This is a challenging and very rewarding true Desert Trek. Secluded desert paths, Deep Dramatic Canyons, Desert Springs, Amazing views of Masada and the Dead sea. All of this is combined with our “user-friendly” Inn to Inn program.

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Overview Map

Masada Trek Overview Map

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A very “natural” Inn to Inn program with almost no vehicle transfers. (Only two short drives on the 1st & 3rd days!). During the trek, you will visit two very well-known spots; Masada and Ein Gedi. However, you will visit them in a unique way. Avoiding the crowds and boosting the experience to a much higher level. Most of the trails are secluded, and you are likely to meet only a handful of hikers on the trails. The last evening is at the Ein Gedi hotel and SPA. A fantastic place to treat yourself after several tough days in the outdoors.
The best time of year for this trek is the winter months, December-March. With mostly pleasant temperatures and still a low chance for rain. It is still possible to hike in November and April, but with a higher risk of “suffering” hot weather.
Pay attention to the weather forecast regarding the risk of flash floods. In case of such a threat, we will guide you with the necessary changes in the route to stay safe.

  • Your hike from one accommodation the next with a small day back-pack. We transfer your luggage from “Inn to Inn”.
  • Handpicked Hikers-Friendly Accommodations.
  • Hiking Maps. (See Sample1 & Sample2).
  • Trek Guidebook (e-book – See Sample)
  • GPS mobile Navigation App. (See Sample)
  • Briefing meeting. You can select one of the below options:
  • 1) Video Chat (Zoom or Skype): One detailed meeting about 1-2 weeks before the trek. A second meeting at the evening before the start to finalize the last details.
    2) Face to Face Meeting: One meeting a day before the start, or any other day before that during your stay in Israel.
    * Possible locations for the meeting: Haifa, any location north of Haifa (Galilee / Golan), Tel Aviv, or Ben Gurion Airport.
  • 24/7 Customer service support.

Testimonials on Google from Real Hikers of the Judean Desert Trek

Bas (NL)

5 stars rating review

The best experience of our time in Israel!

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Francesco (UK)

5 stars rating review

it was a great experience and thanks to Erez for the maps

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Jamie (AU)

5 stars rating review

Outstanding trekking experience in the Judaen desert

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Check out all our reviews on  , A total of 40+ reviews with an Average Score of 4.9/5

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 –  Arrival at Arad

  • Arrive at your convenient time in the small desert town Arad.
  • The town is well served by public buses from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ben-Gurion Airport.
  • We will meet in the afternoon/evening for a detailed briefing meeting to discuss all aspects of the trek and ensure that the GPS app functions properly.
  • Preferred Lodging: Inbar Hotel, Arad
  • The next morning a taxi will take you to the trailhead.

Day 2 – The Zeelim Canyon

Zeelim Canyon


  • Distance: 16.5 Km (7-9 Hours) / Climb: 300 m
  • Starting Point:  Road #3199
  • End Point: Masada
  • Overnight: Ein Bokek
  • Preferred Lodging: Oasis Hotel (Or equivalent) at Ein Bokek.


  • An exhilarating day! You start with a short taxi shuttle to our trailhead.
  • After a few easy warm-up kilometers, you reach the cliff-top of the mighty Zeelim Canyon. It is one of the Judean desert’s biggest and most beautiful canyons. A good location for a short break before the descent into the gorge.
  • The descent is via an ancient desert footpath. At the bottom, you arrive at the Naama pool. The depth of the water can be 1-2 meters depending on the rainfall in previous weeks.
  • The walk along the canyon between the steep walls is a great experience. After about 2 Kilometers, you reach Ein Namer (The “Leopard” spring). Another attraction that calls for a break.
  • The name reminds us that this rare water source was used by the local desert leopards that once inhabited the Judean desert in the past. They are now nearly extinct. (Recent studies claim that there are 1-2 leopards still living in the Judean desert)
  • The following section is called the “Shiny valley”. It is a deep narrow gorge made of shiny white rocks.
  • You climb out of the canyon on another ancient path. As you climb, the Dead Sea suddenly comes into view.
  • The trail ends at the base of Masada.
  • From here, take a 15-minute bus ride to your hotel at Ein Bokek.

Day 3 -Meet Masada in an unexpected and unique way!

View of Masada from Elazar Mountain
View From Elazar Mountain


  • Distance: 16-18 Km (6-8 Hours) / Climb: 600 m.
  • Short version: 8-10 Km (3-5 Hours) / Climb 500 m
  • Starting Point: Ein Bokek.
  • End Point: Masada.
  • Overnight: Ein Bokek.
  • Preferred Lodging: Oasis Hotel (Or equivalent) at Ein Bokek.
  • You start on foot from the hotel, following the INT (Israel National Trail) northwards parallel to the main road.
  • After about 4 Km, the trail starts climbing the cliff to the desert plateau.
  • Midway on the plateau, you can make a short detour to an excellent viewpoint on the Rahaf Gorge.
  • A few kilometers further north, you reach the highlight of the day, the summit of mount Elazar.
  • Suddenly, the majestic Masada fortress lies in front of you. (Pictured above).
  • After absorbing the view, you continue to the foot of the Roman ramp at the back entrance to Masada.
  • Climb the Roman ramp to Masada.
  • After touring the site, you can go down the snake path or with the cable car.
  • Get back to your hotel in Ein Bokek by bus (About 15 minutes).
  • If you prefer a more leisurely hike, you can do this Circular Masada Hike instead.

Day 4 – Mishmar Canyon

Mishmar Gorge - Judean Desert


  • Distance: 20 Km (9-11 Hours) / Climb: 800 m
  • Short alternative: A round trip in Wadi Mishmar (12 Km / Climb 350 m – Extra transport charge – 350 NIS)
  • Starting Point: Wadi Mishmar
  • End Point: Kibbutz Ein Gedi
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Ein Gedi
  • Preferred Lodging: Ein Gedi Hotel


  • A short taxi ride will take you a few kilometers north to the entrance of wadi Mishmar.
  • Another famous Judean desert canyon. An exciting and challenging hike up the narrow gorge will bring you to a dry horseshoe waterfall and desert spring  (Ein Mishmar).
  • Walking up the gorge involves crossing pools, getting wet, and climbing a few metal ladders. (Bring extra dry shoes and cloth)
  • If this genre is not for you, you can easily bypass it with a trail that traverses above the gorge.
  • From Ein Mishmar, the are two options:
  • The regular version climbs steeply to the canyon’s north side, follows the desert plateau, and down to Kibbutz Ein Gedi, reaching the accommodation on foot. (Total of 20 km).
  • If this is too long, return along the trails that pass above the canyon back to the starting point.  From there, a taxi shuttle (10 minutes drive) will bring you to the accommodation. (Extra charge 350 NIS)


Day 5 – Ein Gedi Reserve – The grand circuit

Ein Gedi - The Hidden Wtarefall


  • Distance: 12 Km (4-6 Hours)
  • Climb: 500
  • Start / End Point: Kibbutz Ein Gedi


  • A delightful dessert to end a great trek with a hike in the famous Ein Gedi natural reserve.
  • 95% of the visitors to the reserve will walk up and down the Arugot or David stream. However, Ein-Gedi has much more to offer to the serious hiker.
  • The day starts with the iconic view of the Dead-Sea peeking through the “Window” Waterfall.
  • From there, a tough ascend on the ancient and beautifully built Ein Gedi pass with more views on the Dead sea from high above.
  • The last part of the day is along the gushing water of the Arugot stream with its refreshing pools and cascades.
  • Don’t forget your bathing suit and enjoy a swim at the pool beneath the hidden waterfall!

It is a relatively short day, and you can use the extra time to enjoy some other activities in and around Ein Gedi.

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