View from Hod Akev, Negev Desert, Israel

Ein Akev – The Classic Hike

A full day exciting Desert hike that has it all!! An exciting ascend to “Hod Akev” (Needle of the Heel), one of the most rewarding viewpoints in the Negev Desert, followed by a visit to “Ein Akev”, a magical desert spring.

Hike Metrics
Hike Description
Distance17.5 Km
Short versions11 Km
Climb350 m
LevelDifficult
BestDec - Mar
PossibleNov - Apr
LocationGoogle-Maps-icon-2020
/ Start PointGoogle-Maps-icon-2020

By Bus: Add about 2.5 Km to walk from the station to the trail-head.

UNIQUE DESERT LODGING OPTIONS ➢

HIKE DESCRIPTION:

Detailed hiking map

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  • If you choose the Short version, Take a “Jeep Taxi” (Or Google for other “Jeep ride providers in the area”) to point (2) and follow the route from there.
  • Starting point –  parking area at the bottom of the “serpentine road” (1).
  • You will have an easy 6.5 km start on flat dirt roads to point (2).
  • Follow the ‡Red‡ marker west until you reach a junction with a ‡Blue‡ marker.
  • Turn left and follow the ‡Blue‡ marker trail until you reach the junction with a ‡Black‡‡Green‡ markers.
3-5 DAYS NEGEV DESERT TREK
Guided Tour

  • Start in the Small Makhtesh
  • Hike to the Big Crater
  • Hike to ancient Avdat via Ein Akev
  • Finish in Makhtesh Ramon

Inn to Inn Hiking with Luggage Tranfer

  • Turn right and follow the ‡Green‡ marker trail until you reach the INT (Israel National Trail) junction (2).
  • From here, we finally leave the dirt road and turn right following the ‡Red‡ marker trail, now joining the INT. We start an ascent of 250 m to “Hod Akev” (Needle of the Heel). This ascent has a few areas that are very steep and some that are exposed. For those who enjoy this type of hike, this is a fun and exciting section!
  • Near the end of the ascent, the ‡Red‡ marker trail bypasses the summit.
  • To reach the summit, continue on the ‡Green‡ marker trail. You are now on “Hod Akev” (3) – a fantastic 360 degrees panorama. This is the right spot for an extended break!
  • After you absorb the magnificent desert views, descend from the other side until you are back on the ‡Red‡ marker trail. Continue on this trail all the way down until you reach the bottom of the wadi and meet the ‡Blue‡ marker. (this side of the mountain is less steep and the descent is fairly easy).
  • Turn left and follow the ‡Blue‡ marker for 200 m to reach  “Ein Akev” spring (4).
    Another fantastic spot for a long break and swim in the freezing water.
EIN AKEV
Ein Akev is a seep spring feeding a waterfall of about 10 meters high, that flows into a pool about 7 meters deep and about 10 meters in diameter. The pool holds water all year round. A very rare phenomenon in this dry desert area!!
Resting at Ein Akev Pool, Negev Desert, Israel
  • Continue 100 m on the ‡Blue‡ marker until you reach a junction with the ‡Black‡ & ‡Green‡ markers. You now leave the INT,  which continues with the ‡Black‡ marker. Turn right to the ‡Green‡ marker and start climbing. At the end of the climb, you reach another fantastic viewpoint at the Horseshoe (dry) Waterfall (5).
  • Continue on the ‡Green‡ marker until you are back at the starting position (1). On the way, you will have passed another beautiful view-point ( (6).

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Inside the PDF: (Just 5$)

  • Quality Hiking Maps
  • GPS Navigation App
  • Zoom Maps for critical areas
  • GPX File
  • Hike Description
  • All in English!
  • Offline use
  • HD Quality
  • Optimized for Mobiles

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Bonus Tip:
If you have still time and energy, don’t miss an amazing local fun activity – SandSurfing!
Read all about it in  Israel Best Trips Travel blog.