Red Canyon hike in Eilat mountains

Red Canyon Israel

The Red Canyon in Israel is a “classic”, easy and accessible hike near Eilat. The colorful and narrow gorge gives a good taste of desert hiking without sweating too much.

The Red Canyon
The “Red Canyon” is a short section of Wadi Shani that starts its way in the Sinai Desert (Egypt), crosses the border, and continues through the Eilat Mountains. At some point, the wadi carves its way deep into red sandstone, creating a narrow and impressive canyon. This section is known as the “Red Canyon”. A hike through the Red Canyon is one of the most popular routes in the Eilat Mountains.

Table of contents


Red canyon israel hiking map

  • The classic two kilometers circuit.
  • From the parking lot, follow the Green markers along the shallow wadi. After about 700 meters (Point 2 on the map), the gorge becomes deep and narrow. It is where the “Red Canyon” begins.
  • Continue down using the ladders and metal handles, and walk between the tall red walls.

ladders in the red canoyon, eilat, israel

  • Walk and look for the Black marked trail on your right that will take you back to the trailhead.


Eilat Red Canyon Jeep Tour
Guided Tour

Experience the Red Canyon on this half-day tour, with 2-way hotel transfers and a Jeep safari too. Your guide will help navigate the Red Canyon, then drive you through the mountains to the Mt. Yoash Observation Point.

Price from:
70 USD

Details & Booking


Hike Metrics
Distance5 Km
Short versions2 Km
Climb100 m
BestNov - Apr
PossibleNov - Apr
/ Start PointGoogle-Maps-icon-2020
Hike Description


Important Note: The hike is straightforward, but includes a few sections with metal wedges and ladders inside the narrow canyon!

  • The starting point for the walk: Parking area at the end of the dirt road (1).
  • Follow the ‡Green‡ markers down the Wadi. In the beginning, the Wadi is wide, but after a few hundred meters, the walls start closing, and we enter the canyon on a natural rock slide with handles. (2)
Red Canyon Hiking Map, Eilat, Irsael
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  • Over the next 500 m, we pass a series of small dry waterfalls and sharp turns as the canyon becomes narrower, reaching a width of less than 2 meters. The colors are a mix of Red, Brown, and Yellow. A real natural Gem!!

The red canyon from above

  • After this section, you will clearly understand where the nickname “Red Canyon” came from!
  • We reach a junction with a ‡Black‡ marked trail. (3)
  • Continue straight following the ‡Green‡ markers for about 1.5 km down the wide Wadi until a junction with another ‡Black‡ marked trail. (4)
  • Turn right and climb gently up the wadi on the ‡Black‡ marked wadi, until a tall, dry waterfall blocks the way.
  • The trail now climbs steeply on the left (East) bank to the head of the waterfall (5).
  • It is a great resting spot with excellent views.
  • Continue another 300 m with the ‡Black‡ markers until a junction with a ‡Red‡ marked trail. Turn right and follow it for 1 km, back to the starting point.

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How to get to the Red Canyon by bus?

Public bus #392 provides regular service from Eilat to Beersheva with a stop at the Red Canyon.

How to get by bus to eilat red canyonDaily departures on weekdays at: 09:00, 13:30, 15:00, 17:00.
Daily Return on weekdays at: 12:00, 13:15, 16:00, 19:45.
Price: 3.5$ one way.
(Click Map to enlarge)

How to get to the trailhead of the red canyonAfter you get off the bus. (Brown Icon on the map), you have to walk for about 1.5 kilometers to reach the trailhead. (Marked with “P” on the map). Follow the Red marked dirt road until a junction with a green marked dirt road. Branch right and follow the green markers until you reach the parking area and the trailhead.
(Click the map to enlarge)


How to get to the Red Canyon by car?

How to get to the trailhead of the red canyonDrive Northeast on road #12 out of Eilat until this location. Turn right onto a Red marked dirt road. Follow it for about one kilometer until a junction with a Green marked dirt road. Follow it for 400 meters until you reach the parking area and the trailhead.
(Click the map to enlarge)

Why are the Eilat Mountains so Colorful?

The Legend:

Many years ago, all the mountains in the world lacked colors and shades. The mountains turned to God and said, “Why we do not have colors like the birds, the butterflies, and the flowers. You gave all of them many different and beautiful colors, and only we, the mountains, are so gray and ugly …”? God listened to the mountains and decided to accept their request. He sent his angels, and they quickly painted the mountains. The polar mountains – In white color, the mountains in the desert – brown-yellow, the volcanoes – in black. So, the angels passed through the whole world and painted it with colors. When they reached the Eilat mountains, very little paint remained in their buckets. So, the angels decided to paint the Eilat Mountains in all the remaining colors: a little black, a little red and a little yellow. Therefore, the Eilat Mountains are the most colorful mountains in the world.

The Facts:

Formation Rocks:
The mountains of Eilat are at the northern end of a mountain mass called the Arab Tablet. This block is made up of a variety of underlying rocks that are sharp and serrated. The rock that stands out here is the Granite rock. It is a plutonic foundation rock, created by the slow cooling of a flow deep below ground. (Black Color)
Marine sedimentary rocks:
In the Eilat mountains, there are places where the foundation rocks are covered with marine sedimentary rocks such as chalk. These rocks sank into the sea when it covered the area. A “soft” and more rounded landscape. The relatively young sedimentary rocks are located alongside the ancient foundation rocks. The fact that rocks of different ages are found side-by-side is indicative of occurrences originating from the Earth’s internal forces, such as breakage.
Earth sedimentary rocks:
In certain places, mainly north of Eilat in the direction of Timna, the foundation rocks are covered with sedimentary rock, mostly in Nubian sandstone. This was formed by the erosion of the foundation rocks. The decaying material was washed from the foundation rocks, sank, coalesced, and solidified into the rock. (shades of Brown and Yellow)

The Red Canyon is one of the finest examples of colors variety in the Eilat mountains Range

Written by Erez Speiser

I am Erez Speiser. I live in the Galilee region in Israel. By education, I am a mechanical engineer. In 2018 I founded "Israel by Foot" to promote hiking tourism in Israel. Learn more in the About me Video. Do you want me to help you plan your hikes in Israel? Check out here. Or contact me

Red Canyon Israel – FAQ’s

How do I reach the Red Canyon by Bus?

No need to get ripped off with a private shuttle. There is a public bus #392 service from Eilat to Beersheva with a stop at the Red Canyon.

  • Daily departures on weekdays at: 09:00, 13:30, 15:00, 17:00
  • Daily Return on weekdays at: 12:00, 13:15, 16:00, 19:45
  • Price: 3.5$ one way.
  • Updated on February 2019

Where can I get a Hiking Map of the Red Canyon?

You can get the Hiking Map here

Are the shuttle services from Eilat to the Red Canyon?

Yes. Several companies offer these shuttles. Check with your hotel reception desk. However, there is no need to pay their high fees as there is also a good public bus service with Eged line #392.

How long is the Red Canyon Hike?

Between 2 and 5 Kilometers depending on the version you choose. You can find more details here.

What are the opening hours of the Red Canyon?

The canyon is open 24/7.

What is the entrance fee to the Red Canyon?

The Red Canyon is inside a natural reserve but the entrance is free of charge.

How far is the Red Canyon from Eilat?

22 Kilometers (14 Miles)

What is the real name of the Red Canyon?

Wadi Shani

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