Hemet Cistern
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Hemet Cistern loop

Bor Hemet Maagali

Duration

1 day

When

January – February

July – August

March – April

May - June

November – December

September – October

Mode of Transportation

Bus

Car

undecided


Stars

A beautiful easy hike along a rocky wadi with a majestic view of the Ramon  crater. Flowers and a cool dip in the season.

Closest Town Mitzpe Ramon
Difficulty easy
Length 4.5 km
Duration 2-3 hours
Recommended time afternoon
Recommended season Jan-Feb, March-Apr, May-Jun, Sep-Oct

Getting there
Hike description

From Mitzpe Ramon drive North 6km along HW 40 to HARUHOT intersection. Turn West onto rd. 171 . Drive for 13km and reach a sharp curve to the right and then to the left and park at the parking lot marked with a brown sign- “Hemet Cistern”

Starting Point: Hemet Cistern parking lot.
Finish Point: Hemet Cistern parking lot

You can start by walking over to the Cistern itself. It islocated just Northeast from the parking lot, behind the white dirt mound. Thecistern was dug into a soft layer of clay and its walls are held byroughly-cut stones from a hard limestone layer that can be found nearby. Thecistern was dated to the Iron Age, and with little restoration work- it stillfills up with rain water every year. The cistern is fed by two simpleaqueduct-trenches which divert runoff from the slopes of the hill. The waterflows through three settling pools which allow some of the mud and clay tosettle, and then continues into the cistern itself. Start your hike along thegreen markers which will take you on a short climb to the flatland just Eastof the cistern. As you continue on the plain you will slowly enter the mouthof a shallow desert ravine. Look carefully stones buried almost completely inthe soil arranged in lines across the wadi. These are terraces that werebuilt about 2000 years ago to collect soil and allow agriculture in thisregion. The trail will slowly curve right and then left and eventually willdescend into a small canyon. Once in the canyon the green trail will end at ablue trail. Turn left on the blue trail and head up canyon in a generalSoutheastern heading. As you gradually climb the scenery will open up untilsuddenly in front of you the crater will be exposed. Time to pull out thecamera and admire the view. Don’t forget to drink some water while you’rehere. Time to head back: Return on the blue trail, down canyon, and when youreach the meeting point with the green trail- continue along the bluemarkers. A few surprises will reveal themselves along this stretch: AncientPistacia trees, small hidden rock puddles and old Bedouin caches. These lastones were built under overhangs of rock in the Northeastern cliffs of thecanyon. They were used for storing seeds and possessions that were not neededon long journeys. The blue markers will start climbing out of the canyon tothe right and will turn back to the parking lot and the Hemet cistern. Aftera rainy winter there is nothing like dipping in the cistern at the end ofthis hike.

Attractions: Flowers in the season, Majestic view, swimming in the cistern, Pistacia trees, Bedouin hideouts

ReviewsRead other people opinions

Lee

Great trail if you are looking for something short, easy and pretty.
The first part of the trail (the green) is just ok, but then you get to the majestic view and it is just breathtaking. The blue marking that takes you back to your car is really pretty and surprising in a way.. I did not think that such a short trail could be so divers. Great choice of trail for lazy days. 🙂

Sam

Great trail.
We where looking for something nice and short on the day we arrived to Mitzpe Ramon.
The Green Backpackers hostel which we where staying in, recommended to do this trail and leave about 2 hours before the sunset as the lighting will be perfect by the time we would reach the cliff of the crater, and in deed it was.
The wind was pretty strong but the majestic view of the Makhtesh was worth it!
Great way to start our desert trip.

Anna

I love this sweet short trail.
Perfect for the late afternoon – it is great as a first or last trip you do in this area. It is pretty, easy, diverse and surprising. The view from the cliff is amazing and even better if you made sure to have a cold beer with you… and the cistern looks like it could be the best thing on a hot day…
Loved it!!!!

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