Canyons with Palms Jordan

Hiking Jordan’s Water Canyons – Wadis and Waterfalls 22/05/2021

Jordan surprises with unexpected natural beauty. A good example are the wadis and canyons along the Dead Sea hidden in the arid landscape. We introduce here a few canyons which are not involving any abseiling and special equipment. With an average fitness level most visitors are able to uncover these places, even without a guide. Nevertheless, we recommend a guide for solo travelers or if your party does not feel comfortable to walk in the wilderness. The majority of the wadis is located along the Dead Sea Highway. Very important, do not visit these canyons when there had been rain the last few days or rain is expected. There is a risk of flash floods. As a rule of thumb, best time to visit these wadis is the period from April to October. So, where can you go?

Wadi Mukheiris

This is an easy to moderate canyon and you need about 4 hours for the round trip. There are more impressive wadis, but this one is easy to find. The path starts opposite the Dead Sea hotel area in Sweimeh. At the Movenpick Resort just cross the road to the other side. You pass by black pipes and simply follow the stream. After a while the path gets more interesting and green; you reach a waterfall. Pass left, to find more small waterfalls and pools ending at a 20 meters high waterfall.  
No entrance fee. No bathroom. No food or drinks available.

Wadi Mujib Siq Trail

Developed for tourism Wadi Mujib is run by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. This comes with an entrance fee and more visitors, but the convenience of bathrooms, changing rooms, life jackets and a cafeteria. The Visitor Centre you find at the Mujib Bridge. The trail leads you into the main gorge and you walk right in the water. The canyon narrows, to reach the large waterfall you need to scramble over big rocks with the help of existing ropes. Depending on rainfall levels, the canyon may contain pools deep enough for swimming. You need to be minimum 18 years old and able to swim. The Siq Trail is open from 01 Apr to 31 October and may temporarily be closed due to weather conditions.
Entrance fee 18 JD per person. Visitor Centre with bathroom and cafeteria.

Wadi Weida’a

This is a family friendly walk, as it takes maximum 2 hours and Wadi Weida’a is easy to access. When driving in southern direction along Route 65, the Dead Sea Highway, leave the village Ghor Al Mazraa behind and turn left to the road towards Kerak. After around 6 km park on the right side of the road. Follow an irrigation channel until you reach 15 minutes later the hot spring and pool. Continue along the trail with lush vegetation like fern and palms to a small waterfall. From here return the same route to the parking spot. The wadi is popular with locals, especially on weekends.      
No entrance fee. No bathroom. No food or drinks available.

Wadi Numeira

When driving on the Dead Sea Highway in southern direction you pass through the village Ghor Al Mazraa, Potash City and drive past the Jordan Bromine Company. Then start to look out for a dirt road on the left side to Wadi Numeira. A sign is not existing, but in the distance you make out sandstone walls. Keep left on the dirt road, and you’ll find a parking place. The mouth of the canyon is impossible to miss, it is a natural arch formed by a huge fallen rock. The wide wadi narrows to a canyon with towering sandstone walls and a zig-zag course to follow. If you want to reach the waterfall you need to pull yourself up over boulder. There is not much water in Wadi Numeira, but the canyon captivates with its coloured sandstone, the peacefulness, dragonflies and the constant sound of running water.
No entrance fee. No bathroom. No food or drinks available.

Wadi Ibn Hammad

Wadi Ibn Hammad, called also Wadi Ben Hammad, is not located at the Dead Sea road. You need to drive to Kerak and from here a steep road winds down to this valley and soon you find yourself in sub-tropical surroundings.  The route starts at a hot spring. Along a stream walk through lush vegetation, see pink-flowering oleanders, palms, hanging gardens and small waterfalls. The Wadi Ibn Hammad gradually becomes a narrow gorge with high rock walls, on which the mineral-rich water has left traces of different colors. It is an easy canyon, and you need about 4 hours to do it all.
Entrance fee 5 JD per person. Bathroom. No food or drinks available.

Practical Advice:

  • Check the weather forecast. In case of rain two days before or on your planned tour day postpone your trip.
  • Pack lunch, snacks and plenty of water.
  • Wear appropriate shoes as you walk through water and bring sun protection.
  • Have a second pair of shoes and for the Mujib Siq Trail a new set of trousers ready for change after the visit.
  • A towel and a waterproof bag for a camera might come handy. 
  • For the visit of non-touristy wadi without a bathroom bring extra water to clean your feet of the sand and an underlay before climbing back into the car. The result of scrambling over rocks or standing under a waterfall is often a dirty and wet trouser.
  • Keep in mind, you don’t have to walk the whole canyons. If you are tired just return the same route.
  • Don’t litter. Collect your garbage and put it in a trash can when you get back to town. If you want to do more than this see the next tip.
  • Wadis without entrance fee are often littered at the beginning of the trail, especially Wadi Numeira and Wadi Weida’a. If we visit the wadis we bring a trash bag, gloves and heading back to the car clean up the typical small plastic bags and food packings. On return to civilization we throw it in the next bin. If you ask, why should I care about other people’s waste? Simply because this great little piece of nature will be thankful to you.

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