Everything You Need To Know About The Petra To Wadi Rum Hike

There are many awesome things to do when you visit Jordan, with hiking through the desert being one of the most fun options. If this appeals to you, then you definitely want to consider doing the Petra to Wadi Rum hike. 
This is an iconic hike to Petra that takes you through some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and some of the most interesting historic sites.
From our Dana to Petra trek (5 days) to our Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea tour, it’s a route we’ve got plenty of experience in leading at Skyhook, and we recommend it to anyone visiting this desert country. 
To help you plan your trip, here’s everything you need to know about doing the Petra to Wadi Rum hike and our best travel tips for Jordan.
hiking the jordan trail
Hikers heading to Petra.

Petra to Wadi Rum Hike: An Overview

The Petra to Wadi Rum hike is an adventurous journey through the beautiful landscapes of Jordan, offering a blend of historical sites, stunning scenery, and cultural experiences.
Starting from Petra, the ancient Nabatean city carved into rose-red cliffs, this Jordan trail hike typically begins early in the morning.
Exploring the iconic archaeological wonders of Petra, such as the Treasury, Monastery, and Royal Tombs, is an essential way to start the journey ahead.
The trail from Petra to Wadi Rum usually spans around 50 miles (80 kilometers), taking approximately 4 to 5 days to complete, depending on the chosen route and pace.
Hikers can opt for different paths, some more challenging than others, passing through varied terrains like rugged desert landscapes, valleys, and mountains.
Along the way, trekkers may encounter Bedouin settlements, providing an opportunity to learn about the traditional nomadic lifestyle and interact with the locals, who often offer hospitality and insights into their culture.
Camping under the starry desert skies is a major highlight of the trek. The Wadi Rum Desert, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is renowned for its stunning rock formations, vast desert expanses, and breathtaking sunsets, making it a perfect spot to rest and marvel at nature's wonders.
Reaching Wadi Rum marks the end of this remarkable journey. Although, there are plenty of things to do in Wadi Rum when you get there.
Visitors can explore the area's unique geological formations, take camel rides, experience Bedouin hospitality, and revel in the tranquility and beauty of the desert before finishing their adventure.
Before embarking on the Petra to Wadi Rum hike, it's crucial to plan well, figure out the best time to visit Petra, ensure you have adequate water and supplies, understand the terrain and weather conditions, and perhaps hire a guide or join a tour for a safer and more enriching experience.
Overall, the Petra to Wadi Rum hike offers an unforgettable opportunity to immerse oneself in Jordan's rich history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes, making it a memorable adventure for hiking enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike.
petra ruins
Expect a long trek to get to Petra.

How Long is the Petra to Wadi Rum Hike?

The distance of the hike from Petra to Wadi Rum is approximately 50 miles or 80 kilometers, depending on the specific route taken. This hike typically takes around 4 to 5 days to complete, considering the varying terrains, potential sightseeing stops, and the pace of the trekking group. 
Some factors, such as the chosen trail, Wadi Rum weather conditions, and individual hiking speeds, can influence the exact duration of the hike. 
It's advisable to plan and allocate enough time for the journey to fully appreciate the landscapes, historical sites, and cultural experiences along the way.
petra hiking trail
You have numerous hiking trails to choose from on the way to Petra.

Petra to Wadi Rum Hike Route

There isn't a single designated or official trail from Petra to Wadi Rum due to various factors like terrain, preferences, and different starting points. 
However, there are several possible routes that hikers commonly take.

Via the Desert Highway

One route involves following the Desert Highway from Petra to Wadi Rum. 
It's a more straightforward path, but it's not a hiking trail; rather, it's a road used by vehicles. This route might be more suitable for those seeking a shorter journey or those preferring a less physically demanding option.

Through the Desert and Mountains

Another common route is more adventurous, involving a trek through the desert and mountains, often passing through places like Beidha and Little Petra. 
This route might take several days and includes diverse terrains like desert landscapes, valleys, and sometimes even mountainous areas.

Local Guides' Routes

Some hikers prefer to hire local guides who know the region well. These guides may lead trekkers through lesser-known paths, providing cultural insights and ensuring a safer and more informed journey.
The route you choose can significantly impact the duration and experience of the hike. Therefore, it's essential to research and plan your preferred route beforehand, considering factors such as distance, terrain, available resources, and the level of adventure you’re after.
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Stunning landscapes in Petra.

What to Expect on the Petra to Wadi Rum Hike

Embarking on the Petra to Wadi Rum hike offers a blend of captivating experiences, diverse landscapes, and cultural encounters. Here's what you can expect from this hike.

Stunning Landscapes

The journey spans through various terrains, from the ancient city of Petra's rocky landscapes to the expansive desert vistas of Wadi Rum. 
Expect to witness dramatic changes in scenery, including rugged mountains, deep valleys, vast deserts, and unique rock formations.

Historical Sites

The hike begins in Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its archaeological wonders. 
You'll explore ancient Nabatean ruins, intricate rock-carved tombs, temples, and the iconic Treasury and Monastery. En route, you might encounter lesser-known historical sites, adding depth to the cultural exploration.
bedouin culture in jordan
Bedouin communities in Petra.

Cultural Encounters

Interaction with Bedouin communities along the way is a highlight of the Petra to Wadi Rum hike.
These nomadic locals are known for their hospitality, offering insights into their traditional way of life, stories, and perhaps a chance to experience their customs, food, and music.

Challenging Terrain

The hike can vary in difficulty, with parts of the route traversing rough, uneven, or steep paths. 
Be prepared for different conditions, including sand, gravel, rocky surfaces, and occasional ascents and descents. Proper footwear and physical fitness are essential.

Camping Under the Stars

Nights on this hike often involve camping in the desert. Sleeping under the clear, star-studded skies of Wadi Rum is a memorable experience. 
Campfires, Bedouin-style tents, and the tranquility of the desert create a unique ambiance.
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Camping under the stars in Petra is a must.

Self-Sufficiency

It's crucial to carry sufficient water, food, camping gear, and other essentials as amenities along the trail can be limited. 
Planning and being self-sufficient are essential for a safe and comfortable journey when doing the Petra to Wadi Rum hike.

Natural Beauty

The stunning natural beauty of the desert landscapes, especially in Wadi Rum, with its towering rock formations, vast sand dunes, and mesmerizing sunsets, offers moments of awe and appreciation for nature's grandeur.

Sense of Accomplishment

Completing the hike from Petra to Wadi Rum is not only about the physical journey but also about the sense of achievement, cultural immersion, and the memories created along the way.
um fruth rock bridge
Hikers enjoying the view at Um Fruth Rock Bridge.

Petra to Wadi Rum Hike Guided Tours

Several tour companies and local guides offer guided tours for the Petra to Wadi Rum hike, providing assistance, expertise, and cultural insights throughout the journey.
If you’re planning on doing the Petra to Wadi Rum hike, then taking our Skyhook guided tour of the Jordan trail to Petra is highly recommended.
Here are some considerations and options for guided tours.

Local Guides and Bedouin Tours

Many Bedouins, who are indigenous to the region, offer guided tours for this hike. 
These guides possess extensive knowledge of the terrain, culture, and history. They often provide a more authentic experience, sharing their traditions, and stories, and ensuring safety during the hike.

Tour Companies

Numerous tour companies in Jordan specialize in organizing guided hikes from Petra to Wadi Rum. 
They offer various packages tailored to different preferences, durations, and levels of comfort. These tours might include transportation, accommodation, meals, and experienced guides.
Take a look at the guided Jordan tours that we offer at Skyhook - each one offering a unique and rewarding experience for different types of hikers.
hiking to petra
We offer a number of guided tours to Petra at Skyhook.

Safety and Logistics

Guided tours can ensure better safety measures and logistical support during the hike, especially in remote areas where navigation might be challenging.

Cultural Immersion

Guides often facilitate interactions with local Bedouin communities, enabling a deeper understanding of their customs, traditions, and way of life.
When choosing a guided tour for the Petra to Wadi Rum hike, consider factors such as the reputation and reviews of the tour company or guide, the inclusivity of services (accommodations, meals, transportation), the level of expertise provided, and whether they align with your preferences for the hike.
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A Bedouin nomad on a camel.

Tips for Doing the Petra to Wadi Rum Hike

There’s a lot to consider when planning to do the Petra to Wadi Rum hike. Here are some tips to help you plan for this hike and enjoy your time more on the trail. 

Plan and Research

Understand the route options, terrain, weather conditions, and cultural aspects. Plan your itinerary, including stops, distances, and necessary supplies.

Stay Hydrated

Carry sufficient water. The desert climate can be harsh, so ensure you have enough water for the duration of the hike.

Pack Essentials

Bring essential gear like sturdy hiking boots, lightweight clothing suitable for varying temperatures, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), a reliable backpack, camping equipment, and a first aid kit.

Food Supplies

Pack non-perishable, energy-rich foods like nuts, dried fruits, energy bars, and ready-to-eat meals. Plan for meals that are easy to prepare during camping.

Navigation Tools

Carry maps, a compass, a GPS device, or a smartphone with reliable navigation apps. Be prepared for limited or no cell reception in some areas.
preparing for petra hike
Preparation is key for hiking the rough terrain of Petra.

Physical Preparation

Train and prepare physically for the hike. It involves walking long distances, possibly in challenging terrain. Strengthen your endurance and fitness level beforehand.

Respect Local Culture

Respect local customs, traditions, and the environment. Ask for permission before taking photos of people or their property, and adhere to any cultural guidelines provided by locals.

Safety Precautions

Be cautious while hiking, especially in remote areas. Let someone know your itinerary and expected return time. Watch for signs of exhaustion, dehydration, or heat-related illnesses.

Consider a Guide

Hiring a local guide can enhance your experience, provide cultural insights, and ensure safety, especially if you're unfamiliar with the terrain.

Leave No Trace

Practice responsible tourism by carrying out all trash and leaving the environment as you found it. Respect and preserve the natural beauty of the region.

Weather Awareness

Check weather forecasts before starting the hike and be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions. Extreme heat or unexpected rainstorms can occur in desert regions.
accommodation in jordan
Hiker kicking back after hiking in Petra.

Where to Stay on the Petra to Wadi Rum Hike

Accommodation options along the Petra to Wadi Rum hike can vary due to the rugged and remote nature of the terrain. Here are some potential options you can choose from.

Camping

Camping is the main choice for hikers on this route. 
You can carry your camping gear and set up campsites in designated areas. Ensure you have a sturdy tent, sleeping bag, and other necessary camping equipment. 
Wadi Rum, especially, offers incredible camping opportunities under the starlit desert skies. Camping in Wadi Rum can be done in remote and rugged sites or in fully equipped glamping hubs.

Bedouin Camps

Along the way, you might encounter Bedouin camps or settlements. 
Some Bedouins offer accommodations in traditional tents, providing a unique cultural experience. These camps may provide meals, tents, and basic amenities.

Guesthouses or Lodges

In certain areas near Petra or along the route, there might be guesthouses or lodges available for overnight stays. However, these accommodations might not be present throughout the entire hike, so check for options in nearby towns or villages.

Homestays or Local Housing

Some hikers arrange homestays or accommodations in local homes or guest rooms offered by residents along the route. This can provide an authentic cultural experience and insights into the daily life of the locals.

Resorts or Hotels in Nearby Towns

Before or after the hike, staying in hotels or resorts in towns close to Petra or Wadi Rum is a more comfortable option. 
These towns, such as Wadi Musa near Petra or Aqaba near Wadi Rum, offer various accommodation choices.
wadi rum camping
Camping options in Petra.

Conclusion

As long as you’re prepared, doing the Petra to Wadi Rum hike is an incredibly rewarding experience.
It's one of the best places to visit in Jordan, offering outstanding and experiences of the country's desert landscapes in one relatively easy trek.
If you're doing independent travel through Jordan or doing a group tour, just make sure you plan your route carefully and choose a reputable guide. This will make all the difference to your experience of hiking in Wadi Rum.

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