Type of Hike:
Easy to challenging
All Year Round (early morning in summer)
Family – kids 5+
From 2 hours to half a day
Reserve is open always:
Advisable to be finished before darkness
Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains
One of the most beautiful hikes I have recently had the pleasure to do is the Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains. Nothing comes close to this stunning red rocky scenery and narrow gorge which takes your breath away.
Who can do this trail?
This is hike is suitable for all the family. It is important to know that the first part of the hike will require climbing down into the gorge with the help of metal rungs which are strategically placed in the rock. Small children and short legged people will find this particularly challenging BUT not impossible and it is definitely worth the extra effort.
The Red Canyon
The Red Canyon is situated along route 12 from Eilat running parallel to the Egyptian border. After about 20 mins drive (approx 20km) along this road you will see signs on the right to Nahal Shani and then a gravel road to the car park for the Red Canyon
Depending on the time of the year and the temperatures, this will determine the best time to start your hike.
Even in the summer (we did this hike at the beginning of September) you’ll be surprised how cool it is very early in the morning. We arrived at the start of the hike around 06.30 as the sun was starting to rise, and it was very chilly before we started walking. So be prepared.
For the most part it is best to do this hike early morning before the temperatures get too high as they tend to in the Eilat area.
Choose the route best for you
The hike has two routes.
Short route – this option will take around 1.5 hours depending on the amount of people in your group or other people on the trail. There could be hold ups at the climbing ladders, so be prepared. Once you have descended down several meters into the gorge, and walked for about a 20 mins along the narrow gorge there is a path that climbs back up to the top level and carries on back along the gorge to where you started the descent.
Long route – This is a circular route and should take around three hours. Starting at the same point as the short route, the hike carries on through the gorge and brings you back round on a circular route to the start of the hike. If you choose the long route, most hotels will provide you with a packed breakfast to take with you, as you will probably miss the hotel breakfast.
The uniqueness of this hike is the amazing layers of rock formations and their fantastic colorings, where the sun hits the rocks appear a deep red color. There is plenty of desert fauna and wild life to see along these rocky walls so keep a sharp eye out for sand partridges who dwell in the nooks and crannies of the rock walls and other small desert animals.
This has to be one of the most fun hikes in Israel without it being too physically hard. I think the short route will suit most families and groups making it a well spent morning, then back to Eilat for some swimming and water sports and rest at your accommodation.
Book the Red Canyon with a Private Guide