This hike leads into Ma’ale Rahaf, one of the most beautiful canyons in the Dead Sea area. The waterfall at the end is a popular spot for rappelling.
Nahal Tze’elim is a riverbed located near the Dead Sea, between the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and Masada. The river is one of the largest which flows from the Hevron Mountains to the Dead Sea. Three caves were found along the stream: the arrows cave, the scrolls cave, and the skull cave. There are four pools of water along Nahal Tze’elim, the Tzfira pool, the Naama pool, the Ein Namir spring and the Ein Anava spring; this trail passes the Ein Anava spring and the Ein Namir Spring which flows year round with clear water.
The monks’ caves are manmade caves which were carved in the rock. The caves appear to be of two types.
The Ein Plutit Spring is named for one of Lot’s daughters, who was known for looking after runaways, people who had lost fights, the homeless and the hungry.
In 1929, the Dead Sea Works (known at the time as the Palestine Potash Company) were given a mandate to utilize the resources of the Dead Sea and harvest the minerals. The company, located at the southern tip of the Dead Sea, had a difficult time recruiting Jewish workers.
Har Yishai is located in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. The summit is 214 meters high, and the climb is steep, over some loose gravel and small rocks. A challenging hike, it is fun for good hikers.
The Ein Gedi National Park is a nature reserve near the Dead Sea, with an oasis and surrounding desert. Nahal Arugot is one of the most popular hikes in the area.
The Ein Gedi National Park is a nature reserve near the Dead Sea. The reserve includes an oasis and the desert area around it. The Nahal David hike is one of the most popular hikes in the area.
Maale bnei hamoshavim was the first trail in Ein Gedi which was made in recent times. It is named bnei hamoshavim after the youth group which made the trail in 1963. The trail leads from the Nahal Arugot Wadi to the desert plateau above Ein Gedi. The trail is difficult and requires climbing up the rocks at some points.
The Qumran National Park includes the settlement of Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Over 900 scrolls dating from the second temple period were found in eleven caves. The scrolls sparked interest in the inhabitants of the community of Qumran and their lifestyle; much information about this was found in the scrolls.
The Ein Gedi National Park is a nature reserve near the Dead Sea. The reserve includes an oasis and the desert area around it.
Kibbutz Ein Gedi is located on the ridge above the nature reserve. It was founded in 1956. The kibbutz has a well known spa as well as an internationally acclaimed botanical garden with over 900 species of plants from around the world.
Masada is an ancient fortress on the top of a flat mountain in the Judean desert near the Dead Sea. Palaces were built atop the fortress by King Herod. Later, after the destruction of the second temple, the fortress was used by Zealots who chose death at their own hands rather than at the hands of the Romans.
The Einot Tzukim Nature Reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world. It consists of three parts, the closed reserve on the north, the open reserve in the middle, and the hidden reserve on the South. The closed reserve is completely closed off to visitors, to protect the native fauna and flora of the area. The middle area includes pools of mineral water for bathing in, lined by high shady foliage. The hidden reserve can be entered only with a guide; Guided tours are generally available on weekends, but can be arranged at any time.
In 70 CE, Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish revolt against Rome ended. Some zealots fled Jerusalem to Herod’s fortress at Masada.
The story of Masada as told by Josephus is well known; the zealots of Masada committed mass suicide rather than become slaves to the Romans.
The Masada Museum was built in 2007; the museum was built in memory of Professor Yigael Yadin, who excavated the site from 1963-1965. The museum is a theatrical setting with archaeological artifacts displayed alongside sculptured figures set in the times; explanations and historical stories are provided by individual audio guides.
Shvil HaRatz is an alternative hike to the snake path up Masada. The path is 3 kilometers long, taking you around the northern side of the mountain and up the Roman Path, known in Hebrew as Shvil HaSolela.