Backdoor Petra: The Route to Enter Through the Back

Backdoor Petra is an interesting alternative to the main entrance gate to the venue. Especially for hiking lovers. In other words, it is not recommended for everyone, for the reasons we explain in this post. Here’s what it is and what you need to know if you want to use this route to enter the Pink City through the back door.

What is the Petra Backdoor?

As you can tell from its name, the Petra Backdoor is a hiking trail that takes the visitor through the back door. That is to say: unlike the usual entrance, which is located in the Visitor Center and runs along the Siq to the Treasury, this entrance route leads the traveler to the opposite access, arriving first at the Ad Deir Monastery.

This is a very little-known and little-used entry. It is practically only used by travellers who love nature and sports, and spend more than one night in Petra, visiting the site for several days. This is because giving up the main entrance is not an option: missing out on the experience of reaching the Treasury through the Siq would be a shame, despite the influx of visitors who congregate here every day.

However, for those who want to savour Petra calmly and get to know the surrounding landscapes, this Petra Backdoor is a real wonder. The main attractions are the rock formations of this mountain range, the spectacular views of Wadi Araba, the improbable stairs carved into the rock and points of interest in the middle of the route, such as the archaeological remains of a Bronze Age village (III millennium BC).

Backdoor Petra Route Data

If you want to do it in its entirety, the Backdoor Petra route starts from Little Petra, which means a total route of 7 km through paths that, for the most part, are winding, steep and steep trails, given the rocky orography of the environment. The estimated duration of this itinerary depends on the physical condition of each person, but can be estimated at 4 hours or more.

Completing this route, the first construction in Petra that will come your way will be the Ad Deir Monastery, with the advantage that you will not have to complete the famous 800 steps that are climbed from the other side, since the Petra Backdoor runs along the plateau on which this monument is located. However, this route should not be conceived as a comfortable alternative, as the ascents and descents are continuous and very steep.

There is also another shorter option that is even feasible by car: from the village of Uum Sayhoun to the Basin restaurant: the route to the Ad Deir Monastery will be shorter, but the route from here is not exactly the Backdoor Trail but the one taken by the rest of the visitors, including the aforementioned 800 steps.

To keep in mind

If you are seduced by the option of doing the Backdoor Trail, you should take into account these important details:

  • People with low physical fitness, who are not used to hiking routes, should abstain due to its demanding layout
  • People with vertigo should refrain from doing so, as some sections are exposed to falls at great altitude
  • It is mandatory to carry the tickets to Petra with you, as there is no ticket office but there is ticket control. Therefore, it is inexcusable to stop by the Visitor Center first, either this day or the day before
  • It is necessary to carry water with you, as it is an inhospitable terrain without any kind of fountain, shop or kiosk
  • It is highly recommended to be accompanied by a local Bedouin guide to avoid getting lost, as the signage is not exhaustive

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