Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
Witness the lush green nature reserve that is located after miles and miles of barren desert. Ein Gedi is known to be the biggest oasis in Israel that is nestled in two massive canyons between the Dead Sea and the Eastern edge of Judean Desert. From elevation to sheer cliffs, you'll notice how the landscapes differ vastly within the protected nature reserve. Being one of the most scenic places for nature lovers in Israel, Ein Gedi features a stunning botanical garden along with some of the best hiking spots. Ein Gedi is blessed with breathtaking waterfalls and a sanctuary for wildlife. Every nook and corner of this gorgeous natural reserve will have a surprise for you.
This natural reserve features over nine different trails with a varied set of difficulty. Wadi David and Wadi Arugot are the most chosen trails amongst the tourists and locals alike. Stunningly placed between two roughly parallel canyons, the trail of Wadi David takes you on a scenic hike to David’s Waterfall. This well-marked trail is set through the wadi and is expected to be completed within a span of an hour. Hike through the wadi itself is an amazing experience. Imagine being surrounded by the lush green views in a desert, truly a fairytale. At the end of the trail, you'll be rewarded with the dramatic views of David’s Waterfall and the pools. Take a quick dip in the pool before proceeding to the second level of hike, which is known as the upper section. If you are up for the challenge, the estimated time to complete the second part of the hike is about four hours with some amount of climbing involved, nothing too drastic. The trail takes you to Shulamit’s Spring, Dodim’s Cave, ruins of a Bronze Age temple, lush vegetation and the much talked about Ein Gedi Spring. The picturesque contrast of the Natural reserve with the desert surroundings will leave you in awe.
As for Wadi Arugot hike, it also takes an hour to complete and is not as covered with canyons and open streams like the trail of Wadi David. Right at the end of the trail, the Hidden Fall and the refreshing pools are one of the most exciting scenes you'll see. This is one of the few places where the desert streams tend to flow year-round with David Stream being the most popular one.
Along both these trails, you'll also notice some wild animals like rock hyrax, Nubian ibex, wolves, bats, foxes and many more. As you proceed along the trail, keep an eye out for Nubian ibex. Its quite astonishing to how this desert species of goat, take a walk dexterously along the vertical cliffs. These specific goats are listed amongst the endangered species and are found in the Middle East and Northern Africa only.
Whether it's the freshwater pools or the majestic waterfalls, everything about this place is simply spectacular. For aspiring hikers, a quick travel tip, keep yourself hydrated and carry plenty of water along. Also, don't forget to pack your hiking shoes.