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From the Dead Sea to Ramon Crater - Suggested Trip

A magnificent route to the desert area. The route starts at Ein Gedi (Dead Sea) and ends at Ramon Crater, the largest crater in the world. During the route, you'll be able to enjoy the main highlights of this special place. Enjoy.   
, Written by Yourway Team
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First stop: Einot Tzukim natural reserve/ Ein Gedi reserve

Beyond the winning blend of water and desert, the great advantage of Einot Tzukim reserve is the fact that even chronic sloths will find their desire there. that is thanks to the fact that there are many chill out corners with option to set a picnic along the sweet water streams or a swift splashing in the bigger water pool, and to the fact that it's always possible to join a guided tour on the hidden side of the reserve and discover a world of botany, zoology and archeology. Everything of anything, in a relatively small compound located on the northern side of the Dead Sea. If this is where you have decided to begin your 36 desert hours- well you have begun well indeed! With fountains, a spectacular pond, vegetation and the ancient secrets not yet unraveled. 

Credit - MathKnight and Zachi Evenor

Credit - Nora Siperman

From Jerusalem- continue on route 1 and bend south as it becomes route 90. The reserve is a few kilometers south of Qumran and Kibbutz Kaliya. From Arad- drive on route 31 and take a right in the intersection with route 90. 

If you are one who believes any trip should begin with a massive bone stretching- go for the long and less familiar route in the Ein Gedi boarders. And of course here your able to have shorter hikes- in the gate you will receive a map describing the different options. The tour begins in "Tel Gorn" parking lot, located on the reserve. The climb up the mountain towards Ein Gedi spring isn’t easy and we recommend taking it slowly and resting frequently along the scattered trees. About 30 minutes into the trail, a green "smudge" will appear with a spring in the center- this is where the Ein Gedi spring is formed. The cool waters are a welcomed resting point not only for you but for gofers that pop here and there. Although it's difficult leaving this spot, there is no choice. We continue on through the Kalkuliti temple, and keep our heading north. In the intersection the paths head west towards the" boiler " cave, on the southern slop over David's stream. A short while longer, with complete surprise, turquoise ponds reveal making their way hesitantly towards David's fall. This is one of the nicest refreshing stops in the whole region. Take your time because it will soon be over. From here we go up the same path we came from, head towards Shulamit spring and head down towards the exit from the reserve. Welcome back to civilization. 

Ein Gedi pool. 

Ein Gedi Nature reserve, View to the Dead Sea. Credit - Katharina Oldenburge


Ein Gedi reserve is located on route 90, north of Kibbutz Ein Gedi. The whole tour takes around 3 hours. Pay attention to the fact that the reserve closes on 4pm. During the winter time there is a risk for floods- we recommend calling ahead of time and enquiring.  

Second stop: Ein Bokek/ Lower Zafit stream

It is around noon now and in this case the second stop in your long tour includes a relaxing option in contrast to a "sweatier" option. The first is a family fitted hike to Ein Bokek. It doesn’t take many directions: just follow the BLACK round marks. The nicer rout passes by typical desert vegetation- Tamarisk trees, bamboo like vegetation and other friends signaling "water near". A short walk past you will reach the running waters, in series of small charming waterfalls. Take a long hour of recumbence in front of the water and think of those who chose the other option and are still sweating on the way. 

Credit - י.ש Wikipedia 

On route 90, on the hotel side of Ein Bokek, look for the signals towards the small streams parking lot.  

Nahal Zafit on the other hand, will not be suited for youngsters' soft walkers. It has steep sections, breathtaking high waterfalls and dens scattered along it. Try the lower observing route. It isn’t too long but is rather cunning. You walk the black marked path for a few hundered meters until you reach a little waterfall that requires a small skip over. Now you are at the shaded canyon, making the weather less relevant. Soon you will reach the main attraction- a ten meter waterfall, but worry not- metal spikes jammed in mountain side will lead you safely down. The way leads the lower streams canyon, which requires another complex descent. This is a short narrow section, but walking it is prolonged of there are many hikers. When the canyon seems to open and widen, means you're close to the finish. 

Credit - Zvikaת Wikipedia

Before Zofit junction on route 25, there is a signaling turn towards the small crater. Continue by the road signs to Zafit. Park and start walking on the trail marked black towards east. We recommend leaving a second vehicle at the finish point: in Zomet Ha Arava take south towards route 90. After about 2 kilometers head west towards the road leading to the parking lot. The tour is designated for the ages of 12 and over and not for those afraid of heights. A map is also required.  

Third stop: Sleeping outdoors

The southern part of the country is filled with night parking lots with different degrees of luxury. All you have to do is choose. Be'erot parking lot at the heart of Ramon crater is a convenient option with Bedouin atmosphere, shower and toilets. Shaded tents and big central tent (08-6586713) Another night parking lot offering a special atmosphere is "Masada-West" equipped well offering sleeping in a large Bedouin tent or one of your own (08-9959333). For tougher individuals, who don’t need a shower nearby or running waters, head toward Mount "Ardon" in Ramon crater offering a total connection to the wild.

masada west night campחניון לילה מצדה מערב

Fourth stop: Ein Ovdat national park / Ramon Crater

If time isn’t a factor, you won't have to choose between the two tours offered in this stop. Doing both is possible- yet, why rushes? Leave something for next week. In anyways, the first option is Ein Ovdat- a hike to a spring and a short photogenic canyon. The set included a waterfall and idyllic ponds, alongside rich diverse flora. Full detail of the hike is available in the pamphlet you'll receive in the sites entrance. We recommend taking the shorter family route which takes around an hour- since there's a long day ahead of you.


To the lower entrance to Ein Ovdat you can get through route 40, not far from the Ben Gurion tomb mansion and Sede Boker College. The reserve closes at 4pm.

The second option includes geological tastings of Ramon Crater. In order to get some perspective of what is ahead, start by observing the crater from the Ramon visitor center, and also learn about the history, archeology and life in this unique land. From here drive down route 40 down the crater. After noticing the 92 kilometer stone marker head by the road sign to the "Minsara"- an amazing batch of prism like rocks. This is a beautiful, well signaled route, taking not more than 30 minutes. Get back to the road of which you came and head south by the road signs marking towards Ein Saharonim. An adlibbed path we lead you for a few minutes to a parking lot of which the signaled trail passing along side ancient Han, a small spring derived from a dense bush and the canyon which echoes wonderfully. We recommend reaching Nekarot Horseshoe- a fun desert hike for around 4 kilometers. The road signs are very clear here. 

Route By Israel Nature and Parks Authority
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