In recent years the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Jordan has repaired the stairs to Al Kubtha Mountain, making it possible for tourists to climb to the top and visit the High Place and other sites on this mountain. The stairs up this mountain are located between the Palace Tomb and Sextius Florentinus Tomb. The name Kubtha was given to this mountain by locals, and is not the name used in ancient times. There was a high place altar here and a standing idol on a base.
Once you start up the stairs, you come to an ancient doorway with a modern but poorly built door.
From this doorway, the stairs go up and up. This is not a climb for the faint hearted, or those with heart trouble!
Across the ravine, there are some tremendous displays of natural color in the rocks.
From the stairs you can look directly down onto the top of the Palace Tomb and see how part of the facade was built up with rock.
Along the way to the top you get a great view of Um al Biera, Jebal Habis and the Collonaded Street.
There are a number of sites that could have been a High Place Altar on Jebal El Kubtha.
Across the valley you can see the Turkamaniya Tomb. When we snapped this picture, the tomb was covered with a metal scaffolding during restoration. (March 2003)
There is a dam and water cistern at the top of the mountain, just east of the priest's village.
The easiest way down the mountain is the same stairs that you came up.
There are a number of other high-places or high exposure platforms around Petra, some of them difficult to get to and treacherous to climb, such as the one.
Tourists climbing to the high place in Petra often walk right through an old crusader castle without even realizing it. This is one of the three castles located at Petra is southern Jordan. Each of these castles is only a couple of kilometers from each other, and mark the southern end of the area that the crusaders held. The other two castles are: Habis Castle, and Wadi Mousa Castle
Note the ruined castle built on the narrow hills. The castle is built of lighter stone taken from the Petra mountains.
Above: The castle walls appear in the distance