I had been wanting to visit Jordan for a long time because of Jordan’s treasure trove of archaeological sites and spectacular landscapes.
Most visitors that come to Jordan only visit Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Dead Sea, the Crusader castle Kerak and the dramatic Wadi Rum desert. But Jordan offers more than that. Along the journey, you can also enjoy dramatic nature reserves and hiking wadis (canyon). If I could offer one “off the grid” gem tip for Jordan, it would be to visit at least one slot canyon, for example Wadi Numeira, Wadi Mujib, Wadi Hissa or Wadi Bin Hammad. They are often neglected by the casual tourist, but all of them are well worth visiting.
Jordan’s most famous canyon is Wadi Mujib, located in the Dead Sea and is a designated reserve. Wadi Mujib offers a thrilling canyoning route, sometimes through thigh-high water. Similar geology to Mujib but far less water offers the Numeira gorge trail with unbelievable photogenic sandstone formations.
For nature lovers, discover on foot one of most beautiful wilderness areas in Jordan – The Wadi Numeira.
Wadi Numeira (Wadi Hudeira, Inmira Valley)
Wadi Numeira is known for its hanging rock at the beginning of the trail and long narrow passage through the sandstone formations. Numeira starts in one of the multiple springs coming from Karak, running down to the Dead Sea at a site 280m below Sea Level. Entrance from the Dead Sea is called the Water Petra, due to its shape looking like a massive gate. It also gives its name to the Early Bronze Age ruins located at its mouth with the Dead Sea.
How to get there
Wadi Numeira is located on the southern coast of the Dead Sea in the South Ghor region.
Coordinates to the Wadi Numeira: 31° 7’55.03″ N and 35°31’55.33″ E
Coordinates to the dirt track heading to Wadi: 31° 8’11.71″ N and 35°31’40.41″ E
From Amman is approx. 2 hours’ drive. The wadi entrance is 39 kilometres after the Wadi Mujib Bridge. The reference point is a white and grey monument, dedicated to the region’s salt production, located on the western side of the road. 200 metres north from this monument, you take the first dirt track you’ll see heading to the east. After 600 meters you will pass a group of Bedouin huts and reach a dust parking lot, where probably other cars will be parked.
From Amman south station (Mujamma Al-Janoob) take a bus to Ghor Al Mazraa. The bus cost around 2 JD and is about 2 hours long. Just note, that these buses usually wait at the station until they are full before leaving. From Ghor Al Mazraa take a minibus to Ghawr As Safi and ask the driver to stop at the monument or road to Wadi Numeira (from there is 1 km to the Wadi). Alternatively you can hitchhike from Ghor Al Mazraa to Wadi Numeira (you will probably need to negotiate a good price). To get back, if you are lucky you may be able to catch a minibus or hitchhike.
Other option is to hire a driver or make a trip with local agency.
The trail takes 2,5 hours and it is 6,2 km long round trip.
From the car park after 200m the wadi turns left. Just follow the stream and soon you will see a big hanging rock that indicates the beginning of the trail. The wadi forms a 150m high narrow gorge around the thin stream through pink sandstone. After 800m the gorge closes in more and more and turns into an impressive Siq. First part of the trail is a narrow gorge, which protects you from most of the sun through. You can turn around and walk back at any time or walk up the Siq until you reach the inner valley. At the end of the gorge there is a small waterfall that requires a 2m climb up the rocks. After that you reach the valley.
There is not much water here, so you can take your camera and tripod to take photos. Most of the time you’ll walk in the water that gets ankle deep, at some places the water will come till your knees. This depends on the time of the year you will be visiting.
Numeira is very popular amongst Jordanians, especially on weekends, so you will probably meet other people. When I was there during the week, I meet a group of hikers and two local guys that were having a picnic at the beginning of the wadi.
- Beware of floods. You cannot do this walk during or shortly after rain due to the risk of flash floods. During winter and spring there is a danger of floods on rainy days. Therefore, be careful when hiking to distant narrow places during these seasons and stay tuned to the weather news.
- Wear appropriate shoes or hiking sandals, such as Teva. You will get wet and scramble over rocks. Don’t worry, water is warm.
- With my experience I recommend spending at least ten days in Jordan, so you will have enough time to visit all the main sites and to explore beautiful wilderness. I also recommend renting a car as it gives you the freedom to explore the region independently and to include some extras to your itinerary. Driving around in Jordan is fairly easy, just driving in Amman could be a bit tough. Alternatively you can always hire a private guide and driver or take a tour with local agencies. I found traveling through Jordan independently to be easy and very safe.
After hiking in Wadi Numeira I regretted not having enough time to visit other wadis in the area. Other wadis wort hiking are: Wadi ibn Hammad, Wadi Himara, Wadi Al Heba, Wadi Al Karak, Wadi Hissa, Wadi Weida’a, and Wadi Zarqa Ma’in.
The natural landscape in Jordan is breath-taking and the locals are very friendly. I had a wonderful time and would love to go back one day to explore other wilderness.