The climb to Masada

Turn a “Standard” visit to Masada into an unforgettable Hiking Experience!  Combine your visit to Masada with an exciting hike through the Roman siege camps. Get amazing views of Masada from different directions.

Hike Metrics
Distance8.5 Km (Add 2 Km for touring Masada site)
Short version4.5 Km
Climb350 m
BestDec - Mar
PossibleNov - Apr
(The short version can be done Oct - May if you start hiking at Sunrise)
Start PointGoogle-Maps-icon-2020
Hike Description

Turn your visit to Masada into a Unique Experience!
 Climb up the mountain on the ancient “Runners” path, visit the  Masada site, then get back down via Elazar mountain. You will visit the ruins of several Roman siege camps and get amazing views of Masada from different angles. You will also enjoy a true desert atmosphere away for the crowds.

To get the most out of this route we suggest learning a little about Masada and especially about the Roman siege.[ Masada (Wikipedia) / Siege on Masada (Wikipedia) ]

Important note: If you want to combine the hike with a visit to Masada Archaeological site, you need to but the entrance ticket before you start!


Detailed hiking map

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  • For the short version finish the tour at Masada site and descend with the Cable Car.
  • Starting point –  parking area at Masada National Park (1). (entrance fee required)
  • Follow the signs to the “Snake Trail” on an unmarked dirt road for about 500 m until the junction with the ‡Red‡ marker. (2)
  • On your right, you can see the ruins of a Roman siege camp.
  • Turn right and follow the ‡Red‡ markers for about 1.3 Km until he junction with the ‡Green‡ marker. (3)
  • Turn left and follow the ‡Green‡ markers. You are now on the “Runner Trail”. This trail was used by the Roman messengers (runners) to pass information between the camps.
  • You climb steeply about 200 m. As you gain height you get good views on the Northern palace of Masada and the Roman Ramp.
Masada Northern Palace. View from the "Runner" Path
Masada Northern Palace. View from the “Runner” Path

This is the Perfect Spot for an extended break to enjoy the view and learn about the story of Masada.

  • At the top of the cliff, the trail curves left. Continue with the ‡Green‡ markers until you reach the back (West) entrance to Masada. (4).
  • Turn left and ascend to Masada on the Roam Ramp trail.
  • Tour the site and walk down back to (4). (Or descend with the cable care if you choose the short version)
Guided Tour

  • Start at the desert town of Arad.
  • Hike the Zeelim Canyon.
  • Climb to Masada
  • Reach Ein Gedi after 4 days of desert hiking.

Inn to Inn Hiking with Luggage Tranfer

  • Turn Left and follow the ‡Red‡ markers into the Masada Wadi.
  • After about 750 m you will notice that the Wadi makes a sharp left turn.
  • Leave the trail and follow the Wadi shortly until the big dry waterfall.
  • Enjoy the dramatic cliff and the great view down to the dead sea.
  • Continue with the ‡Red‡ markers now into a short steep climb to the saddle of Elazar mountain (5).
  • Turn left on the ‡Black‡ markers to reach the top of Elazar mountain near the Ruins of the Roman Siege camp H.
View of Masada from Elazar Mountain
View From Elazar Mountain
  • Enjoy the view and imagine the Roman soldiers standing at the same spot.
  • A perfect location for a long break.
  • Continue for about 1.7 Km with the ‡Black‡ markers down steeply all the way to the starting point (1).

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  • Quality Hiking Maps
  • GPS Navigation App
  • Zoom Maps for critical areas
  • GPX File
  • Hike Description
  • All in English!
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