The Keshet Cave (also known as the Rainbow cave or Arch cave) in the Galilee, is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the land of Israel. Not only is the large natural arch with the shallow cave beneath it a pleasure to see, it also attracts hundreds of extreme sports enthusiasts who like to rappel from the arch down to the cave floor below. For those really looking for a thrill, dropping off the side of the cave and swinging under the arch with just the rope between you and the forests way down below is an unforgettable experience!
The Keshet Cave by vad_levin, on Flickr
Keshet Cave is found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometres from Rosh HaNikra and the warm Mediterranean Sea. Part of the Adamit Mountain Ridge and incorporated into the Adamit Park, Keshet Cave is on the southern cliff edge of the mountain. What is now the arch – the source of the site’s name – was previously the roof of the cave which now lies open and sun-baked, where rock hyraxes love to live. On the forest floor, winding through the land, is the Bezet Stream.
Rappelling from the arch is both exhilarating and free, provided that you are either an experienced rappeller or that you have an experienced rappeller with you. Embedded in the rock are anchors for fastening ropes and there is a sturdy metal guardrail as well, both for assisting in the rappelling and to keep bystanders safe from plummeting downwards. The drop to the floor of the cave is between 40 and 50 meters (130-165 feet) and from the bottom there is a windy, adventurous trail back up to a parking area.
Rappelling from the Keshet Cave
Nearby, accessible by hiking only are a series of caves along a cliff face. The Namer caves are somewhat explorable – some featuring stalagmites – and have been the site of some important archaeological finds, such as flint tools and pottery. All in all, the park is a great place for everyone – from the extreme hiker to those bound to a wheelchair – and is free and open, year round.
Visiting the Keshet Cave
The Keshet Cave can be reached by Road 8993, off the 899 stemming from the coastal highway 70.
There are two parking areas, the first one on the road heading east is the one with a moderate hike along the cliff while the second one, much larger, provides a much easier paved access to the Keshet Cave (fully accessible by wheelchair). On the winding path down below, one may have to jostle with goats as they graze on the steep slopes.
Map of the Keshet Cave
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By: Shem Tov Sasson. A Contributing Journalist for Tourist Israel, Shem Tov lives in the small Israeli city of Ma’alot. His personal blog about his experiences and adventures in the Holy Land can be found at Israel’s Good Name.