Ever since ancient times, Wadi Rum has been filled with tracks. They date back as far as to Thamudic times. Hunters and gathers passed the area in search of animals and herbs. Caravans were moving their costly goods crossed the desert in search of water and a place to stay. All of them found ways to reach or get what they were after. They left markings, inscriptions, and petroglyphs to show others the way. If you are interested in reading more about these markings, read our blog ‘The petroglyphs and inscriptions of Wadi Rum‘.
Later our ancestors came to this area in search of food and water for their livestock. They had their routes across the region. Crossing big wadi’s, going through narrow canyons and hiking up and down the mountains. All without using any climbing gear nor ropes. These routes are called Bedouin roads. Some of these roads are (partly) marked by stones put on top of each other. But mostly the roads are known because they were handed down the generations until now. Therefore hiking Bedouin roads cannot be done without a guide. The risk of getting lost is real. That is something you want to avoid at all costs in a harsh environment like our desert. In this blog, we share our three favorite Bedouin roads. Of course, all three are part in one or more of our tour programs.
#1 Jabal Al-Hash
This mountain offers fantastic roads at an easy to moderate level. Different routes lead up to different parts of this mountain. If you want the excellent views over Wadi Rum but not much climbing, we take you on one of the smooth roads that lead up to the big plateau. From here, you can enjoy superb views over Wadi Sabat. Is reaching the summit vital to you? Then we take a Bedouin road that leads to the top of Jabal Al-Hash.
It does not matter which route we take; all of them are great. Notice the color variations, the many kinds of plants, and in some places, you can see fossils that remember us of the time that water was still abundant here.
#2 Burdah rock bridge
To reach the Burdah rock bridge, you can choose from a couple of different Bedouin roads. Our favourite one is on the north side of the mountain. The climb is technically not that difficult. Still, if you are afraid of heights or unsure on your feet, this climb is not for you. On the way up, we pass by some places from where we have magnificent valley views. We also pass by a few spots from where you can already see our destination; the 35-meter high rock bridge. In some places, you might want to use your hands to scramble up. The last part is the most challenging. There is a rope available for who wants to use it. From the rock bridge, the views of both the red and yellow colored parts of Wadi Rum are striking.
#3 Jabal Um Ad Dami
Jabal Um Ad Dami is the highest mountain in Jordan. The 1854 meter high mountain is located close to the border with Saudi Arabia. The Bedouin road leading to the top of Jabal Um Ad Dami is technically not challenging. Almost the whole route is like a content ascending path over loss rocks. Going up and returning takes about 3 to 4 hours. As you have to climb and descend a total of around 800 meters, you need to be physically fit. Physically this climb is the most challenging one that we offer. While hiking up, you can enjoy valley views over the red desert. These are great, but the view from the top beats all. On a bright day, you have terrific views over Wadi Rum, Saudia Arabia’s black mountains and the Gulf of Aqaba.
Do you want to do one or more of these Bedouin roads yourself? Have a look at the tour pages for Jabal Al-Hash, Burdah rock bridge, and the 3-day desert tour that combines Jabal Al-Hash and Burdah rock bridge.