Nahal Yagur is a 9 km challenging climb up the eastern side of Mount Carmel with beautiful views of the Kishon River, the hills of Alonim and Shfar’am and many other northern cities. This hike is for experienced hikers due to its steep climb up Mount Carmel in the beginning. About half way, and at the top of Mount Carmel, you’ll follow along the Yagur stream, which starts in the Druze village of Isfiya. As you descend down the mountain, you’ll find beautiful miniature waterfalls and a few larger waterfalls with handles to help descend back to the bottom of the mountain.
There are a few different options of routes for Nahal Yagur, but we will explain one of the circular trails. For this hike, you can take public transportation to Kibbutz Yagur or if you’re driving, we recommend parking in Kibbutz Yagur by the horse ranch and football field. You’ll start and finish at Kibbutz Yagur and begin with a moderately steep climb up Mount Carmel.
To start this trail you’ll exit gates from the Kibbutz and get to a meeting place of two trails. You’ll begin following the red markings. This will take you up Mount Carmel on a beautiful, moderately steep trail. When you come to a trail junction continue to follow the red trail. At this point, the views from the mountain will amaze you. You’ll be standing above Kibbutz Yagur, and the Kishon River, with the hills of Alonim and Shfar’am behind you.
When you reach a junction with a bench and a sign by a tree, you’ll switch to the blue trail, which will climb Mount Carmel along the Yagur stream. This is also the trail you will follow when you are descending back to Kibbutz Yagur. After about 400m you’ll come to another trail junction, however continue to follow the blue trail and very soon the blue trail will become the red trail which will head south, climbing toward the Shark Ruins, located on the outskirts of Isfiya. Here you’ll have beautiful views of the Galilee Mountains, and Zvulun and Jezreel Valleys.
After about 3 km, you’ll come to a trail junction and should continue following the blue marked trail west. After about 300m you’ll cross the Nof Carmel road, which will have green marking. The green marked road is the Carmel Scenic Route, which is a longer trail and does not lead you to Isfiya. You should turn right when you get to the street before walking for about a minute or two. Keep your eye out for a path continuation on your left; it isn’t well marked and requires you to climb about a meter. If you haven’t seen it within three or so minutes, turn around and look for it again. Once you’re on this trail, you should see blue markings. Continue on your way until you reach the town of Isfiya.
Isfiya is a beautiful Druze town where you’ll see a school, minimarket, and can meet many friendly people. You’ll enter the city in an empty lot, where you should walk straight to the road and find a roundabout near the minimarket with a red trail marking. (If you have any problems finding this, feel free to ask the people in the town, they are very nice and helpful.) This trail will take you past the Al-Balad, which means the spring of the village. These pools are used for storing spring water to be used for livestock or agriculture, but unfortunately a lot of garbage has been dumped at the site now.
When you continue along the red marked trail you’ll walk along the Yagur stream. Here you’ll be walking through mostly shady areas in a ravine surrounded by Mediterranean forests. On this trail you’ll pass the remains of three cars, which were washed up here in the winter floods. Along this trail you’ll continue to descend back to Kibbutz Yagur, while passing a few miniature waterfalls and a few larger ones towards the end. You will follow this trail back to the same stream opening you arrived at in the beginning of the trail, and will follow the same way you began to return to Kibbutz Yagur.
What to bring: Good hiking shoes, a lot of water, food (full day hike), camera
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Gabrielle Stein 2015