The Back Door to Petra and How to Find It

Jordan is the new love of my life and hiking from the back door of Petra across to the Monastery of Ad Deir was a wonderful hike; serene with spectacular views over the Wadis; but I couldn’t find any details on how or where to find the trail head.  So this post is all about how YOU can find it.


back door to petra
The Monastery from arriving at the back door to petra

The route we took

We started the route driving from the nearby town of Al Baydha, just ignore this first bit of the route if necessary and start where the track leaves the road. 

We were fortunate enough to get a lift half way to the back door and be dropped in the desert with a vague idea of where we should go.  If you’re very fit and want a real adventure, you can hike from Little Petra all the through to the backdoor steps and on to Ad Deir Monastery.

As soon as you hit the desert, you need to follow the brown signs. They’re quite frequent at approximately every 400m.

How to find Petra's Back Door for hiking to the Monastery Click To Tweet


back door to petra
The brown signs

Hiking with kids; the back door to Petra

A man, in the middle of the desert, did check our tickets and this was one of the only times we actually had our Jordan Passes looked at.

This is a really good hike to do with kids and our 10 and 9 year old thoroughly enjoyed it. We had nearly the entire hike to ourselves, occasionally passing or spotting someone else doing it, but for the most part we hiked in quiet awe.


back door to petra
This is the official back door to Petra

4 ways to find the back door to Petra

  1. Get a taxi to drop you by the side of the road and hike the rest of the way
  2. Arrange 4×4 transport to drop you half way to the back door (this is what we did)
  3. Find a local with a good 4×4 to take you right to the back door steps
  4. Hire a 4×4 and drive yourself, although you’ll need to get back there to collect the car at some point.


back door to petra
The steps at the back door to Petra

Seeing Ad Deir Monastery from the desert

The mountains in the Wadi were mind-blowing in shape and pattern. According the GPX data we really weren’t very elevated but it felt as if we were on top of the world!

Meandering around the rocks, sometimes on cut steps, sometimes just following a path, it was our son who first spotted the turrets of Ad Deir Monastery.

In a way we were disappointed that the calm of the hike was over, we were back onto the desert floor and the commotion of hundreds upon hundreds of tourists could be seen and heard.


back door to petra
Some more steps carved into the rock


back door to petra
The first glimpse of the monastery

View or Download the GPX file

You can view this route via Google Maps or download the GPX file from GPSies.

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How to find the back door at Petra. Download the GPX file and hike yourself.

See what else we got up to in Jordan

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As a small child my favourite book was 'People of the World' which featured Inuits from Alaska, children from China and farmers from Peru. It was a glimpse into another world that would inspire me to wander the globe in search of something special.


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