East Ramon - North to South
Arriving at Nahal Gvanim CG is possible by private car or jeep.
The campground is located only 3 km from HW 40, so hitch hiking from Mitzpe Ramon (15 min drive) is also a possibility.
Another possibility is to start your trek from Mitzpe, adding one more day. In that case check out the 3 day version of this section of the INT.
*Through-hikers of the Israel trail will arrive on foot.
Hike Description: From North to South (Click here for other direction)
Starting Point: Nahal Gvanim CG
Finish Point: Gev Holit CG
Length: 18 km
Duration: 7 hours.
From the Nahal Gvanim CG head South on the wide dirt road (black markers). The road will climb steeply up the side of mt. Saharonim. When you reach the top and catch your breath turn left (northeast) to the foot trail, marked in green. After 100 meters you will come to a short ledge-climb with metal hand-bars. Continue along the ridge and enjoy the scenery of the crater on your left side as you hike. You are walking along the tilted layers of marine sedimentary rock that weas left here by an ancient ocean. These layers were lifted about 70-90 million years ago.
After the second peak the tail will split. Continue along the black markers to the right and follow them down into the canyon below you. The descent might have loose gravel- so be careful. Once you arrive at the bottom turn right (south) along the blue markers. As you walk through the canyon you’ll notice the large boulders. At this point the canyon is “caught” by a fault line and turns to the left. Eventually you’ll arrive at the narrows, where the distance between the canyon walls is just your arm-span. After that point the canyon opens up and 200 meters later you’ll notice a cave under the cliff on your right. Continue on the blue trail on the jeep road.
Pass a green trail connecting on the left and arrive at a trail-intersection. A red-marked jeep trail will cross your path and your blue markers will end. A black marked road will head straight- Northeast. Follow the black markers and notice the ground gradually changing color to red. After 700 meters a blue trail, with INT markers as well, will branch to the right.
Head down this trail to the east towards a large Acacia tree. From the tree the trail will enter a ravine and climb for a little over 2km to the ridge of Karbolet Haririm. From this vantage point all of the Ardon valley is visible. This enclosed realm of colorful sand dunes and dominating cliffs is a closed reserve, designed a refuge for plants and animals. You’re actually standing as close as possible to the heart of this safe-haven. For the next 4 km the trail stretches along the high ground of the ridge with wide vistas on both sides.
Descend down into wadi Maok, and walk east on the flat bottom, occasionally passing the large Acacias that thrive on the hidden ground water of this wadi. This is a great spot for a lunch break and a shady nap.
After 1km the trail will turn sharply to the left (north) so keep your eyes on the markers not to miss the turn. Follow the trail up this small tributary for 1km and arrive at a small cliff blocking the way. Once you climb it the trail will continue to the right (north) and climb to a saddle where fossils of Ammonites can be found. This is also the last spot with good Cellphone reception for the day.
Hed down from the saddle along a steep narrow trail. caution- loose footing. arrive at the bottom and walk along the dry wadi. Once you get to the bottom of the next drop look back and to the left to see the folded layers of rock bent by the great forces of the still-active the Ramon fault. Walk for another 300 meters and find “transparent” markers on your left. This is a small step off of the trail to “Ein Geled” a tiny seasonal spring at the base of a small waterfall. Go back to the Blue marked trail and continue east. Walk for another 1.5 km and arrive at a wide fall above Holit water hole.
The trail heads around the fall to the right and descends down a rock slide. You can explore the base of the waterfall and might find water in the waterhole that gave the campground its name. Once you arrive at the bottom head east along the jeep road for 500 meters to the Gev Holit campground.
Attractions: Many viewpoints and vistas, Acacia trees, folded layers, fossils, Gazelle and Ibex sighting opportunities, water holes and small springs, breathtaking climbs.
Starting Point: Gev Holit CG
Finish Point: Sapir
Length: 19 km
Duration: 7-8 hours
From the campground head east along the INT markers into the very wide wadi of Nekerot. Curve left (north) along the jeep road (red markers) and follow the markers for 3.5 km as you curve east again. Keep you eyes open for a turn to the right (south) out of the main wadi and up a small ravine.
Climb along a dry waterfall and arrive at the base of another climb, the second one along a ramp. The final climb will bring you to the tilted table top of mt. Yahav. A short detour to the the right (west) will bring you to an amazing lookout where you’ll be able to see most of yesterday’s walk.
Head down the slope of the mountain to the east and down a small wadi. After 1.5 km you’ll arrive at a dry waterfall and the gravelly bottom of the wadi. Follow this wadi for 2.5 km and turn right (south) inot wadi Zvira. After one more km you’ll arrive at the Nahal Zvira campground.
*you can split the second day of walking into two, using this campground as the mid-point.
Pass the campground and walk for another 500 meters staying on the east bank of the wadi. The trail will climb the soft layers of clay at the base of the cliff and eventually negotiate the hard ledge and arrive at the top. Walk along the Plato for 1 km, passing impressive cracks on your left (north) side. Head down the pass and along blakc hills of broken flint. Arrive at another acacia filled wadi and turn right (south) up-stream for 800 meters and down-stream in the next wadi for 1km. The trail will branch out of the wadi and along the flats of black broken flint, through a shallow caldera.
Walk for 2km east and arrive at the “Sapir Saddle”. Civilization is visible again. Head down and arrive at a dirt road. Follow the road for 800 meters until you arrive at the fence of the Sapir community. If the back gate is open you may cross through the neighborhood to the bus stop at HW 90. If not you’ll have to circle the fence along the southern side and arrive at the main gate.
Attractions: Ancient camel trail, wide wadi, Majestic view, folded layers of flint.