Navigating the Sandstone Towers: Rock Climbing in Jordan’s Wadi Rum

Planning a rock-climbing adventure can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to uncharted territories like the sandstone towers of Jordan’s Wadi Rum. Recognized as one of the world’s top climbing destinations, Wadi Rum boasts towering cliffs and sweeping dunes that challenge even seasoned climbers.

This article provides an essential guide on navigating these grandiose desert landscapes and equips you with tips for an unforgettable climb experience in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Discover vast terrain, ancient history, cultural sensitivities and heart-thumping routes in your new venture!

Rock Climbing Routes in Wadi Rum

There are several popular rock climbing routes in Wadi Rum, including the East Face of the East Dome of Jebel Rum and the West Face of Jebel Um Ejil.

The East Face of the East Dome of Jebel Rum

Steeped in the grandeur of Wadi Rum’s red-rock wilderness, the East Face of the East Dome of Jebel Rum offers some of Jordan’s most thrilling rock climbing experiences. Many climbers regard it as an unforgettable sandstone adventure packed with majestic cliffs and awe-inspiring landscapes.

The traditional rock climbing on this face mainly involves tackling big sandy formations, a unique experience that sets it apart from Utah’s more familiar cracked terrains. Its multipitch routes not only challenge your technical skills but also gift you moments to appreciate the breathtaking natural arches and mountains that make Wadi Rum such a spectacular destination.

With digital guidebooks bolstering preparation, navigating through this desert wonderland becomes increasingly inspiring for every outdoor enthusiast.

West Face of Jebel Um Ejil

The West Face of Jebel Um Ejil is a thrilling rock climbing route in Wadi Rum that offers stunning views and an exhilarating challenge. This particular face is known for its challenging cracks and slabs, making it a favorite among experienced climbers.

The sandstone cliffs here provide excellent friction, allowing for confident footwork and secure handholds. Climbing the West Face of Jebel Um Ejil requires technical skill and confidence, as the route involves traverses, steep sections, and exposed areas.

However, the effort is well worth it when you reach the top and take in the breathtaking beauty of Wadi Rum’s desert landscapes.

Abu Aina Towers, Jebel Rum

Abu Aina Towers in Jebel Rum are among the standout rock climbing routes in Wadi Rum. These majestic sandstone towers offer a thrilling challenge for climbers seeking an adrenaline rush and breathtaking views.

The routes here range from moderate to difficult, catering to climbers of different skill levels. With its striking formations and unique geological features, Abu Aina Towers will leave any climber in awe of the natural wonders that Jordan has to offer.

So, if you’re up for an adventure in the desert landscapes, make sure to include Abu Aina Towers on your rock climbing itinerary in Wadi Rum.

Burdah East Face

The Burdah East Face is one of the rock climbing routes in Wadi Rum that offers a thrilling and challenging experience for climbers. This sandstone cliff stands tall with its impressive height and unique features, attracting climbers from around the world.

The route requires technical skills and endurance as climbers navigate through cracks, ledges, and exposed sections. With breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape, climbers can truly appreciate the grandiose beauty of Wadi Rum while conquering this remarkable climb.

Jebel Suweibit

Jebel Suweibit is one of the rock climbing gems in Wadi Rum, Jordan. It offers a range of routes that cater to climbers of different skill levels and preferences. The sandstone cliffs provide excellent friction for climbing, and the unique landscape adds to the adventure.

Climbers can enjoy both single-pitch and multi-pitch routes on Jebel Suweibit, with varying degrees of difficulty. Whether you’re a beginner looking for an introduction to desert climbing or an experienced climber seeking a challenging ascent, Jebel Suweibit has something for everyone.

With its stunning views and thrilling climbs, it’s no wonder that Jebel Suweibit is a must-visit destination for rock climbing enthusiasts in Wadi Rum.

Tips for Rock Climbing in Wadi Rum

When planning your rock climbing adventure in Wadi Rum, make sure to arrange logistics such as transportation and accommodations in advance.

Logistics and planning

Planning a rock climbing trip in Wadi Rum requires careful consideration of logistics to ensure a smooth and successful adventure. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:

  1. Research climbing routes: Familiarize yourself with the different rock climbing routes available in Wadi Rum. There are several popular spots, including the East Face of the East Dome of Jebel Rum, West Face of Jebel Um Ejil, Abu Aina Towers, Burdah East Face, and Jebel Suweibit.
  2. Obtain necessary permits: Before embarking on your climb, make sure to obtain any required permits or permissions from the relevant authorities. This will ensure that you can access the desired climbing areas legally and without any issues.
  3. Plan your itinerary: Create a detailed itinerary for your rock climbing trip, outlining the specific routes you intend to tackle each day. Take into account factors such as travel time between climbs, rest days, and any additional activities or sightseeing you may want to incorporate into your trip.
  4. Arrange transportation: Consider how you will be traveling within Wadi Rum and between climbing locations. Options include hiring a local guide with transportation services or renting a vehicle if you prefer more flexibility.
  5. Accommodation options: Wadi Rum offers various accommodation options ranging from traditional Bedouin campsites to luxury desert lodges. Research and book accommodations in advance to secure your preferred choice based on budget and preferences.
  6. Pack appropriate gear: Ensure that you have all the necessary rock climbing gear for your trip, including ropes, harnesses, helmets, carabiners, and climbing shoes suitable for sandstone terrain.
  7. Safety measures: Prioritize safety by familiarizing yourself with proper rescue techniques, carrying first aid supplies and emergency contact information at all times.
  8. Cultural sensitivities: Respect the local culture and traditions of the Bedouin community living in Wadi Rum by dressing modestly and adhering to any cultural or religious practices.
  9. Seek expert guidance: While experienced climbers may enjoy tackling Wadi Rum independently, it is advisable, especially for first-time visitors, to hire a local guide who can provide valuable insights into the climbing routes and ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience.
  10. Stay updated on weather conditions: Check the weather forecast regularly and be prepared to adjust your plans accordingly. Extreme heat during the day may require adjusting climbing schedules or opting for early morning or late afternoon sessions.

Recommended equipment

To ensure a safe and enjoyable rock climbing experience in Wadi Rum, it is important to have the right equipment. Here are some recommended items:

  1. Climbing harness: A comfortable and properly fitted harness is essential for safety while scaling the sandstone towers of Wadi Rum.
  2. Climbing shoes: Invest in a good pair of climbing shoes that provide excellent grip on the sandy rock surfaces, allowing for precise footwork.
  3. Chalk bag: Use a chalk bag to keep your hands dry and improve your grip while climbing.
  4. Helmet: Protect your head from falling rocks or accidental impacts by wearing a climbing helmet at all times.
  5. Rope: Depending on the type of climb you are tackling, bring along the appropriate length and diameter of dynamic rope.
  6. Quickdraws: Carry an assortment of quickdraws to secure yourself to bolts and anchors along the route.
  7. Carabiners: Bring multiple carabiners for clipping into quickdraws or attaching gear to your harness.
  8. Slings and webbing: These versatile pieces of equipment come in handy for creating anchor systems or extending protection placements.
  9. Nut tool: A nut tool is useful for removing stuck nuts or other gear from cracks in the rock.
  10. Protection devices (cams, nuts, hexes): Depending on the specific routes you plan to climb, pack a selection of reliable protection devices to place in cracks and crevices for safety.

Safety considerations

Safety is of utmost importance when rock climbing in Wadi Rum. The sandstone cliffs can be challenging and unpredictable, so it is crucial to take necessary precautions. Make sure to check the weather conditions before heading out and plan your climb accordingly.

It is also recommended to climb with a partner or in a group, as this provides an extra level of safety and support. Additionally, wearing proper climbing gear such as helmets, harnesses, and sturdy shoes is essential for protecting yourself during the climb.

Be aware of loose rocks or potential hazards on the route and communicate effectively with your climbing partners. Lastly, always respect the local culture and traditions when exploring Wadi Rum’s rock climbing sites to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Cultural sensitivities

Respecting the cultural sensitivities of the local Bedouin community is crucial when rock climbing in Wadi Rum. The Bedouins have a deep connection to the land, and their traditions and way of life should be honored.

It is important to dress modestly, especially when interacting with locals, as Jordan is a conservative country. Visitors should also avoid public displays of affection and be mindful of their behavior in order to maintain a respectful environment.

Displaying an appreciation for the local culture will help foster positive relationships and further enrich your experience while exploring this stunning desert landscape.

Expert guidance and support

Navigating the sandstone towers of Wadi Rum requires expert guidance and support. With its unique terrain and challenging climbs, it is essential to have a knowledgeable local guide who can navigate the routes and ensure your safety.

The Bedouin community in Wadi Rum offers experienced guides who are familiar with the area’s rock formations and can provide valuable insight into the history and culture of the region.

They can also assist you in selecting the right equipment for your climb and offer tips on technique. Having an expert by your side allows you to fully immerse yourself in this incredible adventure while ensuring a safe and fulfilling experience in Jordan’s desert playground.


In conclusion, rock climbing in Jordan’s Wadi Rum offers a thrilling and unique adventure. The majestic sandstone cliffs of this desert wonderland provide a challenging yet rewarding experience for climbers.

With the support of expert guides from the local Bedouin community, climbers can navigate the intricate routes and immerse themselves in the rich history and natural beauty of Wadi Rum.

So pack your gear, embrace the camaraderie of fellow climbers, and embark on an unforgettable journey through these sandstone towers.


1. Is rock climbing in Wadi Rum suitable for beginners?

Yes, Wadi Rum offers a variety of routes suitable for beginners as well as experienced climbers. There are guided tours and instructors available to assist those new to rock climbing.

2. What safety measures should I take while rock climbing in Wadi Rum?

It is important to wear proper safety equipment such as helmets and harnesses, and to use ropes and anchors correctly. It is also recommended to climb with a partner or under the supervision of an experienced guide.

3. Are there any age restrictions for rock climbing in Wadi Rum?

There may be age restrictions depending on the specific route or tour operator. It is advisable to check with the tour company beforehand if you have children or elderly participants interested in rock climbing.

4. What is the best time of year for rock climbing in Wadi Rum?

The most favorable time for rock climbing in Wadi Rum is during the spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) when temperatures are milder. Summers can be extremely hot, while winters can get cold, so it’s best to plan your climb accordingly.

Calvin Rivers

Hey, I’m Calvin Rivers, a climbing veteran with 10+ years on crags and walls around the world. I can’t wait for you to explore our site and fall in love with the outdoors just like I have.

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