Established in 2004, this small area (around 8 sq km) of Aleppo pine and oak forest is a nature reserve. Managed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), Dibbeen is representative of the wild forests that once covered much of the country’s northern frontiers but which now account for only 1% of Jordan’s land area. Despite its small size, Dibbeen is recognised as a national biodiversity hotspot and protects 17 endangered animals (including the Persian squirrel) and several rare orchids.
As Dibbeen is still very much a work in progress, facilities are currently limited compared with other RSCN reserves. There are some short marked (but unmapped) hiking trails through the park. In March and April carpets of red crown anemones fill the meadows beneath the pine-forested and sometimes snow capped hills. Most trails are either small vehicle tracks or stony paths, some of which continue beyond the park’s boundaries. The area is very popular with local picnickers on Fridays, and litter is a problem.
Impinging on the park is a seven-star hotel financed by an Emirati national, which is expected to be completed by 2015. There is currently no other place to stay.
The park is only usefully accessed by car. Follow the signs from Jerash and expect to get lost! Keep heading for the obvious hillside woodland as you pass through nearby hamlets and you will eventually stumble on the entrance.