The Siq trail at Wadi Mujib Biosphere Reserve is not a trail like any other. In fact, it’s more than a trail – it’s a unique experience that mixes hiking and canyoning. It allows us to climb the bed of the Mujib River from its mouth in the Dead Sea and for about 1.5 km to a beautiful waterfall with a pool below.
Except for the first 100 or 200 meters, the entire route is made in a tight canyon (slot canyon), through which only the river passes. We have to go upstream, through the water, in a mix of soft canyoning, hiking, and swimming. Moreover, the slot canyon where we hike the Siq trail is one of the most beautiful landmarks in Jordan.
The Wadi Mujib Siq trail was one of the most fun things we did in Jordan, and that’s why we want to share with you everything you need to know to get on this adventure. Spoiler alert: Prepare to get wet from head to toe.
Wadi Mujib Siq trail – general information
- Name: Siq trail in Wadi Mujib
- Início – Wadi Mujib Adventure Center FH8F+R7 Al Judayyidah, Jordan
- Fim – Wadi Mujib Adventure Center FH8F+R7 Al Judayyidah, Jordan
- Distance – About 3 km (1.5 + 1.5km)
- Time necessary – 2 to 3 hours
- Difficulty – Moderate
- Max/min altitude: 400 meters below sea level;
- Altitude gain: irrelevant
- Tipo – Linear – way, and back
- Signs (1-5) – There’s only one way up and down;
- Highlights: Everything, the hike, the slot canyon, the slides, the final waterfall
- Cost: 21 JOD, with limited entries (100 to 150 persons)
- Check the flyer in English
How much does the Siq Trail cost?
This trail in Wadi Mujib is spectacular, but it is also costly. The 21 JOD (about 28.4 Euros) is a very high price for a hike, and even more so because it does not include anything other than the entrance fee and a vest.
The 21 JOD (in 2022) does not entitle you to a drybag (essential to take a mobile phone, for example) or water shoes (the best footwear option), much less a guide. Despite the cost, this is an independent activity, not a tour.
On the other hand, the visitor center rents both dry bags and water shoes at 5 JOD each. It is also possible to hire a guide for another 30 JOD, but honestly, it seems unnecessary for this trail.
Due to the cost, we seriously considered not doing it, but as we had heard great things about it and really wanted to go hiking in Jordan, we ended up taking the risk. In the end, it is well worth it. The price hurts a bit, but it’s an adventure and a memory that stays forever.
Our experience on the Siq trail in Wadi Mujib
The trail starts at the visitor center. Before you start, put your stuff (phone, camera, snacks) in the dry bag, put on your water shoes, and leave everything else in the car. Then you will have to pay for the ticket, receive the life jacket, and you are ready to go. The visitor center also has a bathroom and a bar if you want to eat/drink something.
Accept right from the start that you’re going to get wet, from head to toe. Do not take anything with you that cannot get wet, including clothing. Try to get there early; this is an increasingly popular activity and is much more fun with fewer people.
The Siq trail starts at a small bridge that takes us to the top of a rock. From there, we have to descend some stairs to the river. It’s relatively easy, don’t worry. There will be more physically demanding and technically tricky parts.
The river depth depends on the time of year and rainfall. Sometimes the river has more water, and the current is stronger. We did the route in early June, and it was ideal for our abilities. It was deep enough to make it a little challenging but still easy enough for us to take it without too much trouble.
In the beginning, the river is not very deep, and the canyon is not too narrow, but as we walk, we get deeper and deeper into the gorge, and the river starts to deepen. You will quickly find parts where the water reaches your knees, then the torso, and finally, you will even have to swim or pull ropes.
Eventually, we reach small rapids and waterfalls we have to climb. These are the most technical areas that require some physical strength (especially in the upper limbs) and agility. There are even stairs, ropes, and metal bars in the more complicated areas to help you climb.
Don’t rush, be aware that there are other tourists coming down. Do everything safely and enjoy the experience. The canyon is absolutely stunning, with unique shapes and colors. There are 3 or 4 more technical zones until you reach the end of the course.
The last climb is perhaps the most difficult, but in the end, we are rewarded with a beautiful waterfall, where you can take pictures, rest, and eat some snacks if you bring them. After taking all the pictures you can imagine and enjoying the scenery for as long as you think is most convenient, it’s time to head back.
The return is faster as we are walking/swimming/sliding with the current. In addition, it includes two natural slides, which means two parts in which we have to slide along the rocks to descend. Don’t worry; it’s easy and safe. In these areas, there are guides to tell you how and what to do. Follow the instructions, they know what they are doing.
Finally, one of our favorite things was simply floating downstream and letting the river take us. Just be careful not to bump into the rocks and other tourists.
When to do the Siq trail at Wadi Mujib Reserve
The Siq trail (and all other reserve trails with an aquatic component) in the Wadi Mujib biological reserve is only open between April and the end of October. However, these are expected dates, and the trail may be open for more or less time if weather conditions allow.
Even within that period, the trail may be closed due to drought, rain, flood, or other safety reasons. If there is rain, or when the river’s flow is too strong, it is impossible or dangerous to make the trail. Thus, it is closed.
So, while we strongly recommend that you include Wadi Mujib in your Jordan itinerary, please remember that the trail may not be open when you visit Jordan.
Finally, as access is restricted, there is also a timetable. The center opens at 8 am and closes at 3 pm, with the last authorized entry at 2 pm.
What about the heat in summer?
One of the things that worried us before this route was the heat. Due to its negative altitude and the desert, the Dead Sea is an extremely hot region in the summer, and even with water, it could become too hard.
However, we have great news: almost the entire route is done in the shade! The gorge is so narrow and deep that the sun does not pass through. So, as much sun and heat as it is outside the trail, inside is quite pleasant! So heat is not an issue – just be sure to bring water.
Who can do the Wadi Mujib Siq trail?
First of all, visitors must be over 18 years of age to enter the Siq trail, so it is not possible to do it with children. All others are allowed to enter the trail, as long as they bring water shoes and a vest (provided by the center). It is also mandatory to know how to swim as there are natural pools that can be pretty deep, and there is some current.
The trail is relatively short, with only 1.5km (3 km round trip), but it is rather hard, and technical parts require flexibility and strength. Most of it is made in water, making it a little more challenging.
That being said, you don’t have to be an athlete to do it, far from it. We would say that practically anyone who does not have physical problems or mobility restrictions will be able to do the route, at least with the level of flow we went with.
What to bring to the Siq trail?
As you can see, this is not a regular trail, it’s a mix of canyoning and hiking, so it’s mandatory to bring things you wouldn’t usually take to a trail. Our checklist includes:
- Plenty of water (minimum 1l per person);
- Comfortable water shoes;
- Wet clothes – Don’t forget to change clothes in the car;
- Swimwear, hat, and sunscreen;
- Phone or camera to take pictures. Using a Go-Pro is an excellent option to give you more peace of mind.
- Drybag to take it all;
As mentioned above, the dry bag and the water shoes can be rented at the adventure center.
As always, please don’t litter. Bring everything you take with you.
How to get to the trail?
The route starts from the Wadi Mujib Adventure Center, located at the mouth of the Mujib River in the Dead Sea, across the road from the Mujib Chalets. It is very easy to identify that we arrived because, besides being well-signed, it is next to the bridge over the Mujib River, and there isn’t anything else in the area.
To get there, we have to go to the road to the Dead Sea, the road 65 that goes from the north of Jordan to Aqaba, passing through the Dead Sea. So:
- From Amman, you must take road 40 until you reach road 65 and turn south towards Aqaba.
- If you come from Madaba, you have several alternatives, but the closest is going through the Ma’in waterfalls and turning south when you reach the Dead Sea Highway.
- If you come from Aqaba, Petra, or Wadi Rum, you have to take road 65 and when you enter the Biological Reserve, be aware because the center is close/ next to the road.
Furthermore, both the center and the Chalets are marked on google maps, making everything even easier. The adventure center has a large park so there shouldn’t be any problems with parking, at least if you go early.
Where to stay when doing this trail?
The ideal would be to stay in the Mujib Chalets and combine a trip to the Siq trail with a day at the Dead Sea, enjoying all it has to offer. However that comes with a price, the Chalets are not exactly cheap, but a friend of ours stayed there and highly recommended it. She said they are outstanding, and it is an enjoyable experience. See prices and more information here.
The big Dead Sea resorts are at the northern end of the sea, so they’re not too far either and a good option. However, they are also quite expensive. There are virtually no cheap lodgings near the Dead Sea. Among the big resorts, we suggest Movenpick to have an experience with everything you are entitled to.
If you don’t want to spend on accommodation, the best option is to stay in Madaba, a charming city with lots of things to see, namely the mosaics and the map of Madaba. In Madaba, we advise the Hotel Ayloa, where we stayed for three nights. Despite being quite old, the owner is amiable, gave us handy tips, and, not least, is very affordable.