Ein Gedi Nature Reserve & Antiquities National Park
The stunning Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is a photographer’s paradise and full of great ways for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
Located west of the Dead Sea shore, the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve offers miles of hiking trails, two fresh water streams, and four springs to explore. Flora is abundant including the giant reed and cattail. Herds of ibex, a species of wild goat, and groups of hyrax, a small mammal also called a rock rabbit, can be observed up close.
Within the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is the Ein Gedi Antiquities National Park, popular amongst fans of Biblical sites and archaeology in Israel. The site includes evidence of Jewish settlement dating over 1,200 years ago. The mosaic synagogue floor and remnants of an irrigation system provide a firsthand look at life from the past. Park rangers are happy to assist visitors with information about hiking trails, of which there are both easy and difficult options.
Ein Gedi Israel: Nahal David and Nahal Arugot
Nahal David (the lower stream) is considered a preferred tourist location within Ein Gedi National Park, offering the best of nature in Israel: stunning waterfalls, an opportunity to bathe in natural mineral spring pools, and up-close encounters with abundant vegetation.
The trail to Nahal David is rated easy, not too strenuous or long; it concludes at the refreshing David Waterfall – a great photo opportunity. The Upper David Trail is rated for experienced hikers, offers a view of the Chalcolithic temple, and ends at Dodim Cave at the top of the David Waterfall, a less populated area with fewer travelers and an opportunity to experience quiet solitude.
The Nahal Arugot Stream, located in the southern area of Ein Gedi, is approximately 40 kilometers long and one of the largest waterways in the Judean Desert, serving a variety of flora and fauna. The long trail can take 2-3 hours to complete, during which time hikers will see some amazing plants and view some of the 200 species of birds who migrate through the area during the fall.
The hidden waterfall along this trail is awe inspiring and visitors are encouraged to go for a cool dip – a very welcome treat in the summer heat! Because of the length of the trail, this route tends to be less crowded but may be suitable for families with children who hike regularly. Be sure to bring the trail map and ask for guidance from the rangers before heading out.
Ein Gedi: Did You Know?
Nahal David is named after King David who hid there from King Saul.