Trekking through the lowest nature reserve in the world turned out to be our most thrilling day during our time Jordan. The Wadi Mujib gorge houses some of the most spectacular cliffs we have ever witnessed and we were going to hike, swim, slide and abseil right down the centre of them all.

Operated by The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, (RSCN) A project that promotes the biodiversity of Jordan, this trek is eco tourism at it’s best. You can book your trek at the office right off the main highway between Aqaba and the Dead Sea resort area, and this is where our day began.

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Our adventure started at the crack of dawn when our driver Mahmoud picked us up from our Dead Sea Resort just 30 minutes away from Wadi Mujib. We were excited to be tackling the Canyon Trail today; The most thrilling trek of all the Wadi Mujib treks.

canyoning in jordan at wadi mujib

We were a little intimidated when we met the rest of the group for our day on the water. They were decked out with wet suits and aqua socks while carrying full sized dry bags filled with harnesses and climbing ropes.

We were armed with our Olympus Waterproof camera and wore our quick drying trekking clothes to protect us from the rushing waters ahead. Throw in a couple of water bottles tucked into our zip off daypacks and that was the extent of our gear for the 4 hour hike ahead. We felt moderately prepared if a little underdressed.

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Always "almost" Prepared

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Our Brave Guide Ali

We were a little worried for our guide Ali though. He had been with us for the entire 10 days of our trip through Jordan taking care of our lodging and meals to organizing our tours and activities. He doesn’t swim and this was a trip that was taking us through waterfalls and fast moving water. He didn’t blink an eye when we read disclaimer stating that you must be able to swim to go on the canyon trek. He donned his lifejacket and said everything would be ok.
The start of the trip was a tough hike up an easy trail desert heat. The hill was steep yet manageable, but the sun was intense. It was already high and there wasn’t a breeze to be found in the air. Our canyon guide assured us that within an hour we’d be feeling cool and comfortable.

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Descending into the Gorges of Wadi Mujib

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Feeling the Heat at Wadi Mujib

We descended into the gorge and came across the entrance of our canyon trail. As the rest of the group changed into their full wetsuits and helmets, Dave and I stood talking with our guides. They were both going through in shorts and a t-shirt so we felt better.

The water felt cool stepped into the river and we instantly forgot the heat of the hour long hike to the entrance of the trail. Within minutes we were walking through the water carefully maneuvering our way through the rocky bottom.

The Canyon Trail is heaps of fun.

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We climbed over rocks and slipped down natural waterslides of smooth rocks. We held on to ropes as we passed through some mild rapids and jumped into pools of calm water at the bottom of rocky dams. We never knew what to expect but simply listened to our trusty guide. When he told us to jump, we jumped. When he told us to slide we slid and I am so glad we did.

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It turned out that our travel companions were very experienced canyoneers and had spent the last 10 days traveling through Jordan just to walk through its canyons and abseil into waterfalls. This was near the end of their Jordan trip and they decided to take a guided trip. They were old hats at this stuff but seemed to be enjoying the trip almost as much as we were.

They told us that there were plenty of gorges to be explored in Jordan and we made a mental note to come back and check them out while making the Feynan Eco-Lodge our home base for these type of excursions.

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We Listened and whooped it up through the entire trip.

The finale of the day came when we had the chance to abseil over a waterfall.  We missed the opportunity in Fiji and in New Zealand, River Surfing was high on our list, but we didn’t have the opportunity there as well. What we love about travel is that there is always another chance to fulfill your dreams and check an item off the bucket list.

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Abseiling over the Waterfall, a Good Thrill

I have wanted to abseil over a waterfall since watching the Eco-Challenge Fiji way back in 2003. Now we finally got the chance.

I decided to go first so that I could capture some photos of Dave and Ali. I have abseiled quite a bit, but I won’t lie. I was a little nervous being lowered over a waterfall into a pool of rushing water below. I don’t know what I was thinking volunteering to jump over first. I didn’t mind the drop, it was the pool below. When I got to the water, I  swam to a set of rocks under the waterfall and scrambled to the top of them to take off my harness and send it back up. I didn’t even think of standing up in the pool and felt foolish when Ali came down after me and stood up once he hit bottom.

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Dave Abseiling over the Waterfall

Dave jumped over the cliff next followed by our group of canyoning enthusiasts from Germany. We had reached the peak of our trip and it was all a leisurely stroll back to the office.

It is a day trip that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Jordan. So when you find yourself at the Dead Sea, make sure to grab a taxi and make your way out to Wadi Mujib. It is the most unique adventure in the country and an excellent break from the tours through ancient ruins and historical sights. Many people think that this is all there is to do in Jordan, but you will find that there is so much more to this diverse and interesting country in the heart of the Middle East.



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47 Comments

  1. Pingback: Canyoning Jordan, An Eco-Adventure Thrill Ride | Charming Places

    1. davendeb

      Haha, a lot of scenery reminding you of Star Wars eh. It’s funny you mention it, because while we were in Jordan, I had thought of how much I would like to go to Tunisia to see where Star Wars was shot. For me, most of Jordan reminded me of Indiana Jones. The third one was shot here. Cool eh.

  2. nella

    wow!!!! great pic! thats wonderful…i wish i could do those trips … i am getting panicked ….
    but the pics makes it possible for me!

    1. davendeb

      Nella, you could totally do it. The water is shallow and the guide is very experienced. It was really fun and not stressful at all.

      1. davendeb

        Hi Nella, You will love it. There are much scarier canyons out there, but this one is nice and relaxed. Just enough to feel the adrenaline, but not enough to scare the pants off of you:-)

  3. MaryM

    Looks amazing! When I saw the title, I just had to read it because one of my top dream trips is hiking the Virgin River narrows at Zion National Park in Utah. This looks even more fantastic with the blue water and waterfalls.

    1. davendeb

      Mary, that sounds like another amazing canyon trip. I have heard the canyons in Utah are spectacular. We will have to add that to our list as well. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. Mark Wiens

    Beautiful, hiking through slot canyons is one of the coolest adventures! Have you guys ever hiked through a place called Antelope Canyon, near the Grand Canyon? I was there a few years ago and it has a similar look and feel. I’m getting itchy to get off the internet and go do some outdoor hiking!

    1. davendeb

      Hi Mark, no we haven’t done that hike. We were just saying how much we would love to see the Grand Canyon, believe it or not, we have never been there. We imagined that it looked a lot like the places we saw in Jordan. I am going to add it to my list. I think we will have to go for a hike this weekend ourselves. We’re back in Ontario and may have to head out to the escarpment.

    1. davendeb

      Jeremy, you can totally do it. It wasn’t scary at all, just a lot of fun. Ali, our guide had never done anything like it before and loved every minute of it.

  5. Grant Lingel

    Very awesome post! I was in Jordan filming for The Hostel Life in March and we worked with Ali as well! He is the best! If you are still with him give him my best :)

    1. davendeb

      Hi Grant. Ali spoke very highly of you! I hear that you had an amazing adventure in Jordan and that you were doing and excellent thing of promoting affordable travel in Jordan. We would have loved to do that full day hike that you did. Hope your doing well. I didn’t know that you were with Hostel Life now, congrats!

  6. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    I couldn’t figure out what abseiling was until Google told me it’s known as rappelling in the U.S.! This trip looks awesome, though, and that last photo of Dave in the waterfall is great. Would definitely love to do this someday. :)

    1. davendeb

      Hi Christy. Yes, it’s known as rappelling too. I used to call it rappelling and I guess I haven’t done it at home in so long that I have gotten used to calling it abseiling. It was an awesome trip. Definitely a highlight of our time in Jordan. We like that sort of thing. Petra was nice, but Canyoning was awesome!

    1. davendeb

      There was just the one large waterfall that we passed through and then there we several smaller ones. We went over 4 or 5 smaller ones (only a few feet high) that were still big enough that ropes were attached for safety.

      1. davendeb

        Wow! That is awesome. Like we said, there are several canyons in Jordan to trek through. The people we were with spent 10 days canyoning. I would love to go to the canyon that you went to. Did you rappel down them?

      2. davendeb

        That’s fantastic. We had heard of Wadi Feid. I would love to go back and really take advantage of the hikes that are available in the country. And I’d love to do a multi day camel trek.

      3. Vi

        Check Wadi Hasa canyon too. You don’t need ropes where but canyon is very nice and what is amazing – water is warm. In some places probably it reach more then 30C.

      4. davendeb

        Wow, 30C! That’s my kind of swimming:) Thanks for all the ideas about where else to go canyoning in Jordan.

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  11. Keith Kellett

    We saw this some time ago, on the Discovery Channel film ‘Royal Tour of Jordan’ … in which the King of Jordan himself led a group up the canyon.

    Alas, when we visited in 2003, the gorge was off limits, because of construction work on a new dam, so we explored a less one (Wadi Khuthera, I think … the guide wasn’t very certain, either!)

    So, it remains on the bucket list

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Keith, It was pretty amazing. How was Wadi Khuthera? People that we were canyoning with had spend the last 2 weeks traveling around Jordan exploring Canyons. They said that they experienced some amazing ones. We’d love to go back and explore some more.

      1. debndave Post author

        Thanks Keith. We know how you feel, we have so many photos from our travels pre 2004 on slide film. And our first digital shots weren’t the best either. But it’s awesome to have the memories and we’re looking forward to checking your photos out. I wouldn’t have risked my nikkon either. We used our Olympus Waterproof U Tough for these shots. It really takes great shots and no worries about water or shock.

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