Are you looking for one of Israel’s most beautiful hikes? Natural wonder of the desert, the Red Canyon in Israel’s southern region is one of the most remarkable places in the country.
No visit to Eilat is complete without at least a quick stop to see this gem of the desert and any hiker would be ashamed to miss such a lovely location. Why is it called the Red Canyon? Iron oxides create a red, rusty hue in the sandstone rocks which only exemplifies in the presence of sunlight. A truly beautiful sight.
The rocks themselves are a lovely mix of colors, streaks of white, yellow, and cream mixed in with the red tinge. It almost looks like swirls of ice cream in stone form.
Walking through the empty wadi, you see a few trees and plants that manage to survive despite the lack of water in the dry desert. It all looks like an ordinary desert scene until you, all of a sudden come across the stunning Red Canyon and begin your journey through.
How to Get to the Red Canyon
The Red Canyon is located far south in Israel’s desert region. The closest big city is Eilat which is about a 20 minute drive away. The easiest way to get to the Red Canyon is by car. All other methods are going to be a bit tricky as it is quite out of the way of most other places- a real desert gem.
Coming from Tel Aviv, it is about a 4 hour drive. If you’re in the mood for waking up early it could technically be a day trip from the city, but it will be a long drive!
Where to Stay
The Red Canyon is best visited on a trip to Eilat. It can be a stop on the drive to/from Eilat, or a day trip outside of the city. Either way, the ideal place to stay if you want to visit is Eilat itself.
Eilat has a plethora of hotels, hostels, Airbnb‘s and more. Regardless on the experience you’re looking for, you’ll certainly find something suitable. Eilat is one of Israel’s largest tourist cities (the economy there is based mainly on tourism) so there are plenty of options!
Hiking Trails of the Red Canyon
The Red Canyon has two hiking paths. A shorter (about 1 hour loop) and a longer (2-3 hours loop). Be sure to pick up a map at the entrance to know which route you want to follow.
Green Trail (1 hour)
The Green Trail of the Red Canyon is a very easy, family friendly route. It is well marked, little ascent or descent, and fairly short. It leads down to the river bed which will then take you through the Red Canyon itself.
Black Trail (2-3 hours)
The black trail is a bit more challenging and longer. You will certainly see the Red Canyon itself but also explore a bit more of the region, have beautiful views, and is perfect for those who are looking for a slightly longer walking trail.
Tips for Visiting the Red Canyon
- WEATHER – The Red Canyon is located in the desert. As we all know, the desert is extremely hot most of the year. But, the Red Canyon can still be visited in the summer as large portions of the trail can be in the shade. Just be aware of the weather before you visit, and come prepared.
- GO IN THE MORNING – If you do visit in the summer, please visit the Red Canyon in the morning or later in the afternoon due to the heat. Do not go during prime heat time. It is also a very popular hike so it tends to get somewhat busy. If you want to avoid many people, go in the morning.
- ENTRANCE – There is no official entrance to this hike as it is not an official National Park. There are no bathrooms or places to buy food or water. During the busy seasons sometimes there are representatives sitting at a booth at the beginning of the trail, but they offer only maps of the area.
- COST – Because it is not an official park, just a hiking path, the entrance is free!
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
xoxoxoxoxo Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters