Jebel Khazali : the King of the Mountains
Jebel Khazali is the fourth highest mountain in Wadi Rum and indeed in all of Jordan. Jebel Rum, Jebel Um Ishrin and Jebel Khazali have only about 20 meters difference in their height.
Khazali is a very stately mountain, and one that keeps to itself. Climbing it is not easy, either by the "Bedouin Roads" used since antiquity or by the modern routes. Some of the hardest routes in Wadi Rum are on its black rock ("Al Uzza" - grade 7C and "Fata Morgana 7C+ up to grade 8).
It is popular with the ibex, the mountain goat. The population is much diminished, but under the protection of the Nature Reserve they are coming back and several small groups of them have been seen on Khazali in the last year.
For most tourists, the chief attraction is the Canyon which you can just see in the photo in the middle left. There is more about the canyon in the next tip.
Siq Khazali : the Khazali Canyon
The main attraction for visitors to Jebel Khazali is the cleft in the rock on the northern side. This is a great split which you enter on a rock ledge. It is possible, if you are determined, to scramble back several hundred yards/meters, although not everybody does so. The walls of this ravine are covered with drawings of people, horses and pairs of feet.
There is also a peculiar set of carvings that look a bit like protruding thumbs: archaeologists are not sure what they are meant to be, but it has been suggested that they were used for a game.
The price for a drive here from the Visitors' Centre is 15JD.
Um Fruth or The Middle Arch
The rock bridge formation is pretty common in Wadi Rum (like the Arches National Park in the US)
Um Fruth is a rock bridge which is very easily climbed. It is quite different from the bridge at Burdah which is over 300 meters up from the desert floor. As you see here, Um Fruth must be about 12 or 15 meters up, and there is a gully giving easy access to the top. On the other hand the bridge is pretty narrow, so people who don't like heights are advised to be careful and/or have a sympathetic companion who is willing to lend a hand.
This is a popular tourist destination and is sometimes called the "Middle Arch" by locals not wanting to confuse tourists by the real name. It is called this because it is neither big (like the Burdah Arch) nor small like half a dozen others.
- National/State Park
There is water cress growing in Wadi Rum!
The usual tours take you past "Lawrence's Spring", but the "Lawrence's Spring" that is shown in the tour is at Abu Aina; this is where the water from the spring actually comes out into the desert.
If you want to see the spring exactly as described in "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" you need to take the path behind the Resthouse which climbs to Wadi Shelaala. On the credit side, you don't need a guide for this, the walk takes about 20 minutes and Shelaala is very attractive and cool, even in the heat of summer.
Take along a plastic goblet to taste the water that comes down from above (not the water below in which people often follow Lawrence's example of bathing). The well is covered over to help prevent evaporation.
Besides the water cress growing in the flowing water, there is a plant there which has the most wonderful smell! The whole air up there is perfumed by it, and it is wonderful to sit there in the cool and look down at the village.
Riding a camel
This is the traditional way of seeing the desert. You can't go as fast or as far as with a jeep, but you experience the complete silence of the desert much better.
If you go for several hours, it is far better to pay a little bit more and take a guide riding his own camel with you. Like this you are not limited to the speed of somebody walking on foot. After a short time you are controlling your camel with great confidence!
Count on about 40JD/person for the day if there are at least two of you. This is not including sleeping in a camp
Posted by Lulu
When you start off the on the standard tour in Wadi Rum one of the first stops is at the huge sand dunes just off Wadi Um Ishrin. They are over 50 meters high, and a lot of people like climbing them. Many even get to the top, from which there is a great view!
They featured a lot as background in the film "Lawrence of Arabia" which was filmed here.
Posted by Lulu
After the sand dunes, you continue for a short drive (5 minutes or so) and you are shown the Thamudic drawings at Annafishiya. These are very impressive, and were probably hunting stories! Many people suspect them of being drawn by the Bedouin, but while I wouldn't put it past the locals to touch them up a bit, they are unquestionaby originally from the Thamudic/Nabatean period.
There are literally thousands of other rock drawings around Wadi Rum - see the "off the beaten track" pages.
Posted by Lulu
The sand dunes.
I beleive they are also known as the red dunes, because of the amazing colour of the sands in Wadi Rum. Whatever name you want to attach to them, however, they were really not what I had expected.I have never been to the sahara however I have seen many pictures and this was what I was expecting to see. Instead it was a bunch of sand blown up and piled against the rock outrcrops. Still very impressive though. One day I would like to make it to see the sahara as well, mabye (hopefully!) next year.
Anyways, when I arrived at the top, I rolled/slid/jumped/bounced/fell all the way down, getting sand in every orifice of my body in the process. I may be 21, but I am just a kid at heart (and in age from some peoples perspective:-).
House of Lawrence
Lawrence d'Arabie had united all arabic armies in this desert. That's also where some scene of the movie were shot.
We can now find its name associated to many places....
Nothing really exceptional about this wall! THis is supposed to the remainings of a house where he staid at some time!
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
This was the first of many stops on our camel trip into the hot Wadi Rum desert. From the village it took about 30 minutes by camel, probably about 30 seconds by jeep. Here you will find shade under trees, the last trees you will see for a long time if you are heading further into the desert. Also here is a spring and nabatean writtings on the rocks.
We had asked for our first stop to be at Lawrences Spring, wich as I found out later, was called Ain Shalaaleh, and not Abu Aineh. So if this is where you are wanting to go, ask specifically for Ain Shalaaleh or they will probably just take advantage of your naivety and just bring you here instead. I suspect it has to do with the fact that at Abu Aineh there is a tent for foreigners to spend the night in the desert 'bedouin style' wich is EXTREMELY expensive. I had earlier booked into the resthouse after my haggling skills failed to bring down the night in the desert to a decent price, though I got him as low as 20JD before I said no. It turned out a better option anyways because the following morning I had to catch a bus at 7:00am and would not have wanted to get up that early to make it back to town.
Our second stop was at the mouth of a canyon carving into the huge rock outcrop known as Jebel Khazali.
From what I read, this was named after a criminal, Khazali, who was chased to the top and, with nowhere left to go, jumped off the side. But legend has it he floated down to the bottom and was unharmed. I guess 'the powers that be' (god, allah or whoever you may choose to beleive in) didn't think him that bad of a criminal.
On the right you can climb up a little ledge and walk along it into the canyon. On the walls are thamudic rock drawings. The canyon goes in about 150m to its end, were I am seated in the picture.
Camel trekking in the desert.
What better way to get out and see the desert? It's slow, uncomfortable, and the camels smell awful, but it's the way that it has been done in the past. And as opposed to jetting around in a jeep to all the sights, not only are you seeing these places, but you are experiencing something new at the sametime.
Not too sure what is the name of this small arch but this is definitely not Burdah. Burdah or the rock bridge is well know since a cigaret brand used it for advertising.
One hour drive from the village, our driver said it was too far and showed us this stuff instead.
Not sure this is something listed on the official program...
If anyone knows, please let me know...
freya_heaven mentionned this could be the Rock Arch of Jebel Kharaz.
- Hiking and Walking
- Mountain Climbing
Nabateans where here as well...
We had almost missed it but when we asked our "guide" what was so exceptional about thi place, he pointed out the Nabateans writing on this stone.
Nabateans were the ancient people who populated the area. See my page about Petra, their capital for more information about them.
- Historical Travel
This is just a small siq but the mountains around are really impressive, we can clearly see the action of the winds.
Only 15 minutes from the village with our jeep, it would have taken at least an hour to get here riding a camel...
Probably much more fun to do it the camel way but if you don't have too much time, the motorised way is probably the best one...
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