Information about the trail
Trail Type – Circular.
Difficulty – Medium to Difficult, Suitable for Families.
Admission – Paid Admission.
Trail Length – Approximately 4km/ 2.5 miles.
Access – Starting and ending points of the trail are at the Wadi Arugot Park parking lot, access is also possible via public transit.
Facilities – The Ein Gedi National Park entrance complex has bathrooms, a convenience store, a water fountain, picnic benches, and Nature and Parks Authority information station.
What is Nahal Arugot and where is it located?
Nahal (Wadi) Arugot is called Araija (curves) in Arabic due to its many curves, with the Hebrew name preserving the sound of its Arabic name. The Wadi Arugot trail is located within the
Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. It features a combination of breathtaking dramatic desert views with year-round water flow, rich and diverse flora, robust wildlife, and a host of impressive archaeological relics. Several shallow natural water ponds are located along the trail.
Wadi Arugot starts below the community of Migdal-Oz and is approximately 50km/ 31 miles long. The year-long stream reaches
the Dead Sea north of Ein Gedi. The trail within the park is approximately 4km/ 2.5 miles long. This circular trail is suitable for families. The stream winds through the Judea Desert plane, flowing through a large and beautiful canyon. The trail passes through the perennial portion of the stream, culminating in a hidden waterfall that flows year-round. How to get to the trail?
The trail starts and ends at the Wadi Arugot Park parking lot (the Park is marked on
From the North – Follow Road 90 southbound, along the Dead Sea, until you reach the Ein Gedi Field School. At the two roundabouts turn toward David Stream and drive toward the white tent over the ancient early Ein Gedi synagogue. Once you see the water plant (a large plant with triangular rooftops) turn right at the roundabout, drive for another two minutes, and park at the Nature Reserve parking lot.
From the South – Follow Road 90 until you reach Kibbutz Ein Gedi. After crossing the intersection at the entrance of the Kibbutz turn left at the first roundabout. At the second roundabout, located between the water plant and the ancient synagogue, turn left and park at the Nature Reserve parking lot.
Nahal Arugot Trail
The Wadi Arugot circular trail passes through the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, one of Israel’s most beautiful and unique natural parks. The trail offers encounters with wild animals such as hyraxes and ibexes, a fascinating, magical desert landscape, cool waters, and a natural massage under the waterfall.
The trail begins at the entry point to the park. The entry complex offers a convenience store, an information station, picnic benches, and bathrooms.
From the entrance gate follow the red trail. The trail winds through the canyon, alternating between segments along the water stream and segments over its northern bank with a moderate climb in between. After walking for about 450 meters/ 0.3 miles you will need to choose between the red and blue trails. The red trail is also called the dry trail as it continues high above the water stream. While the blue trail, which passes through the water stream, is more rewarding, it is also somewhat more challenging.
Note that the Nahal Arugot blue trail involves a somewhat challenging climb where anchors are used for climbing. After walking for another 400 meters/ 0.2 miles along the blue trail, the two trails merge again, and after an additional 600 meters/ 0.4 miles, you can once again choose between the two trails. The red trail then continues above the stream bank and finally descends toward the hidden waterfall, one of the must-see spots along this impressive trail. By the way, if you do choose to hike along the red trail, you can turn into the black trail leading upwards to Maale Bnei Hamoshavim.
As mentioned, the blue trail passes through the stream. Parts of it involve walking in shallow water, so make sure you dress accordingly. The walk back from the hidden waterfall is possible through both trails. It is best to follow the blue trail while you still can, as it passes close to the water stream. At some points, it is necessary to hop over small water flows, and from time to time the blue trail splits away from the red-marked main trail.
The trail ends where the canyon is blocked by a tall rock wall, with the waterfall flowing over it. If you have walked outward along the blue trail it is possible to walk back along the red trail stretching high above the northern bank of the stream.
This is an impressive and beautiful trail, with an abundance of spectacular and unique sights along the way, such as strong water flow, natural wading pools, and cold water springs. Abundant water flow can be seen in winter and spring, coming out from between the rock strata. The flow of water allows the diverse green flora to grow. Flora along the trail grows mostly next to the flowing water, while the canyon slopes are relatively bare, and plants in the canyon are typical of the harsh desert conditions.
It is a good idea to make stops at the many magical spots along the trail and take in the surrounding landscape. Make sure you stop at some of the little wading pools where you can dip your feet and rest. The first pool is deep enough to swim in.
The trail can get busy with visitors. Therefore, if you are fortunate enough to visit when the Park is relatively empty, it is best to try and stay quiet – this will increase the chance of a close encounter with the local wildlife, such as hyraxes eating while seated on top of Salvadora Persica bushes, ibexes coming down from the hills for a sip of water, agamas, lizards, Tristram’s starlings known for their beautiful songs, as well as different types of rodents and predatory birds.
Other than the fascinating and impressive nature, Nahal (Wadi) Arugot also has evidence of continuous early human history. Relics of early aqueducts and farming terraces can be seen along the trail.
What can you see on the track?
Ein Arugot– This is a natural wading pool where hikers can get their feet wet. It is the first and deepest wading pool along the trail – about 1.6 meters/ 5.2 ft deep. The water near the entrance is shallow and toddlers can be allowed in the water as long as they are being watched.
Essenes’ Pools – Natural wading pools along the blue trail – an ideal resting spot. The water is shallow, making it suitable even for young children.
The Hidden Waterfall – Do not miss the hidden waterfall. This is a magical, beautiful spot, with the waterfall flowing year-round. A natural pool has formed below the waterfall, with shallow, cool water to bathe in. A shaded area is located close to the pool. It is best to sit close to the roots of the ficus tree growing along the crack.
Ein Gedi Synagogue – A visit to the ancient synagogue of early Ein Gedi, at the foot of the Tel Goren hill, is also recommended. The synagogue includes an interesting mosaic floor with writings in Aramaic and Hebrew. There is an admission fee, however, a combined ticket is available which also includes entrance into the Park. Tips for travelers
The hiking trail is located at the heart of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.
The Park is open daily between 08:00 and 17:00. In winter the Park closes at 16:00.
Entrance into the Park is subject to a fee.
It is not possible to start walking the trail after 14:00.
It is important to start the walk back from the hidden waterfall about two hours before the closing time of the reserve.
Water can be filled at the water fountain at the entrance to the reserve.
The trail is shut down when there is a risk of flash floods in the Dead Sea and Judea Desert regions.
Do not feed or touch the hyraxes or other wild animals.
Closed-toe, water-resistant shoes are advised.
Please review the weather forecast and make sure you have suitable gear and clothing before the start of the trail.
Visitors must follow Nature and Parks Authority instructions and adhere to rangers’ instructions during their visit to the Park.
Visitors are advised to fill up their water containers at the water fountain at the entrance to the Park. There are no other sources of drinking water along the trail. Remember that the Wadi Arugot trail is located in a dry desert region. The temperature in this region is high year-round, and therefore visitors should start their hike with at least 3 liters of water per person.
Enjoy the trip!