Ein Avdat - best desert trail in the world
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Ein Avdat and Avdat

Ein Avdat Le Avdat

Duration

1 day

When

January – February

July – August

March – April

May - June

November – December

September – October

Mode of Transportation

Bus


Stars

The Classic day-hike in Sde boker

Closest Town Midreshet Ben Guryon
Difficulty Easy
Length 9
Duration 5 hours
Recommended season All year
Recommended time All Day

Hike Description
Getting there

Starting Point: Bus stop at the intersection outside of Midereshet Ben Guryon
End Point: Avdat Gas station

Go to the southeast side of the intersection and find the first green markers at the memorial stone (small bench for tying you laces).

The Green markers will lead you into the Karakash canyon- named after the yellow flowered bush that can be found along its banks. You’ll descend several flint ledges and after 1.5 km, arrive at a level wadi and blue markers. Turn left (east) and follow the blue markers along the dry creek-bed for another 0.5 km until you arrive at a paved road. Turn right and walk south along it for 1.5 km to the bottom booth and parking lot for the canyon. You will have to pay the entrance fee. Make sure to ask for a combined ticket for Ein Avdat if you are planning to visit the Nabatean city of Avdat. There is also a toilet here, drinking water and picnic tables.

You are asked to avoid eating and answering nature calls from this point on. Head south along the blue markers. The trail will take you past a lone Tarabinth tree- a relic to a wetter- colder climate that once existed in the whole region. As the climate changed the only trees that were able to survive were the ones that lived in shaded canyons like this with the abundance of water that the Ein Avdat oasis offers. As you continue into the canyon you will start noticing streams of water. Arrive at the stair case on your right, pass it and head to the Ein Avdat pool under the waterfall. After you enjoy a few moments of tranquility go back to the stairs and climb up to the upper level of the canyon. You’ll notice the horizontal layers of sedimentary rock- Chalk, mainly, and an occasional dark line of flint. These rocks settled here in an ocean that covered the region 40 million years ago. from the top of the stairs continue on the narrow trail and look at the pool from above. Cross to the left side of the canyon and walk along the trail to the grove of Poplars spread on the steep slope. Follow the stairs and steep windy trail up the southern wall of the canyon. At mid -height a trail will lead to the right to a hermit’s cave dated to the 4 or 5 century. Continue up the trail and 2 ladders, and arrive at the top entrance to the park. You can try hitching from here, but there is no public transportation access to this point.

Continue along the blue markers to the south following the dry creek bed of the Zin wadi. This is the “upper Zin”. In the summer it is just another dry wadi in the desert, but in the winter flash floods run here and leave open pools and water holes that last for 2-3 weeks at a time. After 3 km you will arrive at the city of Avdat, a gas station and a coffee shop.  You can enter the ruins for a visit of this 2000 year old desert city, or simply catch the bus.

Attractions: Waterfall, oasis, desert plants, ibex, vultures.

By Bus:

From Mitzpe Ramon Catch a bus to Beer Sheva or Dimona (64,160,55), or from Beer Sheva to Mitzpe Ramon. Get off at the Intersection outside of Midreshet Ben Guryon.

By Car:

This variation of the hike is not recommended for cars, as there is no suitable parking at the beginning, and the trail is one-way. For the car driven version check out Ein Avdat

 

ReviewsRead other people opinions

Anna

Perfect desert trail! It has everything!
In the first part of the trail you are completely in the desert.. until you get to the entrance of the National park which is this desert oasis full of water and green vegetation – it is incredible! so very pretty.

I recommend arriving early in the morning. (start the trail at 7:00 so that you enter Ein Ovdat at 8:00). Later than that there is a good chance the place will fill up with loud kids on school trips… It is just a lot more magical when you have the place to your self…

Zack

This is one of the best hikes in Israel! I would have given it 5 stars if I didn’t also experience hiking in the Ramon crater.
This is still a must hike! make sure to visit this hike when coming to the Negev desert and in the summer – and make sure to start it by 7am the latest.

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