The excellent landscape in Petra begs you to trek around. There are quite a few hikes you can do easily on your own, others need a guide. Infront of the Roman street, there’s a map of all hikes, or you can purchase a map too. And do the in the morning, or late afternoon, to avoid the sun and get good light for photography. You can read about my overall account in Petra here. And it helps having good cardio fitness and strong thighs.
The ones I did: IMO: Monastery is a must!! Umm-Al Biyara> Al-Kutbha> High Place of Sacrifice.
1. Umm Al-Biyara: My favorite hike!! It’s the big mountain you see in Petra. After the Roman Temple, you take a left, and move onto a path. Umm-Al-Biyara is the biggest mountain. You just need to find the stairs up the mountain. Those are easy steps, and you reach the top, which is a plateau. And you rewarded with brilliant views!! Go there in the afternoon, come back by evening. And always follow the stairs, you wont go wrong.
2. The hike up to the monastery: The easiest of all. Which most people do. Donkeys too are available, but I didn’t use them. I found it pretty easy, easy steps up the mountains. You can climb the monastery with the help of bedouins, but make sure you don’t come in contact wit the actual structure of the monastery, as it’s fragile, it needs protection.
3. Al-Kutbha Trail: The trail goes up next to the Royal Tombs, up stairs, and then there are a couple of confusing points, but you’ll get pass them easily,you’ll know which is the right route. After a point, you start descending. In the end you see the Treasury from the top. One should go fairly early in the morning, as the light falls on the Treasury only for a short period of time I went at around 9.30, and there was little light.
4. Wadi Turkmaniya Road : I did this walk, along the road with a local. But on could do it easily. It’s on the other side of Petra,behind the Byzantine mosaic church area. There are several inscriptions, there are tombs, and there’s plenty of greenery. It’s actually along a road, rater than a hike, but beautiful, especially if done in the evening.
5. The High Place of Sacrifice and down through Wadi Farasa.
Again, not too difficult. A series of steps leading up from behind the Theater. The top has awesome views, ofcourse. And then you descend via the Wadi Farasa,and arrive near the Basin/Roman Temple Area.
I did this in the morning, the views were fabulous from the top, but the descent through Wadi Farasa waa little painful in the midday sun. I would prefer doing this in the evening. A knowledgable guide would be good for this hike, as there are really many interesting sites.