Jordan - North Jordan - El Aluk
The 2nd edition of our Jordan - walks, treks, caves, climbs & canyons book was published in summer 2008. Info on a number of new climbs and treks was received just after the publisher's deadline, plus we added more on our later visits. We include some here (trekking info is minimal, due to space limitations). Any info received in the future that is relevant to this book will be posted on these 'Jordan-update' pages for the benefit of our readers.
El Aluk Hills (SE of Jerash)
(Visible 7km SE of the King Talal Dam, and E of the highway). A pleasant rural area of forested gentle hills; two new walks and a possible mountain biking area:
The Mikman Valley and hills
Our first visit to these hills was to the pleasant valley of Mikman, S of El Aluk, surprising in its rural setting and quiet hills.
Easy ridge walk around the cirque at the head of the valley 6-7km, 2-3hrs depended on route. Very pleasant countryside within easy reach of Amman.
Approach by car from Amman via Suweileh, Balka, Mubis, Um Rummana to Birayn (Jedida Birayn), passing under the new highway from East Amman, then N towards El Aluk, going over a narrow pass between nice-looking pine-forested hills about 4k past Birayn (picnickers near the road on Fridays). Just over 3km further, turn left at a small crossroads and follow the valley bottom to reach the small village of Mikman after about 4km, with rolling limestone hills all around studded with Mediterranean oaks and with olive groves and small fields. GPS 330m N32° 07.391´ E35° 55.350´,1hr from Amman.
The Radassa Valley and hills
This delightful area W of El Aluk was the scene of our second visit on a day when Amman temperatures came close to 40° but we enjoyed the shade of the oaks, the breezy tops and total absence of people.
Easy ridge walk The ridge cirque is about 6km, 2hrs but could easily be extended to 9km, 3hrs by parking near the entrance to the valley from the main road, and following the wooded ridge around the full cirque. Very pleasant countryside within easy reach of Amman.
Approach by car as above and continue to El Aluk instead of turning into the valley, or (faster) take the highway from East Amman towards Zarqa, leaving that for the new Jerash road and leaving that to turn right half way down a long hill, as the road leaves the houses behind and pine forested hills appear close on the right. Turn right and follow a signed country lane over the hills (nice scenery) through a pass and down to Aluk (about 10km from the highway). Turn left and left again into a pretty, rural valley in less than 0.5km. Follow the little lane up and just after it starts to wind up more steeply towards the valley head, park in a grassy layby on the right. GPS 745m N32 09.023 E35 53.850. Less than 1hr.