Israel,  Middle East

Visiting Israel’s Red Canyon

I became aware of this place because of an instagram post. After seeing the post, I asked Igal if we can go to it on my next Israel trip. He wasn’t aware of the place but he was also interested to see it. I went back to Israel in August 2018 and stayed for five weeks. Of course, we followed through and paid the Red Canyon a visit.

Going to the Red Canyon

Our day of visit to the Red Canyon was quite eventful!

Our itinerary for the day included a quick stop at Ramon Crater (Makhtesh Ramon), which is what was initially entered on the Waze app. However, on our way there, the screen of Igal’s smartphone suddenly became unresponsive to touch. It was still working, Waze was still on and showing directions but there’s no way to input the next location to it. We pushed through with the stop at Ramon Crater and spent some time appreciating its vastness. After a little walk along the crater’s viewing point, we then proceeded to installing Waze on my phone, plus some trail map apps which might become handy.

 

 

The Red Canyon is located near the border with Egypt. You can totally see the fences separating the two countries on the drive along Route 12 as you get near the canyon. Waze was perfect at bringing us to the right location.

There was no other car in the parking area when we arrived. I guess Igal was right that the Red Canyon is not well-known among Israelis.

 

We started prepping for the trek  – arranging things we will bring and putting on sunblock. We were outside the car, on opposite sides, and then this conversation happened:

Igal: Uhm.. Babe, your phone has a screen protector right?

Janet: No. Why?

Igal: Oh. That’s not good.

That line made me walk to his side to see what’s up. He then showed my two-month old phone to me which was sporting a new spider-web like crack on its screen.

Janet: Yeahhh… that’s not good.

Some seconds of silence…

Igal: I’ll buy you a new one. I’m sorry.

Janet: Okay.

 

The phone slipped from his hand and fell face down to the gravel covering the parking area. Its Spigen case didn’t stand a chance at protecting it from the fall. Thankfully, the phone was still working so we were still able to take photos during the trek. 🙂

The trails around the Red Canyon

A trail map is mounted by the parking area. We checked it out to see our options and took a photo of it before starting the trek. We decided to begin with the red trail. Our entire loop consisted of the following trails, starting from and ending at the parking lot: red >> black >> green >> blue >> green. It’s a counterclockwise direction from the parking lot.

 

Trail map mounted by the parking area

 

Upon reaching the Red Canyon area, the options were (1) continue with the black trail which will take us above the canyon, or (2) switch to the green trail which will make us pass through the canyon below. We wanted to see the canyon from below so we chose the second option.

 

It’s a lovely place! Since there weren’t much people, it’s also quiet and calm. As I’ve mentioned earlier, there we no other cars parked when we arrived. We didn’t see any other person while on the red and black trails. We saw just one young couple while on the green trail by the canyon area.

 

After the Red Canyon area, we could have continued taking the green trail all the way to the parking lot. It’s an easy winding flat trail. However, we wanted a little challenge to so we took the blue trail. It was a shorter albeit steeper option. We didn’t mind the incline and we preferred the quicker option. That resulted to some labored breathing, though 🙂

 

After the steep part, the blue trail will eventually lead to the the green trail which then ends at the parking lot. When we got to the parking lot, there is one other car parked which belonged to the young couple we saw by the canyon.

 

It took us two hours to complete our chosen trail, including stops for photos.

 

If you’re planning to visit, make sure that you have enough water with you. A pair of closed shoes is best but open trekking sandals will do. If using an open sandals, pay attention to where you’re going. I was wearing an open trekking sandals and my foot grazed a thorny plant. That was not nice, but I was okay. As always, pay close attention to the markings. Igal and I were engrossed in our conversation while walking along the black trail and made a wrong turn to the green trail. We turned right instead of left. Thankfully, after just a few meters, there was a warning saying that going forward will bring us to a trail that takes about six hours to finish. That made us check our trail maps and we realized that we made a mistake, so we walked back to the right way.

 

There are no fees collected for visiting the site. You just drive there, park your car, and hit the trails. This pretty place is perfect for a day trip! It’s close to Eilat so you can do the trail on your way to/from Eilat.

 

*This blog post’s featured image is taken along the black trail, one of the trails that lead to the Red Canyon.

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