A desert oasis just 20 Km from Jerusalem
A short distance from Jerusalem, in the Judean desert, Wadi Qelt (Ein Prat) flows to Jericho. Our route will take you through Springs, Pools, deep Canyons and an old Monastery.
Region – Judea Desert
Distance – 9 Km.
Short version – About 5 Km.
Accumulated Climb – 200 m.
Difficulty – Moderate.
For Private or Public transport directions, use Google Maps –
Ein Prat Natural Reserve
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Wadi Qelt contains monasteries and Several aqueducts (The oldest dating to the 2nd century BC). The aqueducts transported water from its 3 main springs all the way to Jericho. It was also home to the winter palaces of the Hasmonean kings and Herod the Great. (Further reading in Wikipedia)
Wadi Qelt is one of the most exciting hikes in Israel. You have it all in one route:
➢The Faran Monastery.
➢Ein Prat Spring.
➢Deep pools with great swimming opportunities.
➢dramatic desert scenery.
➢The classic view on St. George’s Monastery.
What can one ask for more? and all off these goodies just 20 Km from Jerusalem.
- Starting point – parking area at En Prat Natural Reserve (1). (entrance fee required)
- Follow the ‡Blue‡ marker upstream on the road for 200 m to reach Ein Prat (Spring). (2)
Ein Prat is the biggest spring of Wadi Qelt. The flow of the spring is constant and the influence of the seasons is minimal. The daily flow rate is about 1,500 cubic meters per day on average. (A very unique quantity for this dry desert area!)
As of 1927, Ein Prat supplied drinking water to the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The use of spring water was halted after the connection of East Jerusalem to the water supply of West Jerusalem. The original “pump house” is today the office building of the National Park Authority and is used as tourist service center.
- Hanging Up on the southern cliffs high above the valley you can see the Faran monastery.
The monastery of Faran (also known as the Chariton Monastery) is the first Christian monastery to be built in the Judean Desert around 330 CE. The monastery was built in by the monk Chariton, who was considered the founder of the Judean desert nuns. The monastery was destroyed by the Persians in 614 CE, but was rebuilt at the end of the 19th century by the Russian Orthodox Church.
- Retrace to the starting point and continue with the ‡Red‡ markers down stream for about 700 m until the junction with the ‡Blue‡ marker. (3)
- Keep right on the ‡Blue‡ marker into the canyon.
- Stay with the ‡Blue‡ markers for about 3.5 Km along the stream until the junction with the ‡Red‡ markers. (4).
- For the short version walk as long as you feel like along the canyon and retrace your steps.
- This is the most exciting part of the route. The canyon becomes deeper with many small waterfalls and pools.
- From time to time you should notice ruins of ancient aqueducts that carried the water of Ein Prat to Jericho in ancient times.
- At point (4) The ‡Red‡ markers continue down stream all the way to St. George monastery. A distance of about About 12 Km.
- however, we turn left on the ‡Red‡ markers. Cross the stream and climb up on the north ridge of the canyon.
- This trail is much less crowded and offers fantastic Birds-Eye view over the Canyon you just walked!!
- Follow this trail for 3.5 Km back to point (3).
- Continue additional 700 m to reach your car. (1)
- Complement the day with the classic view of St. George Monastery from cliffs on the opposite side of the Canyon.
- To do this, drive to GPS 31.843700, 35.415223 , Along the narrow road that stars near the village of Mitzpe Yericho, (About 30 minutes drive)
- The view-point is a few minutes walk from the road on an easy but unmarked path.
- The path start just to the left on the road that goes down to the Monastery.
- You can also make you way up to the hill-top with the cross above the view-point for 360° wide views on the Judean Deserts.
- Use the extra maps of the viewpoint area that are supplied together with the detailed hiking map to easily find your way.
Get FULL QUALITY detailed hiking maps & GPS file for this hike for just 5$
(watch the Video)
- Detailed Hiking Map of the route area optimized for printing on an A4 size paper or for browsing on your device.
- Zoomed in Maps for the sensitive areas of the route.
- Maps of the St. George monetary area.
- GPS track file for navigations on your IOS/Android App.
- Map Legend and labels are in English
For 5-9 trips in the past 30 days – 20%. For 10 or more trips – 28%. Claim Discount