Ein Akev - Best desert hike in Israel - Negev Trek
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Ein Akev Via Avdat Ruins

Avdat Le-Ein Akev Tachton.

Duration

1 day

When

January – February

March – April

November – December

September – October

Mode of Transportation

Bus

undecided


Stars

A great hike along limestone ridge-lines, steep canyons and cool springs.

Closest Town Midreshet Ben Guryon
Difficulty Medium-Difficult
Length 16 km
Duration 6-7 hours
Recommended season Jan-Feb, March-Apr, Sep-Oct,Nov-Dec
Recommended time Early Morning

Hike description
Getting there

Starting Point: Avdat NP bus stop.
Finish Point: Midreshet Ben Guryon.

This hike is most suitable with public transportation. If you are trvelling with a car check out the Ein Akev Loop to get back to your car at the end.

Start out at the bus stop next to the Avdat Gas station. Follow the Blue markers as they circle the park fence on the north side.

If you wish to visit the city first, a green trail will take you from the top of the hill (next to the legion-camp) down to the blue trail.

Follow the blue trail over two shallow valleys and down a short steep descent to the trail crossing at upper Akev Spring EIN AKEV ELYON. You’ll notice a large area covered with vegetation, with water occasionally visible under the plants. Do not harm the vegetation in an attempt to clear an opening.
Switch to the Black Markers and walk north, down canyon, about 3 km to the large waterfall and pool of lower Ein Akev. The water here is deep enough to swim year-round. Diving from the ledges is forbidden and dangerous.

You can hike north along the blue markers and connect to the jeep trail- and hope to get a ride out, or climb along the green markers, on the west side of the canyon, to follow the Divshon Pass- MAALE DIVSHON. This will take you 6km along the plateau and down a steep windy trail (caution advised) to the paved entrance road to Ein Avdat National Park. Climb along the road to Ben Guryon Campus (MIDRESHET BEN GURYON) and to the bus stop at the traffic circle (64,55,60).

Attractions: Ancient trail, desert vegetation, amazing spring, majestic views.

From Mitzpe Ramon Catch a bus to Avdat National Park (64,65,55). The stop is right

next to the entrance to the park, alongside a gas station and a McDonalds. The trail starts from the

North-West corner of the Gas station compound.

ReviewsRead other people opinions

Judith

One of my favourite hikes as it is long and at times hard (especially during noon) but enormously rewarding. It surprises with over and over again changing landscapes that will take your breath away. If you start hiking early enough you will most definitely be able to enjoy the spring without many others. The water is cold but so refreshing. You should definitely not miss this trail when coming to the Negev!

Dan

Mind blowing trail!
Make sure to spend at least 2-3 nights in this area so that you can experience this trail. It is a must see / must hike.

You will need to take a bus from Mitzpe Ramon (if that is where you are sleeping) and start early in the morning if you are not hiking in the winter as there is no shade on the trail.
It’s a full day so make sure you don’t need to start traveling by bus back to Tel Aviv / Jerusalem or anything like that.

The vistas are breathtaking, and the spring in the middle of the trail was the most refreshing swim I had every had so make sure to jump in.
You can not visit Israel without seeing this amazing area.

Jeremy

Phenomenal hike. I did the opposite start/finish, beginning at Medreshet Ben Gurion. To put more mileage on the day’s hike, after the Akev Spring I took the green trail southeast (instead of the southern black trail) which then leads to the blue trail which cuts back southwest and meets up with the end of the black. Note when transitioning from green to blue that the blue continues going east and you have to take a sharp turn right in order to head west towards Avdat. I didn’t, and ended up at Ein Zik (I think) and had to double back after a frantic half hour of using the compass and being confused by the map (the dinky map I was using doesn’t show the blue trail continuing on east). Great rock climbing on the blue trail just after crossing over the black trail, another reason why I recommend this direction rather than the opposite. I got lucky and spotted four ibex and an egyptian vulture around 8:30 at the top of the first climb of the day. Also caught a rabbit (not literally) near Avdat. Be sure to take the tiny green trail towards Avdat at the end, taking the blue one all the way just leads you to the 40 highway. Must have logged 20k+ once all was said and done. Gassed by the end but it was all worthwhile. I went solo as well, which isn’t necessarily recommended by made for a really unique and to quote Helge “powerful experience” indeed.
Curious how much elevation my route totaled if anyone can shed some light on that would be great. Cheers and email me with any questions!

Lili

Amazing hike!!! You can not miss this. The best hike I have ever done!

Helge

The best desert hike one could do. I came to Mitzpe Ramon cause I wanted to try some desert hiking… I was a bit scared cause I am not a great hiker and I was on my own. I was staying at a great hostel in Mitzpe Ramon, and was suggested this hike. There where a few guests at the hostel that had just done this trail and told me that it is a must. So I decided to try it too, the following day. I took a bus from Mitzpe Ramon and got to the beginning of the trail pretty early as the hostel advised me, as it was still pretty hot weather. (It was at the beginning of September).
I had a small map with me that the hostel gave me, and was surprised how well the trail markings where.
The trail was not hard as there where no big climbs accept for at the end…
Just as it was getting hot, I got to Ein Akev Spring, so I went in for a dip. The water was pretty green but so refreshing that you don’t care at all. I stayed at the spring for about an hour, enjoyed the shade and the rest, and than started my way back.
Towards the end I was a bit tired, but in a good way. I am happy I listened to all the recommendations and brought 3 liters of water and a lot of food. The landscape was like nothing I had seen before, and the fact that I did not see any people along the hike did not scare me at all, it was amazing to be out in this amazing desert all on my own. It was a very powerful experience. I think this hike is a MUST DO if you are in Israel. and make sure to stay for at least two – three nights in the Negev, so you can get the full desert experience.

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