The Treasury, Petra – Jordan… Flash Flood.

That one time a flash flood ripped through the Treasury at Petra... I would like to share that story with you, from when we got to explore the lost city. It felt like we were in an Indiana Jones movie.. Then all of a sudden a flash flood ripped through the gorge past the Treasury! Just like something out of an Indiana Jones movie 😉 !!!

We woke up early and got ready for a full day of exploring Petra. It was 6 am and only one degree. There was a slight drizzle of rain and was very cold. We met up with our tour guide and the rest of the group and headed towards Petra.

The Siq

As we were walking towards the entrance there is a huge gorge that is called the Siq. It winds its way to the city of Petra and all the way there, the rain was a constant drizzle.

The path became very muddy on our walk to the Siq entrance.

As we get closer to the Siq entrance, we admire all the sand stone walls along the gorge. The rain has made all the colours in the rock pop. It was a beautiful sight.

Bit of Petra History

This gorge was a part of the original silk road. All the camel caravans had to pass through it on their way East or West. Petra would tax the caravans when passing through, which made the city of Petra very wealthy. The caravans would stop for supplies, food and water for them and their camels.

flash flood petra

The rain isn’t letting up…

As we made our way through the gorge the rain was getting heavier. The horse and carts that carry tourists and supplies were all slipping on the wet ground.

We came to the first dam wall and it was already overflowing.

But we marched on in excitement to see one of the world wonders! The constant stream of water along the path was getting deeper.

Along both walls there is a channel carved out for water to flow down to the city from outside. The water was just rushing through these with the quickness.

We made our way to the end of the Siq where it it opens up to the magnificent Treasury. There was a little river rushing through which was just over ankle deep at the end. We had to get our feet wet but to see the Treasury it was all worth while.

the siq flash flood

We made it!!!

The Nabatian’s carved the Treasury deep into the sand stone. They did it that way so when it rains, the water runs down past the Treasury and it never gets wet.

petra treasury flash flood
treasury petra flash flood
flash flood treasury petra

We were there for about five minutes before the dam wall at the Treasury broke.

Water slowly trickled past the front of the Treasury. Which quickly turned into a raging river within minutes. All the locals where running around grabbing their belongings and the park rangers came down to evacuate everyone back up to higher ground.

flash flood dam wall treasury petra

This isn’t the first time the Treasury or Petra has had a flash flood..

Sadly in 1963, 21 French tourists and two tour guides drowned in Petra during a flash flood. After this they rebuilt the dams to prevent this from happening again.

Petra only has around nine day’s of rain per year. So I guess we were lucky to be able to see Petra like this.

We headed back to our hotel for some lunch and beers and chilled for the rest of the day. All while drying out our shoes and clothes for Petra take two tomorrow.

The following day was beautiful weather and we had a full day of exploring Petra. It was like there was never a flash flood or anything.

Petra is an amazing place to visit rain, hail or shine 🙂 The whole time you’re here, it feels like a movie set. I highly recommend the trip out here. Stay tuned for more blogs about Petra!

Check out this video from our time in Petra

For more posts on Jordan, check out these blogs –

The Dead Sea

How to Float in the Dead Sea

Escape from a Crusader’s castle