This five day hike was supported (ie a 4×4 met us at each camp, carrying our camping gear and kitchen) so we only had to carry what we needed during the day. A bit of route-finding on the way was necessary. This is just one of the options for hiking from Petra to Hmaimeh. Other options can be found in Itai Haviv’s book ‘Trekking and Canyoning in the Jordanian Dead Sea Rift’ or with the Jordan Trail.
The descriptions of each day below are just to give a general impression of the route – we don’t expect you to be able to find the route based on these descriptions alone. You would need to have the KMZ file with you and if you’re not an experienced hiker, we recommend that you use a guide.
Mahmoud Abdullah is a licensed guide from Petra that we recommend highly. You can find his contact phone number here.
Ras Sabra, Petra to Gaa’ Mreibed. 16km.
You will need to manage permissions to camp inside Petra. This can be arranged through local guides and tour agencies. Our recommendation for a guide is here.
This route passes by Sabra theatre, and the end point is very close to the street which runs from Rajef to Wadi Araba.
Gaa’ Mreibed to Wadi Lseif. 16km.
This route passes through a wadi with a little stream in it. The route is a very gentle downhill. You might encounter bedouins and goats.
Wadi Lseif to Wadi Gseib. 18.5km.
This route starts with a gentle rise followed by a gentle descent on an old car track, passing by a bedouin cemetary, and entering a little sandstone canyon and continuing with the wadi until you reach a pool (depending on the season). The camp is just a little way below the pool.
Wadi Gseib to Wadi Rakiya. 24km.
The most spectacular day of the trip.
Walk back up Wadi Gseib and turn right at the first wadi (although it doesn’t look obvious – the route is hiding behind a tree). The route is almost completely marked with rujum (cairns). The route ascends up the mountain and you reach a viewing point at the top. Coming down is through white sandstone, opening at Wadi Siq, then crossing sand dunes to the camp.
Wadi Rakiya to Hmaimeh. 30km (but it could be shorter).
The route takes you through granite canyons, with a break at the beginning of the sandstone layer at a fig tree with a little pool. After the pool, we took a wrong turn to the left resulting in a 10km mistake. The better route is to continue with the wadi and take a little canyon to the right which is the best way to exit to Hmaimeh visitor’s centre.
On the image below you will see the route we took by mistake (leading north) and we have drawn in the correct route which heads directly to Hmaimeh visitor’s centre.