The Red Canyon in Israel is a “classic”, easy and accessible hike near Eilat. The colorful and narrow gorge gives a good taste of desert hiking without sweating too much.
Table of contents
- Red Canyon short Hike (Self Guided)
- Red Canyon Day-Tour (Guided)
- Red Canyon Full Hike (Self-Guided)
- Red Canyon by Bus
- How to get to the Red Canyon by Car
- Why is it Red?
- Red Canyon FAQs
RED CANYON SHORT HIKE
- The classic, two kilometers circuit.
- From the parking lot, follow the Green markers along the shallow wadi. After about 700 meters (Point 2 on the map), the gorge becomes deep and narrow. It is where the “Red Canyon” begins.
- Continue down using the ladders and metal handles, and walk between the tall red walls.
- Walk and look for the Black marked trail on your right that will take you back to the trailhead.
RED CANYON FULL HIKE
|Short versions||2 Km|
|Best||Nov - Apr|
|Possible||Nov - Apr|
|/ Start Point|
Important Note: The hike is straightforward, but include a few sections with metal wedges and ladders inside the narrow canyon!
- The starting point for the walk: Parking area at the end of the dirt road (1).
- Follow the ‡Green‡ markers down the Wadi. In the beginning, the Wadi is wide, but after a few hundred meters, the walls start closing, and we enter the canyon on a natural rock slide with handles. (2)
- Over the next 500 m, we pass a series of small dry waterfalls and sharp turns as the canyon becomes narrower, reaching a width of less than 2 meters. The colors are a mix of Red, Brown, and Yellow. A real natural Gem!!
- After this section, you will clearly understand where the nickname “Red Canyon” came from!
- We reach a junction with a ‡Black‡ marked trail. (3)
- For the short version, turn right on the ‡Black‡ markers to return to the starting point.
- Continue following the ‡Green‡ markers for about 1.5 km down the wide Wadi until a junction with another ‡Black‡ marked trail. (4)
- Turn right and climb gently up the wadi on the ‡Black‡ marked wadi, until a tall, dry waterfall blocks the way.
- The trail now climbs steeply on the left (East) bank to the head of the waterfall (5).
- It is a great resting spot with excellent views.
- Continue another 300 m with the ‡Black‡ markers until a junction with a ‡Red‡ marked trail. Turn right and follow it for 1 km, back to the starting point.
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How to get to the Red Canyon by bus
Public bus #392 provides regular service from Eilat to Beersheva with a stop at the Red Canyon.
After you get off the bus. (Brown Icon on the map), you have to walk for about 1.5 kilometers to reach the trailhead. (Marked with “P” on the map). Follow the Red marked dirt road until a junction with a green marked dirt road. Branch right and follow the green markers until you reach the parking area and the trailhead.
(Click the map to enlarge)
How to get to the Red Canyon by car
Drive Northeast on road #12 out of Eilat until this location. Turn right onto a Red marked dirt road. Follow it for about one kilometer until a junction with a Green marked dirt road. Follow it for 400 meters until you reach the parking area and the trailhead.
(Click the map to enlarge)
Why are the Eilat Mountains so Colorful?
Many years ago, all the mountains in the world lacked colors and shades. The mountains turned to God and said, “Why we do not have colors like the birds, the butterflies, and the flowers. You gave all of them many different and beautiful colors, and only we, the mountains, are so gray and ugly …”? God listened to the mountains and decided to accept their request. He sent his angels, and they quickly painted the mountains. The polar mountains – In white color, the mountains in the desert – brown-yellow, the volcanoes – in black. So, the angels passed through the whole world and painted it with colors. When they reached the Eilat mountains, very little paint remained in their buckets. So, the angels decided to paint the Eilat Mountains in all the remaining colors: a little black, a little red and a little yellow. Therefore, the Eilat Mountains are the most colorful mountains in the world.
The mountains of Eilat are at the northern end of a mountain mass called the Arab Tablet. This block is made up of a variety of underlying rocks that are sharp and serrated. The rock that stands out here is the Granite rock. It is a plutonic foundation rock, created by the slow cooling of a flow deep below ground. (Black Color)
Marine sedimentary rocks:
In the Eilat mountains, there are places where the foundation rocks are covered with marine sedimentary rocks such as chalk. These rocks sank into the sea when it covered the area. A “soft” and more rounded landscape. The relatively young sedimentary rocks are located alongside the ancient foundation rocks. The fact that rocks of different ages are found side-by-side is indicative of occurrences originating from the Earth’s internal forces, such as breakage.
Earth sedimentary rocks:
In certain places, mainly north of Eilat in the direction of Timna, the foundation rocks are covered with sedimentary rock, mostly in Nubian sandstone. This was formed by the erosion of the foundation rocks. The decaying material was washed from the foundation rocks, sank, coalesced, and solidified into the rock. (shades of Brown and Yellow)
The Red Canyon is one of the finest examples of colors variety in the Eilat mountains Range
Red Canyon Israel – FAQ’s
How do I reach the Red Canyon by Bus?
No need to get ripped off with a private shuttle. There is a public bus #392 service from Eilat to Beersheva with a stop at the Red Canyon.
- Daily departures on weekdays at: 09:00, 13:30, 15:00, 17:00
- Daily Return on weekdays at: 12:00, 13:15, 16:00, 19:45
- Price: 3.5$ one way.
- Updated on February 2019
Where can I get a Hiking Map of the Red Canyon?
You can get the Hiking Map here
Are the shuttle services from Eilat to the Red Canyon?
Yes. Several companies offer these shuttles. Check with your hotel reception desk. However, there is no need to pay their high fees as there is also a good public bus service with Eged line #392.
How long is the Red Canyon Hike?
Between 2 and 5 Kilometers depending on the version you choose. You can find more details here.
What are the opening hours of the Red Canyon?
The canyon is open 24/7.
What is the entrance fee to the Red Canyon?
The Red Canyon is inside a natural reserve but the entrance is free of charge.
How far is the Red Canyon from Eilat?
22 Kilometers (14 Miles)
What is the real name of the Red Canyon?