocky area where the track once again becomes indistinct, with interesting route-finding and easy scrambling. We descend into Beidha.
The walk from here to Petra will take between 2 and 3 hours, with the initial walk across open farmland. The route then follows a well-defined mountain track with fantastic views across to the Araba Desert, some 100 km / 60 miles away.
The views are impressive and with the exception of one short (2 metre) section a head for heights is not necessary. The walk into Petra is magnificent and is the culmination of 3 days of hard walking.
The initial glimpse of the top of the Monastery, as it comes into view through the mountains, has a similar effect of the first glimpse of the Treasury from the Siq.
We will then trek down from the Monastery and explore the sites along until we reach to the beautiful Treasury monument. From there we walk out of the Siq and reach the visitors center marking the end of our trek.
Our transfer back to Amman will take 3 hours with a rest en-route. (B, L)
- One of the World's Best Hikes by National Geographic
- Done over only 3 days - fast-paced walking
- A night at the award winning Feynan Lodge
- A night camping out in the beautiful wilderness
- Enter Petra through the backdoor