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Wadi Rum

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Wadi Rum Rock Climbing 

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Location: 29.5973, 35.4144 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Justin Lozier on Aug 8, 2009

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Wadi Rum is a vast desert in southern Jordan, near the ancient Nabatean capital of Petra. It is full of massive Granite and Sandstone rock formations, with a near-limitless number of climbing routes, many yet to be discovered. Access generally involves riding deep into the desert on camel, although Toyota Landcruisers are also available, and 'Bedouin Camping' out in the desert.

History (from Wikipedia):

"Wadi Rum has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures — including the Nabateans — leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and temples. As of 2007[update], several Bedouin tribes inhabit Rum and the surrounding area.

In the West, Wadi Rum may be best known for its connection with British officer T. E. Lawrence, who based his operations here during the Arab Revolt of 1917–18. In the 1980s one of the impressive rock formations in Wadi Rum was named "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" in memory of Lawrence's book penned in the aftermath of the war, though the 'Seven Pillars' referred to in the book actually have no connection with Rum (see the Foreword in the book).

The area was "discovered" as a climbing area in 1984 by Tony Howard, Di Taylor, Mick Shaw, and Al Baker. Howard and Taylor have since written two guidebooks: Treks & Climbs in Wadi Rum and Jordan - Walks, Treks, Caves, Climbs & Canyons, both published by Cicerone Press.

The area centred on Wadi Rum (the main valley) is home to the Zalabia Bedouin who, working with climbers and trekkers, have made a success of developing eco-adventure tourism, now their main source of income. The area around Disi to the NE, home to the Zuweida Bedouin and erroneously also thought to be part of Wadi Rum by visitors, caters more for Jordanian visitors from Amman, with campsites regularly used by party-goers."

Getting There 

There are two options, depending on which airport you fly into:

1) Fly into the capital city of Amman, rent a car, and drive about 4 hours south to Wadi Rum.

2) Fly into the beach resort city of Aqaba, on the coast of the Red Sea, and take a bus to Wadi Rum. I have heard the bus is not such a great option, so I would recommend renting a car and making the short drive (45 minutes) to Rum.

Hire a local guide service before you arrive, and they will set you up with transportation (camel), their Bedouin campsite, and a local rock guide. The approach on camel back ranges anywhere from 2-5 hours. Bring plenty of water (it's a desert).

  • Beware of sandstorms. Bring sunglasses, and get yourself a 'Hutta' to protect your face from the sun and sand.

  • Nearby Petra is not to be missed. Add another day or two to explore this ancient Nabatean city.

Climbing Season

For the Asia area.

Weather station 22.0 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Wadi Rum

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Wadi Rum:
Wisdom Pillar   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 17 pitches, 1100'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Wadi Rum

Featured Route For Wadi Rum
Rock Climbing Photo: Route

Lionheart 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b  Asia : Jordan : Wadi Rum
An incredible climb. A classic anywhere in the world. Takes a direct line up a series of corner systems. Climbing style ranges from liebacks to chimneying. Every pitch is beautiful and it ends with a magnificent summit on the Abu Aina towers.P1 - 10a // Easy climbing to a chockstone / roof, go left and continue to a belay.P2 - 10c // The physical crux, and a fantastic pitch. Fingers, to the lieback crux, to a wide section.P3 - 10a // A short but sweet pitch. Head right into what looks like...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Wadi Rum Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jordan
Rock Climbing Photo: This is a route called Merlin's Wand out at Barrah...
This is a route called Merlin's Wand out at Barrah...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jordan. And goatherd dog. Dog doesn't like America...
Jordan. And goatherd dog. Dog doesn't like America...
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out on the classic Pillar Of Wisdom route ...
Topping out on the classic Pillar Of Wisdom route ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bedouin Camp
BETA PHOTO: Bedouin Camp
Rock Climbing Photo: Old Toyota Landcruisers are also available.
BETA PHOTO: Old Toyota Landcruisers are also available.

Comments on Wadi Rum Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ian Hanson
Mar 12, 2014
Anybody interested in making the trip in the near future?
By James Garrett
Nov 25, 2014
Tony Howard and his guidebooks are definitively biased on the side of super strict trad climbing. Many excellent modern bolt protected multipitch classics submitted to him for inclusion have been lost to obscurity and only available word of mouth. A new up to date modern guide may be in the works, so please consider getting the word out to other sources:)!! Jordan has so much climbing and it certainly is NOT restricted to Wadi Rum, which is like saying castle Valley is the only climbing in Moab!!
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Nov 6, 2015
I have a blog post about a trip Mia Kvåle Løvmo and I did here in early 2015:
By Benjamin Krick
Oct 6, 2016
Does anyone have any more information on the climbing community or guiding services in jordan?
By Larry Shaw 1
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 29, 2016
Contact Mohammad Hamid, local climbing guide who also runs a bedouin camp with food in Wadi Rum.
By Alex Rosema
Jan 26, 2017
Zidane Abdullah also does fantastic guiding work and has quite an emphasis on safety. Check out his company and camp:
By Jennifer L
Feb 8, 2017
I recently came back from a trip to Jordan, and I would second using Bedouin Roads ( ) if you need guiding/driving/camping services in Wadi Rum. Zidane was my guide, and it looks like he works with both Bedouin Roads and Bedouin Nomads. Many of the operators offer similar accommodations (a heavy camel hair tent with half board) but not all of them guide in climbing.

Here are some useful links I came across while researching the trip:
  • Climbing magazine article - In addition to Wadi Rum, I also did the 3-6 day trek from Dana to Petra that is mentioned in this Climbing magazine article which was a lovely hike.
By Arne Sater
3 days ago
I am planning to travel to Jordan in November to climb. I have found the book “Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum, Jordan” by Tony Howard, but I think the book might be outdated? Do you have some advice on where to get more updated info about climbing in Jordan?

We plan to rent a car and drive to the crags. I guess we will climb most days and maybe visit some beduin/desert camps. Would you recommend getting a guide for that? Are there other things we should do while in Jordan?

Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated :)


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