Ein Gedi Nature Reserve sits right near the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert. This gorgeous space is often compared to a desert oasis and serves as a fantastic hiking spot. Considered one of Israel’s most spectacular beauties, the expanse draws adventurers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts alike. There’s no doubt that Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is one of the most visited places in Israel and you’ll soon find out why. While it is located close to Jerusalem, or even the often-crowded Dead Sea, it feels worlds away.
Hiking at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve contains over nine different hiking trails. They’re suitable for everyone from family groups to experienced hikers. They range from hourly-long tours to full-day. Some of the most popular hiking trails are those which head through Wadi David.
The following route is split into two. The first section is suitable for all hikers, while the second section is a slightly more challenging “moderate” hike.
Wadi David Lower Section
The first section of the Wadi David Hike (the ‘lower section’) is a scenic hike from the Wadi David ticket office to David’s Waterfall. A circular trail, this trek is expected to take no longer than one hour to complete and offers brilliant views along the way. The trail is well marked and setting out from the ticket office, you enter the wadi. Despite it being a dry setting, due to the flowing David Spring, this route is considered a glorious wonder within the valley.
The contrast of lush green landscape amid the surrounding desert is the first astonishing thing you will notice. As you continue, you will soon reach the beautiful David’s Waterfall and the pools which you’re more than welcome to swim in. At this point, either head back the way you came or continue to the second section of the hike.
Wadi David Upper Section
The upper section provides an additional three or four-hour hike. Continuing from David’s Waterfall, you head onto more difficult trails towards Shulamit’s Spring, Dodim’s Cave, and finally, the Ein Gedi Spring. These trails involve a little climbing so active tourists should be prepared to break a sweat as it’s a little more physically demanding. Along the way, you’ll spot water pools where you can cool down, and reach the beautiful Dodim’s Cave.
For thousands of years, these trails have served foreigners and locals as a great nature spot and a much-needed escape from city life. Ein Gedi’s trails perfectly cater to every kind of explorer making it a great source of adventure for everyone.
Wildlife at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
Ein Gedi is notable not only for its breathtaking beauty, but also for the natural habitation of wildlife. As seen in the Nature and Parks Authority symbol for Ein Gedi, the Nubian Ibex is most famously known here. In fact, the nature reserve houses one of the largest herds of Ibex in all of Israel, but is also home to wolves, foxes, bats, birds of prey, and is teeming with wild flora throughout. As you walk throughout Ein Gedi, be sure to marvel at the flourishing wildlife and take memorable photos as keepsake.
Visiting Ein Gedi Reserve
The best way to visit Ein Gedi is with a tour, providing you with peace of mind and high-quality guidance.
- Masada Sunrise Group Tour – a unique tour which takes you to Masada for a glorious sunrise, offers brilliant Ein Gedi hikes, and relaxation time at the Dead Sea.
- Masada, Ein Gedi Dead Sea and more Group Tour – similar to the tour above, but additionally includes an overview of Jericho and visit to Qasr-el-Yehud’s baptismal site.
- If you’re staying in Eilat, join this Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Tour from Eilat to explore Ein Gedi.
- Try out Masada Sunrise Yoga, Ein Gedi Oasis, and Dead Sea Wellness Experience Tour. It offers a unique and memorable yoga experience unlike any other. You can enjoy a private yoga session atop Masada as the sun rises. After, visit Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea for a day of relaxation.
- Private Day Tour – a totally customized experience. Usually these day tours go to Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea. You can add a couple of other sites as desired.
- International package tours like our 10 Day Ultimate Israel and Jordan Package or our 10 Day Highlights of Israel, Jordan and Egypt Tour are the ultimate Middle East experiences, with remarkable sites and cross-country adventures along the way.
Getting to Ein Gedi
- From Jerusalem, Ein Gedi is about a one hour drive from Jerusalem. Head out of the city on Route 1 heading east towards Ma’ale Adumim and Jericho. At the intersection with Route 90 (Beit HaArava Interchange) turn right (south). Continue south for approximately 40km and the entrance to the reserve is on the right-hand side.
- From Tel Aviv, head to Jerusalem on Route 1 and continue past the city, following the instructions above.
- From the Dead Sea, leave from the main Dead Sea hotel area at Ein Bokek. Head north on Route 90 and you will come to Ein Gedi. It’s about 30 minutes north of Ein Bokek and 15 minutes north of Masada.
Important information: Ein Gedi is wheelchair accessible. There are two entries to the site. Dogs are not permitted to enter the nature reserve.
Useful Information: Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
Contact08-6584285 | [email protected]
Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 17:00 – 08:00
Friday and holiday eves: 16:00 – 08:00
Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 – 08:00
Friday and holiday eves: 15:00 – 08:00
Holiday eves: 13:00 – 08:00
Yom Kippur eve: 13:00 – 08:00
Adult: 28.00 NIS
Adult in Group/Student: 24.00 NIS
Child/Senior Citizen/Adult(Synagogue): 14.00 NIS
Adult(Synagogue Group): 13.00 NIS
Child in Group/Student(Synagogue): 12.00 NIS
Child(Synagogue)/Senior Citizen(Synagogue): 7.00 NIS
Child(Synagogue Group): 6.00 NIS