• Lenght: 10 kms back and forth.
  • Duration:  approx. 2 hours (one way) with kids. 
  • track of the Hike (.gpx.format) gpx:
  • Elevation gain: 800m +. Beginning at 993m,  maxi altitude: 1173m, the Monastery at 1050m.
  • Difficulty : easy to moderate, slighlty exposed to some places- caution with young kids;
  • Round trip : NO, the same way back and forth. But variants will be released soon !…
  •  Variants : 
    • more difficult : departure from Little Petra instead (then  2 more kilometres and + 45 minutes one way)
    • easier: by walking back to the main entrance of Petra complex from the Monastery (through the Siq and passing by the Treasury – both must-see): shorter and easier…Evenf if someone would still have to walk to the starting point of this hike to get the car back..unless you get dropped by a taxi ! 

The debrief: 

This hike offers the major advantage of bypassing the tourist crowd of Petra to join the famous “Monastery” (ad-deir in arabic), and also to avoid the hard 800ish steps to climb up to ad-deir from the valley of Petra…even if you’ll still have to climb a little bit with this proposed route.

Image sat ensemble

Hmmm…By the way, for those who had no idea, the Monastery looks like this:


Way to go : navigation is easy. Once you leave the Petra-Beidah main road, we have to walk Souh-eastward toward wadi Ghurab, and localize a sign like this one, which you’ll easily find after approx. 500 meters  walking:


Then it become easy (at least as navigation is concerned). The signs show up each 300-400ish meters, and you have to follow an obvious 4WD track (see the pic), until you reach a small ready built building (2kms after the starting point) : this is actually the cashier house for the entrance of Petra complex. You’ll have to present your ticket, and it’s useless to bargain. That is why I strongly  recommend you to buy your tickets the day before at the main entrance gate (no worries if you have a jordan pass). There is NO possibilty to buy tickets here.

After the entrance, the 4WD “road” soon becomes a trail, and you’ll have to descend stone stairs, then to climb stone stairs…They are secured with a stone low wall, so you don’t have  to about to worry about the kids , at least as long they don’t try to climb on the low wall.:-) After a climb (100m ish meters), you’ll soon arrive at  a “shop”led by a bedooin woman, who will “invite” you for a tea….Persumong you have an easier life than her (at least as far as money is concerned) ,I’ll suggest you to give her a souvenir for her hospitality. 🙂 . Having said that, the view up there , and the loneliness also, have no price :

0 THE BACK TRAIL 8 corniche

Do you see the small 2 figures up there? look more closely…here you are ! This is actually the place you will reach within 20 minutes. This is the best part of the trail, except the moment when you’ll discover the Monastery. This track is OK with 5 or 6 years-old kids, as long as they follow your guidances and they don’t run everywhere….

When you stand there, youhave walked for 4 kilometers, and within less than 1000 meters, you’ll deserve the right to observe the magnificent shade of “ad deir”, with an awesome view on wadi araba 1000 meters below, between Jordan and Israel, and between the Dead sea and the Red sea.

Except the stallholder, we may have met like 6 people in 2 hours..To get the trackdetails (gpx format), please visit the page on wikiloc dedicated to this hike ( , or even to ask me with a comment.

Enjoy, Share, and feel free to ask questions !


Une famille qui découvre la Jordanie et le Monde. Suivez notre blog sur la Jordanie : nature, voyage, culture et rencontres sont tout ce qu'on aime !


La grande Véro de Bavière · 10 décembre 2017 at 19:59

Hi my Jordan cousin,
I can only confirm that this is the very best route to reach Petra. This is much nicer and magical to reach Petra than through the normal way full of tourists.
It is really nice and no that difficult. Five years afo, we started also our visit of Petra with the monastry, arriving from the “upper side” as described here. I can only recommend it !.
And we you climb down the staris, you can make a fun of the people climbing up on the back of a donkey!
La grande Véro de Bavière

    familyinjordan · 11 décembre 2017 at 04:43

    thanks for your comments, Vero
    there are many, many alternative routes to enter the site or discover it from outside. Other posts are being written on the subject !

Joy Descoteaux · 16 avril 2018 at 04:33

Hi, I married a Bedouin in Petra 7 years ago, we have a guesthouse in Umm Sayhoun and highly recommend to all.out guest to access the site this way. It is the most conducive and efficient way to visit Petra as well as the most beautiful.

One note on your article you.may want to amend, as you indicated, you cannot purchase your entrance tickets from this gate however the tickets to Petra cannot be purchased for the following day, it is all same day sales. It must be purchased from the Main Gate before accessing the Monastery Gate. Furthermore, if you only have the paper version of the Jordan Pass, it must also be stamped at the Main Gate before using the Monastery entrance, if you have the electronic version of the Jordan Pass you may enter directly from here without validating it at the Main Gate

    familyinjordan · 16 avril 2018 at 04:46

    Hi Joy; thank you very much for this heads up ! We will duely amend our post. Especially for the stamping of the paper version of the Jordan Pass. However, from our experience, it is possible to purchase the tickets for the next day. This is what we usually do at the end of the day, tso that we don’t have to come back to the main gate the next morning..Ok, sometimes we have to negociate a little bit with the cashier, but it worked fine (so far! ).
    Maybe you would like to put the link to your guesthouse website, or leave a PoC here, so that people can visit your guesthouse in Umm Sayhouthe? thank you very much !

Melanie Desrochers · 8 août 2019 at 23:02

Thanks for this great opportunity to see from the “backdoor” the beauties of Petra. We started our visit with this hike, followed through our GPS, and it was amazing. Saw only 4 other people on the trail. The monastery was even more appreciated through this approach instead of the more traditional way via the numerous stairs. Merci!!

    familyinjordan · 9 août 2019 at 15:03

    Ahlan wa sahlan. Yes, Petra by the back way is probably the best way to discover the Monastery…you get really surprised when it appears up there:-)

Jaanaandteemutravels · 26 août 2019 at 13:13

Hi, great post. Is it possible to exit from here too? Probably yes, but I assume there will not be any taxis available once you exit? Would like to enter from the Siq but I am looking for a better way to exit than going all the back the same route.

Petra: the High Place of Sacrifices and Wadi Farasah · 7 décembre 2019 at 07:42

[…] wish to continue the discovery of Petra? Then disciver with us another nice itinerary :  Petra by the back way…or how toreach the Monastery, by avoiding hordes of tourists ! […]

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