The steep Cliffs of Mount Ardon, Negev Desert,Israel

Mount Ardon Hike

One of the best view-points on Makhtesh Ramon. A short but rewarding hike. An ascent to the summit of Mount Ardon in the middle of Makhtesh Ramon. amazing views of the crater followed by a very steep descent back to the Makhtesh base.

Hike Metrics
Distance6.5 Km
Short versionsN / A
Climb300 m
BestDec - Mar
PossibleNov - Apr
Hike Description

  • The hike is marked as difficult due to the very steep descent from the summit to the crater bed.
  • The last 5 Km of your drive to the parking location is on a dirt road. The road is suitable for driving also with s standard passenger vehicle.
  • The Google Maps location is not your final parking destination. From this point turn right on a dirt road with Blue markers and follow it for 2.1 km until you see the parking area.
  • Crater – A roughly circular depression in the ground usually caused by volcanic activity, impact, or explosion.
  • Makhtesh – A crater-like formation created by erosion

The word “makhtesh” is the Hebrew word for a Mortar and Pestle. The geological land-form was given this name because of its similarity to a grinding bowl.

There are only 7 such craters in the world, all of them located in the Land of Israel(5) and the Sinai desert(2). Of the 5 located in Israel, Makhtesh Ramon is the largest. That makes it the largest makhtesh in the world. Over 40 km long, 10 km wide, and about 400 m deep.
Further reading on Makhtesh Ramon.

Hike description:

Detailed hiking map

Get the Hiking Map and GPS file for just 5$

  • Starting point –  parking area at the foot of Mount Ardon (1).
  • The impressive ascend you are about to tackle is clearly seen in front of you!!

The ascend to the summit of Mount Ardon

  • Follow the ‡blue‡ markers. the climb starts gently but soon becomes steep. After 750 m you reach a junction with a ‡Black‡ marker in the middle of the climb (2).
  • Continue climbing on the ‡blue‡ markers for about 900 m until the Summit (3).
  • The perfect spot for an extended break.
The summit is 722 m ASL and 200 m directly above the crater’s base.
The name “Ardon” source is from the bible, 1 Chronicles 2:18 =>
“And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon.”

The colorful Makhtesh Ramon viewed from the summit of Mount Ardon

  • Continue on the ‡blue‡ markers now on the edge of the table mountain with the fantastic view of Makhtesh Ramon visible all the time. (A fantastic hiking section) After about 900 m the trail curves right towards the decent (4).
  • Start descending very steeply on the ‡blue‡ marker. Caution is required and in some areas, you might need to scramble.
Guided Tour

  • Start in the Small Makhtesh
  • Hike to the Big Crater
  • Hike to ancient Avdat via Ein Akev
  • Finish in Makhtesh Ramon

Inn to Inn Hiking with Luggage Tranfer

  • The next 2 kilometers are unique. On your right is Mount Ardon you just came from. On your left is the “Cone” hill sticking out of the Makhtesh base. On the ground below your feet, is an amazing pallet of colors. The color of the soil is changing every few minutes between Black, Red, Yellow, Brown, and white. 
Colorfull labdscape at the foot of mount Ardon, Makhtesh Ramon, Israel
Colorful landscape at the foot of mount Ardon
  • After about 1.5 Km you reach a junction with a ‡Green‡ marker. (5) Turn right and follow the ‡Green‡ markers for about 2.5 km on a flat and easy section back to the starting point (1)

Get this Hike's eBook for just 5$ !

Inside the PDF: (Just 5$)

  • Quality Hiking Maps
  • GPS Navigation App
  • Zoom Maps for critical areas
  • GPX File
  • Hike Description
  • All in English!
  • Offline use
  • HD Quality
  • Optimized for Mobiles

Buy Now Add to Cart

Automatic immediate download link

Bonus Tip: Check out these additional Things To Do in the Ramon Crater area.

Scroll to Top