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The Dana to Petra Trek- The most iconic section of The Jordan Trail

The Trail is a long distance walking route from Um Qais in the north to Aqaba on the Red Sea in the south. Made up of 8 key sections and more than 600 kilometers in length it would take approximately 40 days of non-stop walking and camping to complete the trail in one go. The most iconic section and the first to be developed is the Dana to Petra section that enters Petra through the back door at The Monastery. The Monastery is Petra's largest facade and is seldom visited by mosts visitors to Petra. Arriving in Petra having followed the Bedouin goat hearding paths and trails must give a similar feeling to that of the ancient travellers having spend months travelling from Arabia to Petra over 2,000 years ago.

Day 2 - Dana village to Wadi Feinan

 

After breakfast we will make the 3 hour transfer to Wadi Dana - which is the start fo the Nabatean Trail.

 

The walk from Dana to Feinan is essentially downhill with the initial 800 metre decent taking place in the first hour of the walk. After that time the route levels out and a far more gentle walk through the valley takes place. The valley is wide and flanked by the Dana mountains.

Day 3 - Trek Wadi Feinan to Wadi Barwas

 

This is a 6 hour walking day along stony desert, hamada. The route is flat and the views are spectacular with the high mountain ranges to the east and the expansive Wadi Araba desert stretching out to the west.  Although essentially flat terrain, there are a series of small valleys, Wadis, that must be crossed throughout the day. Look out for the archaeological sites at Feynan including Roman pool, Watermill and Aqua ducts as well as the desert birds throughout the day – especially Aprila and October. Overnight in private mobile camp on the edge of Wadi Barwas Mobile Camp.

Day 1 - Arrive Jordan and Transfer to Madaba

On arrival in Jordan we will make the short 30 min transfer to Madaba, where you will spend your first night.

Day 4 - Wadi Barwas – Ras el Feid

 

Leaving the stony desert behind there is a steep ascent across rocks and small boulders which eventually leads to a twisty goat herders track. The initial uphill section takes approximately 3 hours. The track leads high up to the top of the mountains through a narrow but beautiful steep valley with wonderful views eastwards towards the Wadi Araba desert. This is a challenging but extremely rewarding and beautiful section and finally reaches the top of the high saddle. The descent towards the river valley is along a well – defined, if not rocky track. From here you can see the next days trail stretching out before you. On reaching the dry river bed the campsite is approximately 1 km.

Day 5 - Ras el Feid - Shkaret Msei'd

 

Walking back along the flat rive bed for approximately 1 km until the trail is reached. Although the next section of the track is well defined it makes a number of gradual ascents and descents as it snakes it way upwards into the mountains. The next section of the path is particularly challenging, the trail becomes less defined, and some small ascents may require hand and foot holds. This section lasts approximately 2 hours and eventually descends to a riverbed with perennial water.  The trail continues along the Wadi floor and gently climbs up to the light sand stone 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 smooth sand stone.

Day 6 - Shakaret Msei'd - Beidha

 

Leaving the campsite at Shakaret Msei’d the scenery changes dramatically from a well defined wadi to sand wide open sandstone hills and almost a moonscape feel. The rock is smooth and soft and despite there being no apparent trail the terrain is easy to through with wide tracks and walkways. The start of the Nabatean influence is apparent here and the first cut steps can be seen.  The trail passes through Bedouin encampments, which are currently lying fallow before it enters a maze like track climbing up through the mountains. Some light scrambling is needed here.  Upon reaching the plateau there is a gradual descent into Beidha with evidence of modern human settlement (4 x 4 tracks).

Day 8 - Beidha to The Monastery and tour of Petra

 

Leaving the campsite at Beidha, Little Petra is a 5 min walk away. The splendours of Little Petra provide an insight into what lays ahead. Walking through the mountain of Petra the first settlement to encounter is the Neolithic village of Beidha, which is situated, in a well-defined Wadi. The walk from here to Petra is approximately 2.5 hours with the initial walk across wide farmland.  The route then follows a well – defined mountain track with fantastic views from across the mountains down towards the Araba desert 100 km 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 5 days 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.

Section Eight - Wadi Rum to Aqaba - 4 Days and Approximately 70kms

 

Heading through Wadi Rum and south towards Aqaba this is the iconic route that Lawrence of Arabia took when he attacked Aqaba fort in 1917. The trail pases Jebel Khazali and Jebal Qattar down through Wadi Waraaqa to the Bedouin village of Titen.

 

Leaving Titen and following an old shepherd paths the trail winds its way across the wadis and granite mountains of the desert until you see your first glimpse of the Red Sea. The descent through long sandy wadis to the warm waters of the Red Sea – marks the end of the Jordan Trail.

All Images courtesy of the Jordan Trail Association

For more informaiton on how you can walk the Jordan Trail with Discovery Circle Tours please contact us here

 

Day 9 - Depart Jordan

 

Leaving Petra, we will transfer to the aiport for your flight home. Alternatively, you can extend your time in Jordan and visit some other amazing sites.

Dana Petra - Route Notes

Dana to Petra route notes