The Dana region crosses the full range of elevation and climate across the western front of the Edom mountains, dipping from the juniper-forested highlands to the parched Araba Valley and climbing back up again. A handful of Bedouin villages are the only sign of civilization you may see while hiking, but the remains of past civilizations still haunt the landscape. The ruins of an ancient mining operation at Feynan are surrounded by enormous slag heaps, evidence of ancient industry; Little Petra was a waystation and inn for merchants on the Nabateans’ long-distance trade routes; and Petra itself, needing no introduction, is one of the crown jewels of the world, with its thoroughly unique cliff-carved architecture and the exquisitely-fashioned facades of its royal tombs.
The route from Dana to Petra is a natural wonderland as well; students of geology and wildlife will find the desert mountains an inviting study in the region’s environment, and the wild beauty of the trail will captivate anyone. The trek is a challenging one, but every climb into the canyons and crags brings more breathtaking views, and the surprises like flowing, shaded streams and elegant cliff dwellings make sure there is never a dull moment along the way.
Four stages from Dana village to Petra divide the walk into a strenuous but doable itinerary; those opting to wild camp will find many more options for taking the region at their own pace. The trail can be done with vehicle support (a truck providing luggage transfer and supplies and food and water to each campsite ) or as an unsupported backpacking trip; in the latter case, travelers will need to bring enough food for the entire walk, and plan their route around the availability of water, which is shown in the maps, elevation profiles, and GPX files for the region.
For walking in this region, the Jordan Trail is recommended. Find detailed resources on www.jordantrail.org