In a desert landscape with rocks and the Dead Sea, it may not be obvious to consider engaging in water activities or embarking on hikes through nature. However, at Wadi Mujib, you can find exactly that! We experienced the Siq trail, an exciting canyon filled with water. Additionally, there are three other stunning hikes available within the Mujib Biosphere Reserve. This blog will provide you with all the essential information regarding the hikes in Wadi Mujib, Jordan.
What is Wadi Mujib?
Wadi Mujib in Jordan is a stunning natural attraction that offers a unique blend of adventure and natural beauty. Nestled in the western part of Jordan, adjacent to the famous Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib is a remarkable canyon carved by a freshwater river through the Mujib Biosphere Reserve. This reserve is home to a diverse ecosystem and is considered one of Jordan’s hidden gems.
Wadi Mujib’s geographical location makes it an extraordinary destination. Situated 400 meters below sea level, it is one of the lowest points on Earth, offering visitors a sense of awe-inspiring natural grandeur. The rugged desert landscapes, rocky cliffs, and the shimmering waters of the Dead Sea create a captivating backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
One of the most exciting aspects of Wadi Mujib is the opportunity for water activities. Contrary to what one might expect in a desert environment, visitors can embark on thrilling water hikes through the canyons. The Siq Trail is a popular choice, but there are more (guided) hikes in Wadi Mujib.
How to get to Wadi Mujib in Jordan
Wadi Mujib is situated in western Jordan, right next to the famous Dead Sea. A gorge carved by a freshwater river runs through the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, eventually emptying into the Dead Sea.
The renowned resorts along the Dead Sea are located to the north. The luxurious Mövenpick is one of the most popular resorts there, but we opted for the more affordable and pleasant Ramada Resort Dead Sea. If you drive south along the Dead Sea Highway, you will soon pass by Wadi Mujib.
Wadi Mujib is located 400 meters below sea level, making it one of the lowest points on Earth.
Practical: where to stay at Wadi Mujib
The best way to visit Wadi Mujib is by combining it with a trip to the Dead Sea. You can easily drive from the resorts at the Dead Sea to Wadi Mujib via the Dead Sea Highway. The distance is not significant. However, we highly recommend staying near Wadi Mujib at the Mujib Chalets.
Located directly opposite the entrance of the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, the Mujib Chalets offer the most beautiful accommodation near the Dead Sea. For 76 JD (approximately 95 euros at the current exchange rate), we stayed in a chalet right on the shores of the Dead Sea. Each cottage provides a phenomenal view of the water. Mujib Chalets are more affordable than many large resorts on the Dead Sea. Another advantage is the access to the beach during sunset. The beaches at the resorts close well before sunset for security reasons (due to the proximity to the border with Palestine and Israel). Unfortunately, this means you cannot enjoy a beautiful sunset there.
Read more: unique place to stay in Jordan
Practical: best time for hiking
Wadi Mujib is a hidden gem that is gaining popularity among travelers. To avoid crowds, we decided to hike the Siq Trail when the park opened. We were practically alone, as the early morning and late afternoon are the ideal times for this trail.
Keep in mind that the trails are not open year-round. For example, the Siq and Malaqi Trails are usually open from April to October, while the Ibex Trail is open from November to March.
If you wish to hike with a guide, you are dependent on the departure times of the tours. You can check this in advance with the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, but the tours generally depart early in the morning. You can find the official website of the reserve administrators via this link. It provides contact information, seasonal opening hours, and more.
During Ramadan, many guided tours in Jordan are canceled. Check if the same applies to your chosen hike in Wadi Mujib.
The hiking trails at Wadi Mujib
#1 The Siq Trail
The Siq Trail offers an exhilarating hike through water-filled canyons. What sets it apart is the flexibility to undertake this journey independently or with a guide. Since it is easily manageable without a guide, you may opt to skip that option.
It takes about two hours to climb, swim, and wade through the gorge. The difficulty level depends on the water level of the river, which varies by season. You will be provided with a life vest from the Visitor Center, but it is also manageable without one.
The trail begins right at the visitor center, where you descend down a staircase. You will immediately find yourself in the water, surrounded by towering sandstone walls. The canyon is truly stunning, especially further along the trail, with its multiple colors, round shapes, and layers of sediment. The trail guides you through the canyon, where you will encounter small waterfalls and rapids. At deeper or more challenging sections, there are steps or ropes to assist you. Eventually, you will reach a large waterfall, which marks the end of the trail. From there, you retrace your steps back. With your life vest, you can enjoy a relaxing ride back downstream, carried by the current.
The canyon provides shade and a cool environment, so it is also suitable for hiking during the hot summer months. Although the hike is not particularly strenuous, be prepared to get completely wet and dress accordingly. It is not advisable to wear only swimwear; wear additional clothing for protection against rocks. Some areas have strong water currents, so having strength in your arms and legs is helpful. Leave your camera or dry bag in the car, as you will be fully submerged in the water. Using a GoPro is the only option for capturing photos or videos.
#2 The Ibex Trail
The Ibex Trail is a dry trail, so you won’t encounter the river in the Siq. This hike can only be done with a guide and takes a total of 3 to 4 hours, starting from the Visitor Center.
The initial part of the hike runs parallel to the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea Highway before heading inland. Along the way, you will pass through several dry canyons, distinct from the Siq. The hike is called the Ibex Trail because you have the chance to spot ibexes along the route. Halfway through, you will reach the Raddas Ranger Station, where you can take a rest. It is then about an hour back to the Visitor Center.
#3 The Canyon Trail
Here’s another trail that will get your feet wet! This hike can only be done with a guide and takes approximately 4 to 6 hours, depending on the pace of your group. You will first trek through a beautiful rocky landscape, leading to the waterfall at the end of the Siq Trail. After abseiling down, you will wade and swim through the Siq back to the Visitor Center.
#4 The Malaqi Trail
This hike is known as the most challenging one in Wadi Mujib and lasts 7 to 8 hours. The trail can only be done with a guide. Again, you will traverse the landscape surrounding Wadi Mujib before ending up in the water. Initially, you will hike through white rocks until you reach the Mujib River. The hike follows the river upstream to the point where it merges with the Hidden River. There, you will have a break at natural pools, allowing you to cool down in the water. Finally, the trail also leads to the waterfall at the end of the Siq Trail.