KHAZALI CANYON

Miraculously, his robes spread out around him and carried him to the ground unharmed. His pursuers interpreted this as an act of God, and so determined to let him live. The thief’s name was Ali, and “Khaz” means jump, making the English translation of this site “The Jump of Ali.”

A narrow passage flanked by two fig trees, Khazali Canyon appears unremarkable from the outside. But squeezing through its entranceway to where the rocks widen you see the inscriptions here that marked the paths of the ancients. Nabatean and Arabic traders rested in this place close to a thousand years ago, using the towering walls to shade themselves from the intense heat of the desert. You can see drawings of elephants and lions, animals that used to roam with the trading caravans that travelled from Egypt to Petra to Damascus. Prayers carved into the rock show where pilgrims rested on their journey to Mecca. A particularly distinct imprint of two, bare feet signified for travellers where they could find a well for drinking water. Even now, in the hot Jordanian summers, Khazali Canyon provides cool relief for locals and tourists alike in the shadow of its imposing walls.

The geological formation of the Canyon formed over millennia from winter floods generating torrents of water that flow through the gorge and create deep basins, the first portion of Khazali canyon which is filled with stone age inscriptions and is easy to stroll through reaches a section that rapidly steps up into a series of basins and dry waterfalls, it creates a challenging adult playground.

Khazali Canyon is visited on both the half day and full day 4×4 tours, and is popular as it is home to some of the best petroglyphs in the region. It is located 6km south of Wadi Rum Village in the Protected Area at the northern end of Jebel Khazali. Khazali Canyon is less the 4km from Arabian Nights Camp. The GPS Coordinates are 29.520145N, 35.424003E.

FAST FACTS:

  1. Khazali Canyon is the location of some of the best preserved petroglyphs in the region ranging from stone age depictions of lions and elephants to modern day arabic of pilgrims to Mecca.
  2. Folklore tells that this site got its name from a thief who jumped from a height and defied death as his robs acted as a parachute.