Ein Gedi is one of the most popular nature reserves in Israel located on the eastern edge of the Judeaen Desert, right on the shore of the Dead Sea. Ein Gedi has many different elevations due to the starting point being at the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place on Earth, at approx. 400 m. below sea level. The large differences in Ein Gedi’s elevation happen quite quietly creating many sheer cliffs.
This hike is relatively easy, but does a somewhat difficult climb in the beginning, and some areas where you must climb with metal handles across small springs of water. There are a few different routes you can take, some passing over certain mountains or springs, so it’s up to you which path you would like to take.
We recommend starting at the Ein Gedi Field School and following the black trail uphill until you reach a junction with a red trail. If you continue to take the black trail you will continue to walk up hill until you reach Mt. Yishay, and descend to the dry canyon. If you switch to the red trail, which is what we did, you will skip Mt. Yishay, and walk on a leveled path to the dry canyon.
Once you reach the dry canyon, you can walk through it passing small pools of water and climbing various rock walls to avoid getting wet. There are metal handles set up along the paths to assist your climb. After a few km you’ll reach a beautiful oasis with a large spring and a mesmerizing view of the Dead Sea. This is a great spot to take a break, swim, or stop for some coffee and lunch. These springs are very lovely to swim in due to the many minerals in the water.
You will then climb back on the same path you came to go into the canyon, and continue on the green path which will take you on the descend ending at Ein Gedi Spring. From the spring you can continue on the trail heading down towards David’s fall and Wadi David. David’s fall is also a beautiful area to take a break and swim. After passing Wadi David, you will walk along the path which high chances of passing many ibex. The ibex are commonly seen in this area due to their ability to climb steep mountains. This makes Ein Gedi a perfect place for the ibex to live. You will shortly end at the entrance to the nature reserve where there is a gas station/ parking lot, restrooms, picnic tables and convenience stores. This is a great place to end your hike.
Ein Gedi is a great hike to do in the morning and finish your day off with a swim in the Dead Sea. This scenic hike is perfect for a family trip or a group hike because of the relatively easiness, wildlife, and interesting history behind the region.
What to bring: at least 3 liters of water, food for the day, good hiking shoes, and swimsuit.