New way to hike the Back Road to the Monastery in Petra

From September 2022 the start of the Back Road hike is from the parking area in Little Petra (Beidha). To get from Petra to Little Petra you can take the free shuttle bus.

Updated: 23 January 2024

Visitor centre to Little Petra

Take the free shuttle bus from the Petra Bus parking to Little Petra. You find them when you walk from the Petra museum, up the steps, towards the bus parking. Upon entering the parking, you see the busses on the opposite side. Next to the toilet building.

The first bus will leave between 7 and 7:30 am* from the bus parking. The bus will wait maximum half an hour before it leaves. The last one leaves around 3 pm*.  *Be aware that these times are subject to change. 😉

A ticket for Petra is needed when you take the back road hike! You can also buy your Petra ticket or exchange your Jordan Pass for your Petra ticket at the ticket booth in Little Petra, if you do this hike on your first Petra day. And bring your passport as they will check if it’s really you! 

 

View from Petra Museum to the parking for shuttle bus to Little Petra
The free shuttle busses to the back road hike in Little Petra

Taxi transfer from Petra Visitor centre to Little Petra

If you are on a tight schedule, arrange a taxi beforehand. For a transfer from the Petra parking to Little Petra, you can get in touch with taxidriver Saleh Helalat via Messenger. Or send him a Whatsapp message on +962 7 7926 7640. (Transfer price 15 JOD). If you are traveling by rental car, park it at the Petra parking to have it waiting for you when you come back from your Petra visit.

Little Petra to the start of the steps

From this starting point in Little Petra, the first option is to take a 4WD shuttle to cross the valley (for 5 km) to the start of the steps. The price for this transfer is 5 JOD pp. First ride from around 8 am*. You buy your ticket at the Little Petra ticket booth (open from 7 am*).

* Warning! The times mentioned are not official as there is no official information from Petra Visitor Centre about the free shuttle and the 4×4 shuttle. So it can be different on the day you are planning to do this hike.

You walk in the south direction to get to the bus stop for the 4*4 shuttle. 

Ticket booth in Little Petra for 4*4 shuttle to the steps to the Monastery
The actual bus stop for the 4WD shuttle from Little Petra to the start of the hike to the Monastery

The second option is to hike (it’s a 5 km, rather flat hike) to the point where you start hiking up. You can find this trail on Komoot.

Hike to the Monastery

From there it’s 2,5 km hiking up to the Monastery.  Here you can find the hiking trail on Komoot. 

Guide needed?

You can do this trail by yourself. If you want a guide, you can get one at the Petra visitor centre guide office. (The price for the back road hike with a certified guide, until the Monastery is 100 JOD).

A ticket for Petra is needed when you take the back road hike!

Add a visit to the Neolithic village to your Back road hike

If you choose to hike from the parking to the start of the steps you can add a stop at the Neolithic village of Beidha. Go back in time 10.000 years to see how the pastoralists became farmers!

Hike the Back road to the Monastery

Take the scenic, off the beaten track, hiking trail up to the Monastery from Beidah (Little Petra). You can do this hike perfectly on your own. However, to learn more about Petra, nature and bedouin life it’s a good idea to hire a guide to accompany you on your way up. He will guide you along small white domes of sandstone, an ancient Nabataean dam, a rock balcony and the Bronze age settlement Umm Saysaban. Enjoy the marvellous views over Wadi Araba before hiking up the ancient Nabataean steps to reach the plateau. 

Back road hike to the Monastery

Once up on the plateau the Monastery will reveal itself to you!
Don’t forget to climb up behind the little restaurant to get to the view point to enjoy the view over the huge canyon of Wadi es Siyyagh.
From the Monastery you can take the main trail down into Petra by the Basin.

Difficulty

Moderate (according to the site of the Jordan Trail).  In 2022 work has been done to improve the Back road hike and little walls were build on the side of the trail. This makes it so easy to find your way up to the Monastery. And doable for people with fear of hights.

Length of the hike

The 2,5 km hike takes about 1 to 1,5 hours from the dropping point of the 4WD shuttle from Little Petra. Enjoy the view on the Monastery from the terrace of the cafe for a while before going down the 800 something steps to the Basin, at the end of the colonnaded street.

A ticket for Petra is needed when you take the back road hike!

Looking for an authentic stay 10 km from the Petra parking?

On the lower slope of the village of At Taybeh, you find Beit al Taybeh Guesthouse. With it’s rooms dotted around the cosy courtyard. Just a 15 minute ride from Petra.

Looking for accommodation in Wadi Musa close to the Petra parking?

Have a look at the rooms in B&B Petra Fig Tree Villa, just a stone throw away from the Petra vistor centre.