Wadi Rum : how many rock bridges there? And which ones to visit?
27 April 2019
Wadi Rum is undoubtedly our favorite place in Jordan. Indeed, the “valley of the Moon”, the other name of Wadi Rum, is so colorful that one’s eyes just can’t grow weary of it. Sand, cream, white, red, ocher … And even green, in this sweet late spring, with this graceful vegetation that emerges from the sand in a momentum of life.
And most of all, here in Wadi Rum stand the famous sandstone arches and rock bridges… They are world famous. And in our opinion, they are well worth it ! :-). Even after 10 visits, our own eyes are still amazed by so much mineral beauty. These arches are young, and they will disappear in the prime of life: they are estimated to live less than 20,000 years. In geology, the timeframe is almost a blink of an eyelash …
If you discover the Wadi Rum in a 4WD, on foot or on horseback with a guide, you might happen to discover one, two or three arches … But no more, unless you stay several days. Also, by using appropriate apps , you might pinpoint some of the rock bridges.
We have here no intent of spoiling your discovery of Wadi Rum…nor hamper the local Bedouin guides business. Because their livelihood is precisely … to guide the visitors in this maze of stone and sand.
So how many rock bridges in Wadi Rum? And which ones to visit? Let’s discover together this anthology, just for the pleasure of the eyes. Some of these arches are becoming overcrowded. Others feel rather alone in their natural setting. So how many rock bridges there? And which ones to visit?
The forgotten arch
Why we like it:
If you do not turn your head when passing by, you could almost miss out without seeing it …
Now, it is just a huge hole in the cliff.
Yet, from all the arches of Wadi Rum, it may be the only one still standing in a few thousand years, when the wind and the water have finished eroding the sandstone on which it rests. 30 meters high, it is for the moment just a beautiful discrete one…
But above all, the Siq that leads to it is a marvel, with 600 feet high cliffs, near Jabal al riddah al beidah … In this canyon, even in summer, there is … grass!
To discover, somewhere between Rum and Disah
Little bridge, a classic
Why we like it:
Let’s make it clear: to start with, there are also reasons not to like it. Standing at the entrance of Wadi Rum, and right next to 2 other spots (red sand dune and Khazali Siq…), Little Bridge is a must-see, especially for those who choose short excursions. So be sure you will bump into many people there… Having said that, because it is easily accessible and not dangerous, it is perfect for families with children and people who feel less comfy with heights under their feet!
Um Fruth, a very courted bridge
Why we like it:
Although distant from the village of Rum (12 kms as the crow flies), its distance makes it hardly less crowded than “little bridge”.
In a regular ballet, pickups and trucks load and unload their smily cargo of visitors.
But we like it because it’s just beautiful, and spectacular. Its summit table is easily reached in 2 minutes, and the view from above is quite impressive: photo obligée!
People who are prone to vertigo can also admire it from below, sipping a “shaï” (tea) under a Bedouin tent, and take a leisurely tour to enjoy the view from different angles.
Umm Fruth is a nice place, the kind of place you surely want to take your time enjoying it ! 🙂
The lonesome bridge of the white desert
Why we like it:
It is not really indicated on navigation apps, let alone on maps. When you visit this arch, you will be most likely alone! And climbing on the back of this arch, you can easily reach the top of a beautiful small sandstone hill, fifty meters high, and then enjoy a nice quiet viewpoint.
A clue? This arch in the “white desert” of the reserve!
Kharaz and its sisters : the 3 pearls of the North
Why we like them:
The northern part of Wadi Rum is too little known. However, with its vast sandy areas, its clear sand, its beige sandstone, its Nabataean secret spots, one always gets amazed there. For moviegoers, be aware that it was THE place where was partly shot … Starwars 9, as shown in this trailer!
In this setting, some pearls emerge. They are called “kharaz” in Arabic. So are called the biggest of the three splendid arches that you will discover there. Kharaz is also a climbing spot. It is exposed and is thus reserved for experts, who are capable to admire the arches from 100 meters high (source “mountainproject.com”)
Kharaz is at 30 minutes drive from Disah, to the North
Our number 1: Burdah rock bridge, a solitary marvel.
Why we like it?
Perched at an altitude of 600 feet, 35 meters high and 20 meters long, Burdah bridge is a must-see experience. The climb that leads to it (about 45 minutes) is accessible for anyone in good physical condition and who is not afraid of heights. It does not require special equipment, except sport shoes (no flip flops).
Experienced hikers can go there alone (relatively visible marking – post soon to be released!), While others might prefer to take a guide for more serenity.
The complete hike lasts 1h30 to 2h30. We recommend spending time on this natural wonder, rather than going to other more mainstream but less spectacular spots. When making your reservation, ask the manager of the camp to go there!B
- Did you count right? There are 8 rock bridges listed here in Wadi Rum! Actually, there are even more, as Wadi Rum still has unveiled secrets! By the way, how are those arches born? As always, the explanation lies in physics .. more details in this film and this article of maxiscience …
- It is possible to use different ways to visit these arches: 4WD, hiking, horseback rifing …. For example, the agency Jordan tracks, based in Wadi Rum (village of Rum) offers various forms to explore nature nooks of Wadi Rum: contact them!
- Want more details? Want to give us the locations of other arches you might know? Feel free to PM us through our contact form, or through our Facebook page 🙂