Rappelling in Israel

Hiking in Israel Top 10 Hikes

Hiking in Israel

Israel offers some of the best hikes in the region. While only covering an area of over 22,000 km², the country’s landscapes range from mountains to forests; from deserts to wide-open brush. The physical demands of hiking the clearly demarcated trails in Israel are far outnumbered by the rewards of spending a few days in the wilderness – falling asleep beneath clear velvet night skies and waking up to fresh country air either on your own or on a private tour. What’s more, hiking in Israel offer sights ranging from Fox’s Chimney to Nachal Rachaf in the Dead Sea area, from Nachal Darja to Nachal Tur in the Judean Desert, from the Black Canyon in the Golan to Nachal Amud in the Galilee. Here are the top ten hikes to experience Israel on foot.
To choose only ten adventure hikes in Israel was tough. The level of difficulty listed is based on a generic easy, medium or challenging scale. The duration of the hike listed is only approximate, as it depends on many factors such as the number of people, how fast you hike, etc. Therefore the following times are really very rough estimates. Most of these hiking adventures require the expert knowledge and skills of a guide licensed in extreme sports in Israel due to the technicality of the hike, the rules of the national park, and/or the ropes and equipment involved, hence the need to take a private tour. Please note that your guide must be licensed by Wingate, Israel’s only extreme sports licensing company.

Hiking – Dead Sea Area

Fox’s Chimney (3 ½ – 6 hours)

  • Level of difficulty: Mediumcaving israel
  • Best season to hike: All year round
    This is an extreme desert hike south of the Dead Sea in the unique arid landscape of the salt mountains of Sodom.

You will have amazing views of Biblical Moav and Edom, now modern-day Jordan. The total lack of vegetation makes this like a walk on the moon! The hike includes climbing ladders set into the rock. At a certain point you will come to a huge hole in the salt desert floor.

Here, your private tour guide will assist you to rappel down more than 210 feet through a marvelous chimney of salt, down into a pure salt underground canyon. Here begins your underground hiking adventure. You will utilize headlamps to investigate the natural hollows, crevices and halls, moving into colossal chambers, and witness sights that not very many people have seen, including snow white stalactites and stalagmites and beautiful crystal formations of salt.

Nachal Rachaf (4½ to 7 hours)

  • Level of difficulty: Medium
  • Best season to hike: Fall, Winter, Spring

One of the deepest and narrowest canyons in Israel!Hiking in Israel
You will experience narrow corridors, descend ladders, and encounter pools that we will need to swim in order to pass. This is a special time to hike Rachaf on a private tour as it’s the first time in 15 years we get to see Nachal Rachaf in all its beauty and magnificence as it is finally filled from beginning to end with water! There are two high waterfalls, which you will pass by rappelling off the towering rock ledges into the pools of water far beneath. You will see numerous little creatures, fledglings, and deer who come to drink from the water that fills the ravine after the downpours. Hiking this canyon is FUN! The greater part of the rappelling and swimming is obligatory. It is a challenging and adventurous trek and you have to be fit to complete it, however, no experience is necessary.

Nachal Chatzatzon (full-day to two-days)

  • Level of difficulty: Challenging
  • Best season to hike: Fall, Winter, Spring

One of the largest and longest canyons in Israel!

This can be done as a one or two-day hike with a private tour guide. This hike also includes rappels over three very high dry waterfalls, including one of the longest rappels possible in Israel – 400 feet down one of the highest cliffs in the country. Depending on the amount of rain during the winter, this hike may demand swimming in deep water. Dramatic scenery and many unique birds and desert animals populate this canyon. This is a difficult arduous hike, but truly magnificent and worth every bit of effort. To make this hike a bit easier, you can avoid the first three hours of uphill climbing by having a jeep tour that will end at the beginning of the descent through the canyon.

Nachal Tamarim (4-6 ½ hours)

  • Level of difficulty: Medium
  • Best season to hike: Fall, Winter, Spring

Exciting hike in a canyon by the Dead Sea – great views, great rappels, lots of fun!
You will start the hike with your private tour guide near the Dead Sea at the bottom of the canyon into the desert, eventually heading into Nachal Tamarim, all the while experiencing amazing views of the Dead Sea and the Jordanian mountains. As you hike the canyon you will arrive at some very high waterfalls that are dry most of the year, and fill with water only when it rains. Some of these falls have very interesting geological shapes carved by the water. The only way to pass those falls is by rappelling down the face of the falls – lots of fun! We end the hike back where we started, at the beach of the Dead Sea. We are likely to see wild animals and birds, including eagles that nest in the cliffs.

Hiking in Israel – Judean Desert

Nachal Darja (6-8 hours)

  • Level of difficulty: Challenging
  • Best season to hike: Winter, Spring

This is a completely spectacular downhill trek through one of the most deep and most amazing canyons in Israel.
This is a narrow gorge; on occasion it is steep to the point that you must utilize ropes to continue our route down, hence the importance of taking a private tour guide. Along the route there are numerous permanent pools of water made by winter flashfloods which oblige one to swim to pass through them. This is viewed as a standout amongst the most difficult adventure hikes in the Judean Desert, additionally the most fun. You do need to be physically fit for this adventure. If this trip is done in the fall or winter a wet suit will be necessary. They can be rented in Israel for about 50 NIS per day at any surf shop in Tel Aviv etc…

Nachal Tur (6-8 hours)

  • Level of difficulty: Challenging
  • Best season to hike: Fall, Winter, Spring

Exciting downhill hike with five very high rappels in a Desert Canyon
Together with your private tour guide, you will start with a difficult diagonal downward climb among the tight corridors of the gorge towards the Dead Sea, at times actually sitting on the gorge floor to slide down the water-cut gorge walls. You will encounter five very high dry waterfalls crossing each one by rappelling down to the next lower level. The last rappel will put us close to the shoreline of the Dead Sea.

Hiking in Israel Golan Heights

Black Canyon (full-day 7-9 hours)hiking in israel nakik shaor

  • Level of difficulty: Challenging
  • Best season to hike: Summer

A full-day adventure in a deep canyon of volcanic stone.
This unmarked hike in a closed national park is reserved for groups led by licensed private tour guides only. This hike includes a lot of climbing over huge lava boulders, and is not on a standard trail. Once we enter the canyon we will be navigating through the jungle, not along paths. On this exhilarating and exciting tour through the green outback of the Golan Heights you will see colorful birds, small animals and lots of water! Most of this hiking adventure is next to or in water, sometimes up to knee deep, including rappelling through three waterfalls. All of the swimming and rappelling is required, and your guide should be able to provide life jackets if you so desire them. You must be in good physical shape. There is a 22 ₪ Israeli National Park entrance fee for adults over 18 years old, and 10 ₪ for children under 18 years old, paid at the Yehodia Nature Reserve when you enter.

Yehodia (3-4 hours)

  • Level of difficulty: Medium
  • Best season to hike: Summer

A perfect summer hike through waterfalls and cool pools!
This is a half-day hike in the Yehodiya Nature Reserve through in the Golan Mountains along a marked trail including some narrow sections and steep descents (some using ladders), and gorgeous views. Walking with your private tour guide you will pass large waterfalls including one with a big pool, perfect for a refreshing swim. Accessible to all good hikers since there is no rappelling or any other rope activities in this hike. This is a similar but much shorter and less difficult hike than the Black Canyon.

Jilabun (this can be done as a full or half-day hike)

  • Level of difficulty: Mediumhiking in israel Galilee
  • Best season to hike: All year round

Due to the height difference between the Golan Heights and the Hula Valley, Jilabun is an impressive and beautiful canyon with vertical rock walls, waterfalls and pools. There are many hiking trails to choose from, from easy to challenging, which are best done with a private tour guide. The full-day hike begins from Hurbit Nabuwiya, the ruins of a Jewish home from the time of the Hashmonaim, through the typical volcanic lava stone of the Golan into an amazing canyon where we will come to the famous Devorah waterfall, the second highest waterfall in Israel. There is a huge natural pool of spring water at the base of the falls where you can go wading or swimming. From there you continue hiking in the along the 15 km river past an amazing lava cave, which is basically a huge bubble of gas in the lava that formed a cave when it cooled. The hike continues through the canyon following and crossing the stream, passing several ancient flour mills that used the power of the flowing stream to grind wheat. Parts of the canyon are so wild that it feels like you are walking through a tunnel of foliage.

Hiking in Israel Galilee Tours

Nachal Amud (half or full-day)

The full day hike approximately 6-8 hours and begins at Mount Meron and end at the Kinneret.

  • Level of difficulty: Medium
  • Best season to hike: Fall, Winter, Spring

A beautiful hike through the wilderness of Northern Israel
You will encounter a vast array of exotic and very gorgeous local foliage such as mandrakes and orchids, also usually witnessing unique indigenous wildlife, such as herds of goats and cows, fowl and fish in the stream too. Together with your private tour guide you will pass the ruins of ancient houses and a former flour mill along the stream bed. There are many opportunities to refresh yourself in the cool bubbling stream and in the many pools.

Author: Tour Operator