Mount Sdom, Dead Sea, Israel

Mount Sdom Hike

Unique landscape on a white Salt Mountain

Mount Sdom’s soil containing 80% Slat, creates a unique landscape that cannot  be found anywhere else. Deep creeks and special rock formations all in bright white colors. From the summit there is a great view of the Dead Sea, the Edom and the Moav mountains. It is also the setting of the Biblical story of Sdom and Gomorrah.

GALLERY =====>
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Region – Judean Desert.
Distance – 10.5 Km. (Shorter Version: 7.5 Km)
Accumulated Climb – 300 m.
Difficulty – Medium. (The descend is very steep and includes several metal ladders!)
For Private car  transport directions, use Google Maps – GPS (31.091578, 35.392377)
Not accessible with public transport but can be reached with a short Taxi ride from the Ein Bokek hotels complex.

Recommended Month
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Skip Introduction and jump to the Hike Description  ===>> 

Mount Sdom

Geography:
Mount Sodom is a relatively young mountain that began its rise only a few hundreds of thousands years ago and still continues to grow taller now at a rate of 3.5 millimeters (0.14 Inch) a year.
Earth Movements, pressing down on the layers of salt, created Mount Sodom. It is  composed of 80% salt, capped by a thin layer of limestone and clay. It rises 260  meters above the Dead Sea and creates a unique landscape scenery of bright white soil penetrated by winding crevices.

Typical Creek at Mount Sdom
Creek in mount Sdom by Hoshvilim [Creative Commons]

Caves:
The mountain is perforated with about 150 salt caves. It is the largest concentration of slat caves on the planet. The caves feature amazing salt formations. Most of the caves are closed to the public due to constant danger of rock collapsing. In addition most of them can be accessed only by rappelling through very tall “chimneys”.  However, few caves are possible to visit, but require a helmet and a good head flashlight.

Sdom Cave, Dead Sea, Israel
Sdom Cave by Wilson [Creative Commons]

Biblical Story:
The area is also the setting of the Sodom and Gomorrah story (Genesis 18-19).
One day, God appears to Abraham in the form of three men.  The men traveled towards the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah to destroy the cities because of their wickedness and corruption. Abraham pleads on the cities’ behalf, convincing the Lord not to destroy the cities if only a handful of good people can be found there. The messengers enter the city of Sodom, and Lot welcomes them into his home. Night falls, and the men of the city surround Lot’s home, wishing to rape the three messengers. The messengers persuade Lot to flee the city with his family, telling him and his family not to look back as they leave. However, as God rains down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife looks back at her home and she turned into a pillar of salt.

Sodom and Gomorrah afire, by Jacob Jacobsz. de Wet d. J., probably Köln, c. 1680, oil on canvas - Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt - Darmstadt, Germany
Sodom and Gomorrah afire, by Jacob Jacobsz

Track description:

Get the Hiking Map & GPS Tracks for this hike  ===>>

  • Start  Climbing on the ‡Blue‡ marked trail (1). follow it for a total of 1.4 Km, The initial climb is steep but than the trail makes a sharp left and levels. We have now on our right the cliffs of mount Sdom and on our left the scenery of the southern area of the Dead Sea. 
  • After a few hundred meters the trail makes a sharp right turn and resumes climbing until a junction with a ‡Red‡ marked trail coming from the right. (2)
  • Turn Right with the ‡Red‡ markers for a short but steep climb to the top of a hill and a great view-point. A prefect spot for an extended break to rest from the climb and enjoy the panoramic view. It is also the perfect spot to tell the story of Sdom and Gomorrah that occurred in the valley just below us thousands of years ago. 

View from Mount Sdom
View from Mount Sdom by Marina Markus  [Creative Commons]
           

  • Descend on the other side of the hill and turn right back on the  ‡Blue‡ marked trail.
Those who want to shorten the trip can continue straight with the ‡Red‡ markers directly to point (5) and “save” 3  Kilometers. (But miss and exciting section of the hike!!
  • The trail now traverses the relatively flat summit of mount Sdom giving us a chance to explore it’s unique landscape. After about one kilometer, just before the trail makes a sharp left turn, we reach another fantastic view point towards the Dead Sea and the Moav mountains across the border in Jordan.
  • Continue on the ‡Blue‡ marked trail and after a few hundred meters it will begin to descend on the other side of the mountain until we meet a wide dirt road (3)
  • Turn left on the dirt road and continue following ‡Blue‡ markers for 1.3 Km, until reaching a junction of dirt roads. (4) 
  • Turn left on the ‡Black‡ marked dirt road and start climbing east. After about a Kilometer you reach a junction with a #Red# marked trail (5). (The short version rejoins here).
  • Continue with the ‡Black‡ markers for another 0.8 Km until a parking area and an organized lookout point.
250 steps going down from Mount Sdom
Steps descending mount Sdom [Creative Commons]
  • The dirt road now becomes a trail and start descending the cliff back to the main road #90. The steep sections are equipped with wooden steps and metal ladders.
  • After going down about 250 steps and 3 ladders we reach the main road (6).
  • Turn left and walk along the main road (On its left side) about 2.5 Km back to the starting point (1).
  • After about 1.7 Km we can spot to our left the famous “Lot’s wife” rock pillar associated with location where Lot’s wife looked back, and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Mount Sdom Hiking Map

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Get FULL QUALITY Detailed Hiking Map & GPS files for this hike for just 5$

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What’s Included?
(watch the Video)

  • High quality Hiking map of the route area optimized for printing on an A4 size paper or for browsing on your device.
  • GPS track file (both Long and short versions) for navigation on your IOS/Android App.
  • Map Legend and labels are in English

Discounts:
For 5-9 trips in the past 30 days – 20%.   For 10 or more trips – 28%.  Claim Discount