Trekking here is on virgin territory, at least for
tourists. Less than half a dozen canyons are
known to "outsiders", and only the Bedouin are at
home in the wilderness of rocks, precipices, cliffs,
waterfalls and hidden valleys that lie to the west of
the Kings' Highway.
Looking at the arid desert scenery, you can be
forgiven for not realising how many of these hidden
valleys contain streams fed all the year round from
the underground springs, nor how many pockets of
lush vegetation can be found concealed among the
mazes of rocks.
The Bedouin here are far from the largely
sedentarized nomads who can be found in Petra
and in Wadi Rum. Many may own a small, roughly
built house in one of the sparse villages, but they
would invariably also spend much of their time in a
traditional black tent, often far from any other
dwelling, from where they move seeking pasture for
their herds of goats.
Wadi Kerak offers spectacular waterfalls, a colorful
sandstone gorge and impressive hanging gardens.
The upper waterfall consists of three steps dropping
40 m down walls of beige sandstone. The lower
waterfall gushes above two great red boulders.
Several side streams flow into Wadi Karak, one of
these entering as a tall dripping waterfall crowned
with palm trees and stalactites.
Wadi Mujib: The Black Gorge
This is the only canyon generally known to
newcomers to Jordan. It is under the authority of
the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature
and is strictly controlled and supervised. It is a
strenuous trek, with black cliffs 200 meters high,
waterfalls and rock pools.