Hiking near the Dead Sea
The mountain slopes on the west side of the Dead Sea are full of amazing rivers (that are usually dry) and canyons. You can choose out of many levels of difficulty, from walks suitable for families with little children to climbing in the most dangerous routes.
Although most of the rivers are dry most of the year, it is strictly forbidden to hike in them in the winter, even with bright skies, a rainfall many miles away can cause a devastating flash flood. Almost every year, people lose their lives in this area. The spring on the other hand, is the preferred season as weather is not yet too hot, and some of the river beds are still wet.
Challenging Dead Sea Area Hikes
In this article I will describe some of the simpler hikes. If you want to take a more challenging adventure you can consult the experts at the Matsukey Dragot center, near one of the most dangerous canyons in Israel. Do not attempt to walk there without professional guides.
Ein Gedi Area
The most common routes are in David and Arugot trails inside the Ein Gedi National Park. These reserves are well maintained. Entry fee is required but you can save money by purchasing a “green pass“ including some UNESCO world heritage sites, such as the Nabatian cities: Mamshit, Shivta, and Ovdat, Massada, Hazor, Megido, and Beer Sheba.
Another nice climb that is not too difficult is the Salvatore River north of Ein Gedi. There is no clear sign, so you will have to consult the locals for the exact entry point.
Ein Bokek Area
If you want an easy yet beautiful walk, take the Rachaf River trail, starting just a few Kilometers north of the Ein Bokek Dead Sea Hotel resort. The entrance to the trail is well marked.
In the Ein Bokek area, you can also walk up the Bokek River, across the main road that leads to the resort. This river is wet most of the year, and the walk is short and easy.