Dana Biosphere Reserve is an area of staggering beauty, history, and biodiversity. The only reserve in Jordan that encompasses the four different bio-geographical zones of the country (Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian), it is a melting pot of species from Europe, Africa and Asia. Such a combination of natural communities in a single area is unique in Jordan and many of Dana Biosphere Reserve’s animals and plants are very rare. So far, a total of 800 plant speciesand 449 animal species have been recorded in the Reserve, of which 25 are known to be endangered, including the Sand Cat, the Syrian Wolf, the Lesser Kestrel and the Spiny Tailed Lizard.
Karak to Dana
The crusader landscape continues in this section as you exit Karak, passing the old crusader village of Shehabieh and the abandoned village of Khirbet Ainun. Orchards and olive groves grow abundantly through fertile plains. Crossing another Dead Sea canyon, Wadi Hasa, the landscape becomes a series of towering limestone cliffs and ridges before reaching Edomite ruins at Sela and Ma’tan. After moving on through the deep Wadi Labun, the trail turns to easier terrain as it passes over the next hill to the restored village of Dana, its hotels and campsite resting on the rim of Wadi Dana at the edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve.
Total Length: 84.5 KM
Days: 5 Hiking days
Main sites in the region:
- Karak Castle
- Khirbet Ainun village
- Tor al Taboun crags
- Wadi Hasa - Burbaita village
- Ma’tan and Buseira and Edomite ruins
- Dana Village and Dana Biosphere Reserve
Dana to Petra
A truly awe-inspiring section of the Jordan Train and named by National Geographic as one of the 15 best hikes in the world. The trail descends the hilltop village of Dana into Wadi Feynan and onto the dramatic mountain plateaus of Wadi Araba. This region crosses several climate zones, diverse ecosystems, hidden canyons, and dramatic labyrinths of hills and valleys displaying the full spectrum of the region’s geology. The scenery spans from majestic and epic mountaintops to peaceful, fertile farmlands with new landscapes presenting themselves every few kilometres. This section’s most dramatic and memorable aspect is the departure at the Nabatean masterpiece, Petra. A chance to enter the city through the ‘back door’ to walk in the footsteps of ancient traders. Few other trails can boast a site as spectacular as Petra.
Total Length: 72.6 KM
Days: 4 Hiking days
Main sites in the region:
- Dana Biosphere Reserve
- Feynan ruins and ancient copper mines
- Feynan ecolodge
- Hidden stream and waterfall in Wadi Feid
- Little Petra
- Petra, Nabatean capital and wonder of the world