Hiking in Israel – We answer all your Questions

Why Hike in Israel ?

The most striking feature of Israel’s landscape is its variety. This small area (Smaller than New Jersey) has a dramatic desert in the South, the Green Galilee & Golan mountains in the North and many historical and archaeological sites that blend into the natural surroundings.
If you have not hiked in a desert before, prepare yourself to an unforgettable experience!
we also have the weather on our side. The winter months, which present unfavorable hiking conditions in most northern countries, are the best months to hike in Israel. The best month to hike in Israel are December to April.

Hiking in Israel has such a big variety!

What are the best Hikes in Israel ?

There are so many great hikes and it is impossible to choose. Therefore, we selected one notable hike from each region:
1) Nachal Amud – The most beautiful stream in the Galilee.
2) Dor-Habonim – The gem of the Israeli Mediterranean coast.
3) Wadi Qelt – The best hike near Jerusalem.
4) Ein Akev – One of the most favorite Springs in the Negev Desert.
5) Timna from Above – A classic in the Eilat mountains

  • Nachal Amud is one of the most attractive streams in Israel. Walk down the beautiful Amud stream. Along the way pass numerous ancient water-mills, pools and wild-flowers. On the way back climb to the “Mizpe Hayamim” mountain. One of the only spots where you can view both the Sea of Galilee & the Mediterranean.
    Nachal Amud (Amud Stream)

What is the best season to Hike in Israel?

Generally speaking the best all around period is December to April, when daytime temperatures will range usually between 5 – 15 °C. However it also depends on the area you plan to hike in.
In the Desert, the chance of rain is always very low and outside the winter months the temperatures will usually be too hot. Therefore the best period would be December-February while November & March-April are also possible but less recommended. In the north the best period is March – April, when temperatures are still fair, Chances for rain are much lower and the landscape is fresh and Green. December-February are great temperature wise, but the chance for a rainy period is much higher. If you are looking for an all around sweet spot, I would choose March. For more details check out our Month by Month guide.

What is the best season to hike in Israel

Are there any good hikes near Jerusalem?

YES!!
To the west the Judean mountains are characterized by steep slopes covered with an evergreen forest and many wild flowers during winter and spring.
However, the main attraction for hikers are the dozens of small springs that are scattered in the area. The most accessible spots to experience them are the Sataf which is an KKL-JNF regulated park, Or the Springs trail where you can visit 5 different springs in a half day hike.
To the East starts the Judean desert. Near Jerusalem the desert still gets some rainfall and is characterized by deep canyons that some of them have a flow of water all year round. The most famous of them is Wadi Qelt (Prat Stream). Which is one of the most popular and rewarding hikes in Israel.

A waterfall in Wadi Qelt canyon, Israel

Are there any serious hiking options around Eilat?

YES!!
Unknown to many, but the noisy and touristic town of Eilat is also an amazing hiking hub. Within a short drive from town you’ll be able to explore wonderful desert hiking trails. What makes the Eilat mountains range unique is the contrast of colors. The sand and rocks change sharply between Black, Yellow and Red. in the horizon, you’ve got in sight the Edom red mountains and the deep Blue of the Red Sea. the most known and accessible hike is the “Red Canyon”, however many alternatives for more “serious” hikes are can be tackled in the area.Hikes Near Eilat

Are the hiking trails in Israel Way-Marked ?

Yes!!! Israel has an extensive high-quality Way-Marking infrastructure. The marking is in the form of 3 stripes. Two White stripes and between them a stripe with the color of the trail. The long distance trails (Like the Golan Trail) have their own different markings. In most trails it would be very clear, but sometimes you can run into sloppy marked sections where you will not spot a marker for a while. Therefore, we strongly recommend to always carry a hiking map and better to have also GPS track on a proper mobile phone application.

What areas of Israel have marked Hiking trails?

The country has one of the best networks of trails in the world, with more than 9000 km (5500 miles) of marked trails for hiking, biking or jeep driving. The trails all of the country from mount Hermon in the North to Eilat in the south, including the West Bank. The trails are usually well maintained and include, and include metal ladders and handles when needed.climbing ladders in mishmar canyon

Is it safe to hike in Israel ?

Unlike common belief, Israel is a pretty safe place, and hiking it is not a problem at all.  There has never been a reported incident of anyone, foreign or national, experiencing conflict on the trail. Contrarily, many hikers have reported that they have been welcomed both by Arab and Jewish communities through which the trail passes.  Always follow the basic safety guidelines.

Is it allowed to camp in Israel?

Camping is allowed everywhere in Israel, except in nature reserves. The catch is, that most interesting places for hiking are inside reserves, even if you didn’t pass through any gate and didn’t have to pay anything at the entrance. Inside the reserves you are allowed to sleep only in permitted camp sites. Unless noted otherwise on the map, these campsites are just plain areas in which camping is allowed, and they don’t have running water or any facilities at all. The problem is, that the location of the permitted locations is noted only in Hebrew language maps. If you plan to camp in these areas, ask locals or consult with us. We will be happy to help.