Wadi Mamshit to Mamshit
Wadi Mamshit to Mamshit
From Beer Sheva drive 36 km on highway 25 towards Dimona. From Mitzpe Ramon drive North 36 km on highway 40 to Halukim intersection. Continue straight, for 17 km, on hw 204 to Yeruham. At the circle continue straight 13 km to Dimona. At the T turn right onto hw25. Pass through the town (Dimona) and continue east, for 8 km, on hw 25, to Rotem intersection, passing, on the right, the entrance to the pickup point at Mamshit national park. Turn right onto rd. 206 towards Oron and Makhtesh Gadol. Drive for 3 km and stop at the brown sign to your right “Nahal Mamshit”. This is the beginning of the hike. Be advised: the entire area on the East side of rd. 206 is a closed military compound. Do not cross the road. Taking pictures is strictly forbidden. Do not leave your vehicle unattended. No parking allowed. Drop-off only, drivers must take the car to the pickup point at Mamshit national park.
Starting Point: Nahal Mamshit trailhead on rd. 206.
Finish Point: Mamshit NP.
Cross the train tracks and head northwest along the red markers towards the ridge. As you approach the wadi a blue trail will connect on your left.
Continue up Canyon and pass some rocky water holes. After 200 m the canyon will curve to the right and you will notice the remains of a concrete structure in the middle of the wadi. This is a well that was dug and built by the British during the 1930s as part of their efforts to better the living conditions of the Bedouin population in the area. Over the years the well fell to disrepair and filled up with the sand that wadi Mamshit is known for. From the well continue up Canyon as the wadi curves left. After 200 m , as the vegetation thickens, you will come to a dry waterfall. In the winter water fills a small pool at the bottom of the fall. The trail will climb on the right wall of the canyon right before the waterfall.
As you advance in the canyon you will curve left again and face a dam built from local stone across the canyon. The trail climbs on the right rocky bank around the dam. This is a British renovation of an ancient dam that was built at the height of the city of Mamshit. This dam, and it’s twin, visible just a ways up the canyon, stops the runoff water that flows here during flash floods. The water seeps into the sandy bottom and makes agriculture possible in the harsh Arid climate of the region. Techniques like this were the key to the success of the Nabatean presence and the settlement of their descendants in this area during the Byzantine period.
Turn right, north, into the small gorge- a tributary of the main wadi. Follow the trail to the ruins of the city of Mamshit. You may visit the city (admission fee) or head straight to the pickup point at the entrance to the National Park.
Attractions: Ridge breaching canyon, old well, Ancient dams, desert vegetation, Hyrax sighting