Things to do in Eilat, Dead Sea & the South

Timna – A Geological Sculpture Garden and Ancient Copper Mines

Timna Park is located in a valley roughly 25 Km north of Eilat, just off of Rt. 90.  The highlights of the park are remarkable natural rock formations, ancient copper mining sites and Egyptian rock drawings, in addition to a variety of recreational facilities.

A Day Out in Timna

It is possible to visit Timna for anywhere from 90 minutes to a full day of hiking and exploring.  Because the weather in this region can be extremely hot, we recommend choosing the time of day for your visit carefully, especially during warmer seasons.  Timna is open some evenings during the summer.

The visitors’ center at the park entrance (there is an admission fee to the park) can provide you with a helpful brochure including a map.  There is also a multimedia presentation on a revolving stage with a 360 degree screen.

From the visitors’ center set out to explore the Timna Valley.  Begin with a visit to the “Mushroom”.  A 10 minute walk from the parking area takes you to a natural red sandstone rock formation resembling…you guessed it.  The remains of a copper smelting site are located nearby.  From the Mushroom continue on by car to the ‘Arches’.  From the parking area set out on a 45 minute walk to see an ancient copper mining site and a remarkable natural sandstone arch nearby.

While still on the northern side of the park, drive up to the ‘Chariots’.  A foot path leads out of the parking lot for a 30 minute walk to a small valley with rock drawings of ox drawn chariots and soldiers carrying shields and battleaxes.  These drawings date back to Timna’s Egyptian period, 12-14 centuries B.C.E.

Proceeding by car, take the park’s main road to Solomon’s Pillars on the southern side of the Tima Valley.  A natural rock formation, Solomon’s Pillars were formed by moisture seeping into fissures and eroding the sandstone cliff to form shafts, which gave the adjacent rocks a pillar like appearance.  Follow the steps up to the right of Solomon’s Pillars to view an ancient Egyptian rock carving of Pharaoh Ramses III making an offering to Hathor, the goddess of mines.  A pipe like view finder mounted on the platform will help you spot the difficult to find carving. The stairs down on the other side lead us to the ruins of a cultic site dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Hathor.

Recreational facilities located nearby on the southern side of the park include a man-made lake with pedal boats, a Bedouin hospitality tent, camel rides, children’s activities with sand and copper and a restaurant.

There are a variety of good hikes in Timna ranging level of difficulty from easy to more challenging and in duration from 1 – 8+ hours.  All hikes require carrying your own water (4-5 liters for longer routes/there are no natural water sources available in the area), hats and sturdy walking shoes.  Please consult the visitors’ center for additional information, especially regarding marked trails, route duration, sunset times and amount of water needed before beginning a hike.

Getting To Timna

On route 90, 25Km north of Eilat

See Timna Park and Israel Nature Reserves

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