Hiking And Trekking In Wadi Rum
The problem with hiking in Wadi Rum is
that many people find that just walking in sandy valleys, however
beautiful, becomes boring after a fairly short time. For us this is
a challenge, and we have therefore put in place the following
The T. E.
Lawrence trek - optional return - 5 days
The "No Man's Land" Trek
Day 1: We start by jeep from Rum Village and head for Jebel Um Adaami, the highest mountain in Jordan which we shall climb on the south eastern side. The climb is straightforward, a simple uphill walk on the usual path. We come down the other side, which is less popular. You will see that the countryside is much starker than the soft red of the sand and the sandstone in Wadi Rum itself. It is not used by the Bedouin for pasturing their herds or for cultivation of any sort. We might meet a rare hunter, the area is outside the Protected Zone of the Nature Reserve, but even this is unlikely.
When we are down, we have lunch and continue by jeep and then another uphill walk until we reach a beautiful valley, less than 300m from the Saudi border, which is still far below us. We sleep in this valley.
Day 2 : Taking a packed lunch, we go up into the No Man's Land area. The climb involves some serious scrambling - no rope is really needed, but the guide will bring one anyway. This is a mountain walk with great views to the north and the south. We have lunch in a valley among the red sand dunes there. We continue along another crest with yet more views and are picked up by a jeep to take us back to Rum Village.
5 days easy scrambling:
This is actually a set of 5 different programmes of easy scrambling routes that take us all around Wadi Rum. However, if you don't have the five days to spare, we are perfectly happy if you prefer to choose to do just one or more days. In that case, you can choose whichever day or days you like from the programme. This is the best selection of scrambling programmes we offer for people in reasonable physical condition who want to go off the beaten track and explore the far corners of Wadi Rum
Day 1: We head off straight away to the Rakebat Canyon through the massif of Jebel Um Ishrin. The beginning involves scrambling up a big slab, before descending steeply into a narrow ravine – this is “Goat Gulley”. When we start inside, you will realise just how much of a labyrinth exists inside the imposing mountain. Canyons start off in every direction, and you need either a sharp eye for terrain or a good guide with you. It should take about 2 hours to get to the end. After lunch in Wadi Um Ishrin, we have an easy hike to the Barragh Canyon.
Day 2: The Barragh canyon leads between magnificent cliffs, with high sand dunes heaped up against them. These cliffs are the site of many world class climbing routes, and perhaps a team will be climbing here. From the Canyon we make our way to Jebel Burdah and a climb to the famous Arch. This is easy scrambling, but as in the Rakebat Canyon, the guide will have a rope with him for safety, but the climb should provide no difficulty for active scramblers. To go up and down again usually takes about 4 or 5 hours. In the afternoon we hike towards the "Middle Arch" of Um Fruth. This is very simple climbing compared to the Burdah Arch.
Day 3: We drive south to the Khasch Ridge. This is a long ridge stretching from east to west across the desert. There is no particular difficulty about this walk, although perhaps you might need to use hands to go up and to come down again at the end. We shall take a picnic lunch with us and stop somewhere to eat. Be sure to cover up against the sun here, there is little shade around, but the views to the north over Wadi Rum and to the south towards Saudi Arabia are magnificent.
Day 4: the views are even better. We are heading to Jebel Um Adaami, the highest mountain in Jordan, right on the Saudi border. This is a difficult drive for the 4x4, but as passengers you should enjoy it, especially the wide and lonely Wadi Saabit close to the mountain. When we reach the foot of it we shall start up through a gully : this is the only difficulty in the ascent. The rest of the path is a stony one, leading to the cairn marking the summit. Here we are right on the border and can see far into the Saudi mountains. Make sure you have plenty of film with you!
Day 5: The last day comes too quickly. Today we are circling the base of Jebel Rum between the steep cliffs above and the heaps of fallen scree, first of sandstone and later of granite, below. Many wadis are crossed, each offering the possibility of a different ascension of Jebel Rum (more than 10kms long and between 3 and 4 kms wide). We shall try to finish at Lawrence’s Well in Wadi Shelaalia close to the village of Rum, where the transport onwards will be waiting. If this is too far, we shall be picked up by jeep for the last few miles.