A popular day trip from Jerusalem is to do Masada and Ein Gedi and then end the day with a float in the Dead Sea. I guided a family on this route last week. In thinking about it I want to suggest a different Judean desert trip. Visit the pools and waterfalls at Ein Gedi but instead of doing the crowded Nahal David (a nahal is a dry stream bed) hike to the hidden waterfall in Nahal Arugot, do Masada in the afternoon and end the day with a walk through Nahal Peratzim as the sun sets and the moon rises, a great family hike. This photo is Nahal Peratzim, a canyon between high walls of lissan marl. Clicking on the image will display it larger. Please share this post with your friends by clicking on the icons at the end of this message.
The technical details – the photo was taken with a Nikon point and shoot camera in April (ISO 100, 8mm, F7.6 at 1/100 sec).
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When touring Israel you can’t but be amazed by the diverse geology in such a small country. When visiting Masada notice the spectacular canyons that have been gouged in the lissan marl by floodwaters rushing to the Dead Sea.
Take some time to explore the area by continuing south on highway <90>. Watch for the cutoff across from the Dead Sea Works and pull off onto a well-packed dirt road that will take you to the canyon at Nahal Peratzim.
Continue driving a couple of kilometers across an enormous flatlands, the Amiaz Plain, until you reach a parking lot. Follow the signs to the Flour Cave (though the cave is closed by order of the Parks Authority for fear of collapse).
It’s a short walk down into the canyon, a wide, sandy stream bed between high walls of lissan marl. It’s amazing to see the patterns of swirling designs and textures in the walls. We think the layers came about from sediment carried here by flowing streams, the darker colors in years of stronger rains but geologists haven’t come up with an accepted theory why the layers have twisted into such interesting patterns.
The hike is suitable for families and is especially dramatic in moonlight – I’d be happy to take you there. A great place for photographing surreal landscapes.