We love hiking. We love canyons. But hiking through a canyon full of water was a brand new experience!
Before arriving at Wadi Mujib, we were unsure exactly what we were in for. Even putting our feet in the water at first seemed a little unnerving as even at a few centimetres deep it seemed to be flowing quite fast. However, after getting our Wadi legs, we loved every minute of it. We didn't complete the whole trail, something I expected from the beginning.
With disc problems in my neck I don't have much upper body strength and I doubted I could pull myself up all the roped sections in fast flowing water. If you have any similar doubts I can honestly say it is so worth just doing as much as you can.
It's no small statement to say that doing the canyon trail in Wadi Mujib is one of the best things we did in Jordan, especially when you consider that this country has the stunning Wadi Rum desert, the incredible world wonder, Petra and the beautiful Dead Sea.
So what's all the fuss about?
The Siq Trail, Wadi Mujib
Being canyoning novices, we decided to do the Siq Trail. This is meant to be the most placid of all the trails you can do, whilst still being very picturesque. It's so beautiful in fact that it easily made our most Instagrammable spots in Jordan list. It was also the only trail where a guide was not compulsory.
It's not a natural attraction you can just rock up to and get on with it though, you have to go through the activity centre. Once you arrive, you get kitted out with a lifejacket (compulsory) and have the choice of hiring waterproof shoes dry bag and/or a guide.
You'll need a dry bag if you want to bring along your phone, camera or electricals as there are sections where you will need to swim. Otherwise it is best to leave them in a locker at the start.
Getting into the canyon
After getting kitted out, you start walking along a bridge, then a rock and down a ladder into Wadi Mujib itself. The second you step down from the ladder you can feel the water already running pretty fast, despite the fact the start the canyon is very wide and the water level is low. As soon as you pass the first corner the water soon gets ankle deep and the adventure begins.
For the first few hundred metres the water gets gradually deeper reaching your knees, then your waist. The canyon closes in more and more, eventually blocking out the sun completely. No need for sun cream in here! In the blazing heat of the Dead Sea area, Wadi Mujib was so refreshing, the air temperature so much cooler than outside.
Things get a bit more exciting
The first half an hour is mainly wading through the water, pretty easy aside from a few sections of particularly fast water. You then come to the first roped section. The fixed rope was definitely a life saver here, if you held on you could move through white water without too much trouble. It got a bit trickier after the first rope, there were a couple of spots where you have to stretch quite far between two rocks with water flow threatening to topple you.
You have to take a leap of faith (and in my case someone's hand) and then you are over the small waterfalls and halfway through the trail. If you are very sure footed you probably won't find it too difficult.
After climbing up two small waterfalls you will reach our favourite stretch of the whole "walk". The water gets a lot deeper and you'll need to swim for a time. But once you reach the next waterfall, you can turn around and just float back.
It was magical to lie back and take in the incredible surroundings whilst floating down stream. It was at this moment that the beauty and uniqueness of Wadi Mujib really sunk in. This canyon which has been carved out by centuries of rain and flowing water is spectacular, with its orange walls, bright blue water and enormous scale. We loved this section so much we did it three times. I honestly think I could have done it all day if we didn't have to move on to Wadi Rum!
We could have pushed on further, but the remaining sections required climbing up pretty large waterfalls using ropes.
Overall the Siq Trail takes 1-2 hours depending on how far you want to go and how many pictures you stop to take. You could do the whole thing in one hour according to the activity centre if you kept moving the whole time. But where's the fun in that? We took over two hours and only went just over half the distance!
Wadi Mujib Guides
A guide is optional for hiking the Siq Trail in Wadi Mujib. It isn't essential and you can happily walk as far as you would like without one. However, if you are thinking of doing the whole Siq Trail and have never done anything like this before then a guide is probably worth it. It isn't that you'll get lost (there's only one river to walk through) it is just that the guides know the best ways to climb up the waterfalls.
For people like us, that kind of help is handy. The two waterfalls looked pretty precarious until a guide nearby pointed out the way. After knowing this it wasn't too hard.
You can either hire a guide at the activity centre or pick one up within the canyon (there was a guide at the halfway point, making sure that everyone is going ok). We were also offered to join with two others and their guide at the half way point too, so you can change your mind part way quite easily.
Wadi Mujib Opening Times
Wadi Mujib and the Siq Trail opens at 8am and closes at 3pm. We would recommend getting there as it opens as you'll probably have the canyon to yourself. We were completely alone until just before the roped section, which was a truly magical experience.
Wadi Mujib Entrance Fee
The Siq Trail cost 21 JD per person (approximately $30 USD). You can hire waterproof shoes for 5 JD ($7 USD).
Where to stay in Wadi Mujib - Mujib Chalets
You don't get much closer to the Siq Trail than the Mujib Chalets. The chalets are just across the road from the activity centre, meaning you are in the perfect place to start your hike early. The views from the verandahs of each chalet are spectacular, overlooking the Dead Sea and are perfect for sunset.
However, whilst the chalets are decent enough they are quite expensive for what they are and the less said about the food they serve, the better. For us it was worth it to get to the Siq early so we were happy with our choice.
It has its own beach where you can float in the Dead Sea as well, so it is an alternative to a resort experience.
Getting to Wadi Mujib
Wadi Mujib is on the Dead Sea Highway and is best accessed with your own car. It is only 25 minutes from the resorts in the Dead Sea or just under two hours from Amman.
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