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Hike the trail

The Wadi Rum Trail is a new long-distance hiking trail in southern Jordan and the sister project of Egypt's award-winning tourism initiatives the Sinai Trail and Red Sea Mountain Trail. It connects old trade, travel, shepherd, hunting and Hajj routes into a new 120km, 10 day hiking circuit for modern times and is the first of the Middle East's long-distance hiking trails to integrate real rock climbing into its main route. It is a route designed to be guided by Bedouin tribesmen of the local community; Wadi Rum's Bedouin tribes took a leading role in creating the project, they manage all journeys on it today, and it is in walking with them that we believe the best of this region's landscapes, heritage and identity, both old and modern, is best shared and discovered.

Main circuit

The Wadi Rum Trail takes hikers on a journey through the best of Wadi Rum and its surrounding deserts, from its world-famous sandstone heartlands to more remote, seldom-visited tracts of wilderness in the hinterlands. Wide sweeping plains, shadowy gorges, narrow canyons, tablelands and towering peaks - including Jordan's highest summit Jebel Um Adami and the fabled peak of Jebel Rum - are traversed from beginning to end. Crossing some of the most remote deserts in southern Jordan the Wadi Rum Trail is mostly a wilderness route and whilst relatively short compared to other long-distance hiking routes in the Middle East, it is the most technically challenging of all, integrating sections of scrambling, rock climbing and abseiling the whole way. 

Six trail regions

Wadi Rum Trail, Six Trail Regions, Ben Hoffler

The Wadi Rum Trail covers an area of around 450 square kilometres and to make the route's geography more clear, six separate trail regions are marked on the map above, each with its own colour. These so-called trail regions do not actually exist on the ground; they are imposed on the map simply to make the Wadi Rum Trail and what is around it easier to get-to-grips with. Each trail region typically centres on a major massif or cluster of nearby massifs, although some gather more diverse landscapes together. The first one to be traversed is Jebel Um Ashreen; after this, Jebel Birda, followed by regions called the Tablelands, Borderlands and Hejaz Hills, with Jebel Rum the last. A broad overview of each trail region is given in the next section of the website. 

Wadi Rum Trail Map, Ben Hoffler

Easier alternatives

Climbing sections of the Wadi Rum Trail rank at the easiest grades of rock climbing today, but they are rock climbs nonetheless. Scrambling sections also come with tricky moves and serious exposure so great care must be taken on these as well. At the same time, hikers should not be intimidated by the prospect of hiking the trail. Every tricky section of the Wadi Rum Trail is 100% avoidable on easier, alternative walking routes traversing nearby landscapes on similarly spectacular lines. Hikers can make decisions on which ones to take on any given day, depending on how they feel; nothing has to be decided in advance. The Wadi Rum Trail does not have to be done in full, as a 10 day hike either; anything from half to full to multi-day sections can be completed by hikers. 

WRT: Route Companion

Wadi Rum Trail Route Companion, Ben Hoffler & Tony Howard

Hikers can download the official route companion for the Wadi Rum Trail above. This is not a guidebook with navigable maps or detailed, turn-by-turn wayfinding notes, but a broad overview of the main route, designed to give hikers a clearer idea of what to expect on a journey. A high-level walk-through of the route is given, outlining each of the places traversed on every day of a full, 10 day thru hike. Forewarnings of any scrambling, climbing or abseiling sections are given, along with recommendations on the safety equipment required to protect each as as possible, plus guidance on how these can be avoided on easier walking routes. Guidance on hiking gear, hazards to be aware of, minimum impact hiking practices and other topics is outlined too. 

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