One of the most popular trails at Dana, and the only one without a guide, is the 14 km-long Wadi Dana Trail. First, we paid the entrance fee to the Dana Biosphere Reserve (🎟️ 10 JOD), and then we started our 5-hour hike from Dana to Feynan Ecolodge. This trail leads downhill but is not as easy as it sounds. The first hour was very steep, and then we got lost several times, following sheep trails by mistake. The hike was nice, passing through a color-changing sandstone gorge with hillsides blooming with flowers around some little settlements and sheep and goat herds. In Feynan Ecolodge, we arranged our transportation back to Dana with a teacher from the local school for 55 JOD (a 2.5-hour drive through mountains with great views).

The Dana Biosphere Reserve is the largest in Jordan and includes a variety of terrain, from sandstone cliffs more than 1700m high near Dana to a low point of 50m below sea level in Wadi Araba. Sheltered within the red-rock escarpments are protected valleys home to a surprisingly diverse ecosystem. About 600 plant species (ranging from citrus trees and junipers to desert acacias and date palms) thrive in the reserve, together with 180 bird species.

More than 45 species of mammal (25 endangered species) also inhabit the reserve, including caracals, increasing herds of ibex, mountain gazelles, sand cats, red foxes, and wolves. The installation of night traps has given reserve wardens a better understanding of the movement of these rarely spotted animals.