There are many wonderful places to explore on foot, and you can walk to several of the main sights. Always register your route at the visitor centre before embarking.
Makharas Canyon Hike
This worthwhile canyon hike includes open vistas, canyon hiking and grand dune views. It begins at the visitor centre. It’s a moderate, unguided hike that should take about 2½ hours return.
Hike southeast across the plain towards the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and then head up Makharas Canyon (take the left-hand wadi at the branch). The wadi narrows after about an hour from the visitor centre and then emerges onto a patch of gorgeous red sand with grand views of Jebel Barrah and Umm Nfoos to the east. From here, cut north over the sand dunes and plod around the northern tip of Jebel Umm Al Ishrin to return to the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
Jebel Rum Round Trip
This route offers stunning ‘big country’ scenery and begins at Rum village. Pass Lawrence’s Spring and Ain Abu Aineh and circumambulate the southern half of Jebel Rum. It’s a strenuous hike that will take about eight hours; a guide is recommended.
Jebel Umm Ad Dami Ascent
This route scales Jebel Umm Ad Dami (1832m), Jordan’s highest peak on the rarely visited southern border with Saudi Arabia. It starts at Wadi Saabet, a 45-minute 4WD trip from the visitor centre. It should take about two hours return and is moderately difficult. You’ll need a guide.
The hour-long uphill hike is marked by cairns and offers sweeping views of Wadi Rum to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south and it can be unnerving in parts if you don’t have a head for heights. On the way back, stop off at the rock carvings of nearby Siq Al Barid, a lovely spot for a picnic.