As we are now in cooler autumn temperatures, now is the time for hiking in the Holy Land. The Dead Sea area, essentially off limits in the summer due to the constant 100-degree plus days, should be back on the agenda for those looking to trek the area this fall. Make sure to traverse this beautiful scenary before the winter rains hit!
PHOTO BY: Wikimedia Commons
From the most hardened hikers to families with young children, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the easiest and most accessible hike in the Dead Sea area, going as far as even being wheelchair accessible at the beginning. Nahal David is located within the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, so there are official opening hours! A short 30 minutes from the entrance is David’s Waterfall. You are more than welcome to dip your toes in, but absolutely NO swimming.
Qumran is the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Even though the scrolls are now stored in Jerusalem, you can still absolutely enjoy this gorgeous, ancient area. Starting off at the multimedia center, you’ll learn all about the ancient Essenes who lived here and see artifacts from their culture. A short trail leads above Nahal Qumran with views of both the Dead Sea and the caves where the scrolls were found. For those not faint of heart, you can crawl on your hands and knees to explore the Qumran aqueduct. For a more extended hike, you can climb through Nahal Qumran.
PHOTO BY: AfikLi
Past Nahal David , you’ll come to the entrance of Nahal Arugot, which is also part of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve! The path splits at several points into a dry or a wet route. The latter leads you into the water and is popular with children. The dry path winds above the stream and is more difficult. Both paths pass “the hidden waterfall,” the highlight of the hike and the glorious “upper pools.” Allot about two to three hours for the round trip.
Masada Snake Path
Masada, the place everyone climbs at one point in Israel. The Snake Path that zigzags from the base of the mountain to the plateau that once housed King Herod’s palace is one of Israel’s most iconic trails. When you make it to the top a couple of hours later, you can celebrate with the others who experienced the trek with you! (yes, you should be mildly proud of this achievement).
PHOTO BY Yossi Zamir
Einot Tzukim is the lowest nature reserve in the world. The central section is filled with lush foliage and plenty of shade, which is not what you’d expect from the Dead Sea. It has several sweet-water pools in which you can swim, but do NOT drink them! They’re definitely too salty! The highlight of Einot Tzukim is the “hidden reserve,” a 45-minute stroll, which winds through sparkling springs with a jungle-like atmosphere. To keep the reserve pristine, it’s open only with a guide.
Originally posted at Israel21c.