Um Qais to Pella

Stage 1 of 15 - 46Km - Hard

46 Kilometres
55% Offroad

1,197m Ascent
1,587m Descent

362m Max Elevation

-222m Min Elevation

5% Avg Grade

24% Max Grade

Estimated riding time: 6 – 7 hours
Challenge Level: Hard

Prev: None

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Today’s cycling routes starts and ends at the Greco-Roman Decoplis cities of Um Qais and Pella. The mountainous terrain and greenery of the north immediately become apparent as you cycle along rolling hills. The route follows a beautiful descent down to Ziglab Lake and Jordan Eco Park before and then follows a canal path before turning off to Pella.

User Ratings



The trail starts at Um Qais ruins (altitude 335m) heading south with a long steep downhill beginning on paved roads before quickly joining a rough track with some rocky sections for about 5Km to Tel Zira’a, with views across Arab Dam (note: vehicles cannot pass a short section of broken road about 3km from Um Qais).


The trail then starts the first climb from Arab Dam ascending for 7Km gradually on an old road up to the main Jordan Valley to Irbid road. Crossing this road, the route ascends more steeply on tarmac for 3Km to the villages of Wadi Al-Sindyar and Taiybeh. After leaving the villages the route descends for about 3Km on a beautiful stretch into the bottom of Wadi Taiybeh. Cross the wadi and a short but steep dirt track ascends to the top of the hill. (you will likely have to push your bike).


This is a good place to catch a break, hydrate and get a snack. The trail heads west, down into the Jordan Valley with a steep descent overlooking Ziglab Dam at the lowest point of the Jordan Bike Trail (-220m). The trail continues following the King Abdullah Canal path, a nice flat section with views of the Jordan Valley farms, passing the Sheikh Hussein / Jordan River border crossing before turning off at the end of the stage to Pella – another one of the 10 Decapolis cities.

Physical & Technical Difficulty

Difficult – A mixture of long steep climbs and various track surfaces. Over 1,000m of ascent.  Some uphill on rugged terrain requiring rider to push bike. No real technical sections, except some loose gravel on tracks.  Some basic off-road mountain biking experience recommended.

Things to See

Accommodation Options


  • Shops for snacks and water in Um Qais & Tabaqat Fahel (near Pella)
  • Meals: Um Qais Rest House, Sharhabil Bin Hassneh – Jordan Ecopark, and Pella Countryside Hotel with prior arrangement.

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