TOPO Hiking

Petra via Wadi Muaysra As Sharkiyya

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Petra, an incredible site, staggering vestiges of Nabataean civilization. After visiting the site itself, the Siq, the Treasury and the monumental ensemble carved into the rock, it was time to get away from so many people in one place. The loop described here is a combination of several routes mentioned in the reference guide to the area, the book "Jordan, walks, climbs, caves, treks and canyons" by Di Taylor and Tony Howard, a must... A succession of wadis to descend or climb, and surprising discoveries of temples and other tombs sculpted in extraordinary rock, with pink and purple hues and an almost living texture! The weather didn't cooperate, but the loop is well worth the detour, which also includes a roundabout route to the Monastery, the site's most important landmark.

Technical summary

Type : Hiking

Location Petra

Access to the place

Go to the Petra entrance at the bottom of Wadi Musa. You have to pay the rather exorbitant entrance fee (50 euros!) but you can't do otherwise on this route.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 10'

From the Visitor Center, descend to the siq that joins the Trésor. Further down, a second entry checkpoint before actually entering the canyon. There's a small bridge, and the start is made there, descending to the right in a small wadi, with a tunnel at around 100m, the start of the R88 road (cf. topo).

Course

This corresponds roughly to a large loop through the north of the site and back through the top and the Monastery, avoiding the crowds (except for a passage through the center before tackling the wadi Muaysra As Sharkiyya (R98). This can be done on your own - we preferred to take a Bedouin guide - but apart from catching the wadi Muaysra As Sharkiyya and exiting at the top of the wadi onto the R94, it's a no-brainer.

Part 1: the R88 road
This is a small canyon that passes through a tunnel and then descends in a winding and increasingly narrow way to emerge into a valley to the north of the Petra site. The final section is very narrow, and there are a number of basins to cross in opposition or with your feet in the water. Magnificent pink, striated rocks, quite unreal in fact. Exit after 30min. Turn left to return to the Petra site. Pass the extraordinary entrance to the Florentinus tombs. You finally arrive opposite the theater. Continue along the avenue of columns to the Qsar al Bint.

Part 2: the R98 road
This road must be taken before the Qsar. Turn right up the embankments to reach the entrance to the wadi Muaysra As Sharkiyya. No difficulty, walk in the sandy bed or along the banks, exit at the top and turn left (not obvious) into a passage that leads to another slope. There's a Bedouin tent at the exit, where you join the R94 road leading north to Little Petra.

Part 3: the R96 road
Turning left. Climb a little to the left, then take the stairs and walk along the overhanging ledges to reach the Monastery fairly quickly, heading back inland. After a short climb to the west, you'll have a bird's-eye view of the Wadi Siayygh, which also loops down to Qsar Al Bint.

Back

It's almost inevitably done via the busy downhill section of the R83 road, which is packed with tourists... Not great, but not to be missed, unless you have the equipment to descend via the Siayygh wadi, which we didn't have. A nice loop to explore the north of the Petra site without running into packs of people and to get a feel for the area.

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