The mountains near Eilat hide numerous natural treasures; some of them are surprisingly easy to access.
Drive 10 Kilometers north of Eilat on the main road (Route 90) and you will see a pair of brown signs pointing left (westward). The signs will name two of the prettiest places in the region. They are easy to access by (almost) any car, and are suitable for children: Amudey Amram (Pillars of Amram) and Shehoret Canyon. After a bit more than a two-kilometer drive, the track will split. Take the left fork for Shehoret Mountain & Canyon and the right fork for Amudei Amram.
Shehoret Mountain & Canyon
Taking the left fork; drive on for another three to four kilometers until you reach the end of the road marked with large rocksaIt is a short walk to the entrance of the canyon. The canyon itself is about one kilometer long, the route curves beneath the dark tall walls of the canyon and the path is shady even during the midday. You will get to some small water falls (without water of course) that require climbing, so it might be difficult for the elderly, yet very enjoyable for young children. Encourage the kids to look carefully at the stones, as they might discover nice marine fossils. Some of them will be relatively large and clear to identify the snails and fish bones. However, is illegal to take these pieces with you.
If you want to spend more time, in this beautiful region, you can take the route turning left at the west end of the canyon and climb the Shehoret Mountain which is one of the tallest peaks in the region. It is a short climb yet very rewarding. At the top, you are half way between Route 90 and Route 12 which follow the Jordanian and Egyptian borders respectively. You will be able to appreciate the richness of the area, yet how small it really is.
For those who wish to spend half a day and discover even more beautiful places, it is advisable to make the full walk between Ein Netafim and Canyon Shehoret, this is certainly one of the most beautiful parts of the Trans Israel Route marked with the tree colored sign (white, blue and brown).
If you take the right-hand fork and drive on for another three or four kilometers then you will reach Amudei Amram (Amram Pillars).
The walk to the large pillars is very short. The pillars are naturally carved out of the sandstone and the site is beautiful, especially if you climb to the foot the of rock standing close the multi-colored slope.
The Eilat region is famous for its green stone that is used in the local jewelry industry. Encourage the children to look at their foot marks while walking, they can occasionally find a small green stone. However, it is illegal to take any stones out of the place.
You can continue walking near the pillars, if you follow the blue route to the top of the Amram hill, you will see a beautiful scenery of the mountains overlooking Eilat. The climb is a bit risky and not suitable for little children.
Do not underestimate the dangers of the desert, despite the short distances. Take a lot of water, do not plan to be out in mid-day, and ensure that you return before darkness.