The steep Cliffs of Mount Ardon, Negev Desert,Israel

Mount Ardon Hike

One of the best view-points on Makhtesh Ramon. A short but rewarding hike. An ascend to the summit of mount Ardon the middle of Makhtesh Ramon. amazing views of the crater followed by a very steep descend back to the Makhtesh base.

Hike Metrics
Hike Description
Distance6.5 Km
Short versionsN / A
Climb300 m
BestDec - Mar
PossibleNov - Apr

Important Notes:
  • The hike is marked as difficult due to the very steep descend from the summit to the crater bed.
  • The last 5 Km of your drive to the parking location are on a dirt road. The road is suitable for driving also with s standard passenger vehicle.
  • The Google Maps location is not your final parking destination. From this point turn right on a dirt road with Blue markers and follow it for 2.1 Km until you see the parking area.
  • Crater – A roughly circular depression in the ground usually caused by volcanic activity, impact or explosion.
  • Makhtesh – A crater-like formation created by erosion

The word “makhtesh” is the Hebrew word for a Mortar and Pestle. The geological land-form was given this name because of its similarity to a grinding bowl.

There are only 7 such craters in the world, all of them located in the Land of Israel(5) and  the Sinai desert(2). Of the 5 located in Israel Makhtesh Ramon is the largest. That makes it the largest makhtesh in the world. Over 40 km long, 10 km wide and about 400 m deep.
Further reading on Makhtesh Ramon.

Detailed hiking map

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Track description:
  • Starting point –  parking area at the foot of Mount Ardon (1).
  • The impressive ascend you are about to tackle is clearly seen in front of you!!

The ascend to the summit of Mount Ardon

  • Follow the ‡blue‡ markers. the climb starts gently but soon becomes steep. After 750 m you reach a junction with a ‡Black‡ marker at the middle of the climb (2).
  • Continue climbing on the ‡blue‡ markers for about 900 m until the Summit (3).
  • The perfect spot for an extended break.
The summit is 722 m ASL and 200 m directly above the crater’s base.
The name “Ardon” source is from the bible, 1 Chronicles 2:18 =>
“And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon.”

The colorful Makhtesh Ramon viewed from the summit of Mount Ardon

  • Continue on the ‡blue‡ markers now on the edge of the table mountain with the fantastic view of Makhtesh Ramon visible all the time. (A fantastic hiking section) After  about 900 m the trail curves right towards the decent (4).
  • Start descending very steeply on the ‡blue‡ marker. Caution in required and at some areas you might need to scramble.
  • The next 2 kilometers are unique. On your right is Mount Ardon you just came from. On your left is the “Cone” hill sticking out of the Makhtesh base. On the ground below your feet, is an amazing pallet of colors. The color of the soil is changing every few minutes between Black, Red, Yellow, Brown and white. 
Colorfull labdscape at the foot of mount Ardon, Makhtesh Ramon, Israel
Colorfull labdscape at the foot of mount Ardon
  • After about 1.5 Km you reach a junction with a ‡Green‡ marker. (5) Turn right and follow the ‡Green‡ markers for about 2.5 km on a flat and easy section back to the starting point (1)

Get the Detailed Hiking Maps and GPS files for this hike for just 5$

  1. Detailed Hiking Map of the route area optimized for printing on an A4 size paper or for browsing on your device.
  2. Zoomed in Maps for the sensitive areas (When needed).
  3. GPS track files for navigation on your IOS/Android App.
  4. Map Legend and labels are in English

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Bonus Tip: Check out these additional Things To Do in the Ramon Crater area.