Hiking memo : Waterfall and natural swimming pool of Wadi Zarqa Ma’in, Dead Sea
21 September 2018
(updated September 22th 2018 : frequentation by locals)
Update as of May 5th 2019:
warning: it looks like the dramatic floods that occured in winter 2018-2019 could have damaged the upper section of Zarqa Ma’in. The 40 meters high waterfall is still there, but the pool below could have disappeared, filled with rocks. Current and water will create and deepen it again, but it might take some time. We haven’t checked this fact by hiking there by ourselves, but please let us know if you have any info, photos or videos of the place !
Wadi Zarqa-Ma’in near the Dead Sea is mostly famous for its 60°C hot springs. Hot springs are fine in winter, when it’s freezing cold (yes, even in Jordan 🙂 ) , but definitely not in summer, when all you want to get is freshness and rest. And guess what? here’s an easy wadi, ending with a beautiful waterfall plunging into a large pool of fresh water. And plus, located at just 60-minutes drive from Amman.
Want to swim? To have a picnic not too far from Amman? Just take your car or a taxi and go discover visit Wadi Zarqa Ma’in, and its 35 meters high waterfall.
All our videos available on our YouTube #familyinjordan channel:-)
NB : you can also enjoy canyoning and abseiling in wadi Zarqa Ma’in…if you want to have more sensations, check out this other video ! 🙂
🚩🏁 : 31°36’29.9″N 35°36’55.1″E, 31.608314, 35.615291, , Google Maps link available here.
👩👩👦👦 : 😊😊 ( 6 years old and more) This is a perfect wadi to enjoy your day with your family: less than an hour to walk up to the waterfall, a fun creek for kids, crabs, birds, a pool with rocks around to jump into the water….If minibuses are parked at the bridge level, it means there may be people in the wadi, including potentially Jordanians. Then you may not be alone in the pool, and potentially unconfortable (for women).
⏱ : from the bridge, between 45 minutes and one hour to reach the waterfall and its pool.
⚠️ : 👍 . The only technical difficulty is located 2/3 of the way, with some awkaward steps along a first small waterfall of 7 meters high. The path is passable by a child of 6 years alone. In winter or spring), the youngests could get stuck at the first small waterfall because of the flow. Therefore this wadi is to be preferred in summer or fall.
📐 : positive elevation of around 100 meters
📏 : around 1.8kms. linear trail, following the bottom of the wadi. No flash flood danger as the wadi is wide enough .
- easy and exotic wadi, one hour from Amman,
- Very close to the hotels of the Dead Sea, this wadi is an ideal walk to take some fresh air outside,
- Nice 35 meters waterfall and natural pool, ideal for a picnic outside Amman or for a day trip if you combine it with Ma’in hotsprings,
- Your kids will love it,
- The flow of the curious being diverted towards the nearby Ma’in hot springs one kilometer lower, you will be probably alone during your hike …. and you can still visit Ma’in hot springs before or after (15 to 20 JDs fee)
- When we hike, we always bring an extra large garbage bag with us to pick up all the trash we find on our way. But like in the Myth of Sysiphus, we know we will still find new empty plastic bottles left behind by others during our next hike there…
- If the wadi is frenquented by locals (we never met locals at the pool during our 4 visits there), the access to the pool for single women might not be wise.
The access to the hike is located at the concrete bridge overarching the wadi. Technically, there isn’t any car park, but the road is very wide, enabling to park here without hindrance. Just make sure that your car doesn’t bother local bedouins who work here, as they use the water of the hot stream along the road to clean carpets or cars or animal skins …
From the start point, we recommend you to walk actually under UNDER the bridge from the right side of the road when you go down (see movie and sketch), instead of descending directly towards east (which is upstream, see map). Reason is it is easier and much less muddy than the other side. Arriving under the bridge, touch the water of the stream with your hand: it is hot, right? In the Zarqa Valley, there are plenty of hot springs, and there are related to volcanic activity ….
The wadi quickly becomes pretty and bucolic, with crabs in abundance, small fish, small rapids … You will be surrounded by laurels -roses, reeds, acacias …
After one kilometer, you will find the only difficulty of this wadi: some awkward steps along 7 meters high beautiful waterfall (see picture below). There is no need to worry: 6 years old children can overcome this obstacle without difficulty, as long as they are secured from below by an adult. This photo was taken from above the waterfall, and there is a very easy passage on the right of the photo (not visible).
600 meters and 15 meters after, here you are on the edge of the natural water pool, ready to swim in it !
Please watch our video to get more details :-).
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- Many other ideas for trekking and hiking are available on this section of our blog 🙂 Enjoy, and share !