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View from Hod Akev, Negev Desert, Israel

The 3 Negev Craters – “Inn to Inn” Trek

Hike the 3 Negev Craters (Makhtesh) in one “Inn to Inn” Trek. Visit amazing viewpoints, canyons, and magical desert springs. A real desert experience!!

Leran More

Overview Map

5 Days Negev inn to inn trek overview map

Click Map to Enlarge

There are only a few towns and villages in the vast space of the Negev desert, posing a big challenge to plan an Inn to Inn Trek. To solve it, we had to use longer vehicle transfers compared to the other treks. However, the result is a challenging trek that connects the 3 Negev carters (Makhtesh) and passing through some of the most exciting paths the Negev Desert has to offer:

The best time of year for this trek are the winter months December-March. With mostly pleasant temperatures and still a very low chance for rain. In November and April, it is still possible to hike, 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)
  • A briefing meeting at your accommodation the evening before your journey starts.
  • 24/7 Customer service support.
Are you a Single Hiker?
The standard price with full service is very expensive for single hikers. The reasons are that many costs are not split, and many of our standard selected accommodations charge from a single in a room almost the same price as for a couple.

We have a solution for you if you are willing to reduce the service level:

  • Settle for a phone/Skype briefing instead of a face to face briefing.
  • Sleep in Shared Dorms instead of private rooms.
  • Available only for the 3 days version!

Select a “LowCost”  Trek from the Treks list in the price calculator to get the budget price

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 0 – Dimona

  • We will meet in the afternoon/evening for a detailed briefing meeting to discuss all aspects of the trek, provide you with maps, and make sure that the GPS app function properly.
  • Preferred Lodging: Drachim Hotel, Dimona
  • The next morning a taxi will take you to the trailhead.

Day 1 – The small & Big Makhtesh

  • Hatira Canyon from "Nakeb el Yahud"
    Hatira Canyon

  • Distance: 14 – 21  Km. (7-10 Hours) / Climb: 550 m (Several distance options to choose from)
  • Starting Point: Head of the Scorpion Pass
  • End Point: The big Makhtesh
  • Overnight: Dimona
  • Preferred Lodging: Drachim Hotel, Dimona
  • Our accommodation is in the small desert town Dimona
  • A short taxi ride will take us to the trailhead at the head of the Scorpion Pass.
  • If you opt for the more extended version, start by making the short 4 Km (Out and back) walk to a fantastic viewpoint over the Small Maktesh (Crater).  If you prefer to walk only 14-16 Km, you can skip this side trip.
  • The route then takes us through an ancient small fort and interesting rock formations down to the deep Hatira Canyon.
  • In the Hatira Canyon, we will pass two amazing spots: The “Nakeb el Yahud” pass & Yorkeam Spring.
  • For dessert, we will climb to the top of the eastern wall of the crater for a great view of the Big Makhtesh.
  • After descending into the Big Makhtesh, a short taxi ride will take us back to the hotel in Dimona.

Day 2 – Daroch Horseshoe and Zin Valley

  • Zin valley from Daroch canyon
    Daroch Canyon
  • A short taxi ride will take us to the trail-head near the religious community of Merchav Am.
  • We start the walk in the wide Hatzatz Wadi. If you are lucky and making this walk in January, you have a good chance to encounter fields of beautiful Narcissus flowers. The scenery of the flowers blooming in the middle of the desert is truly unique!
  • From the ridge, at the end of wadi Hatzatz we descend into the Daroch canyon. The canyon has a narrow and exciting section, featuring the beautiful rock formation nicknamed the “Daroch Horseshoe”.
  • Shortly after, all of a sudden, the view opens up on the Zin valley below.
  • After a steep descent, we reach a dirt road at the bottom of the valley.
  • At this point (after 15 Km), you can end the hike and go the remaining 6 Km with a “Jeep Taxi”. (Must be prearranged at an additional cost of 300 NIS for up to 6 persons)
  • Or follow the dirt road and reach by foot your accommodation at Midreshet Ben-Gurion.

Day 3 – To Ancient Avdat via Akev Spring

  • View from Hod Akev, Negev Desert, Israel
    Hod Akev
  • Today’s hiking starts directly from our accommodation.
  • The total walking distance is 19 km. However, you can “save” the first 6 km which are on a dirt road with a “Jeep Taxi” (Must be pre-arranged and has an extra cost of 300 NIS for up to 6 hikers)
  • The first highlight of the day is a climb to “Hod Akev” (translates to “Needle of the heel”). It is steep and at times, technical and vertiginous ascend. Many hikers will find it very exciting; others might prefer to avoid it. (For those that prefer to avoid, there is a comfortable bypass).
  • The top is a tiny flat area with steep cliffs on all sides and a breathtaking view of the Negev Desert.
  • The much easier descend to the other side takes us to another desert gem. Ein Akev spring. A magical desert spring with a deep pool and icy cold water. A fantastic swimming opportunity in the middle of the desert.
  • The trail continues up the Akev wadi to the upper Akev spring. A Much smaller spring, but still a great resting point.
  • Another 5 km further, we reach the end of the trail and the ancient Nabatean town of Avdat, definitely worth a visit. (Closes at 16:00)
  • A short shuttle will take you from Avdat to our Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon.

Day 4 -From Mitzpe Ramon to “Ramon tooth”

  • Ramon Tooth (Shen Ramon)
    Ramon tooth
  • On the edge of the Ramon, Crater cliff sits the visitors center. A mandatory station before a visit to the Makhtesh area. The visit includes observation from a panoramic observation window. A dynamic and interactive exhibit that combines videos and a 3D model of Makhtesh. Another section is dedicated to the story of Ilan Ramon (The first Israeli astronaut). It includes exciting films and a display of exhibits from his journey to space. It is recommended to book ahead of time (English tour). Phone: +972-8-6216859
  • From the Visitors center, we descend rather steeply down to the bed of the crater.
  • After several kilometers, we reach the foot of the southern wall of the crater.
  • One of the highlights of the day is the climb to the top of the wall to the “Shen Ramon” summit (The “Tooth of Ramon”) where you get a 360 degrees panorama of the Makhtesh and the surrounding Negev desert.
  • After a steep descent to the other side of the mountain, we reach another impressive landmark: The Ammonite wall.
  • From here, its a short distance to the main road #40 that crosses Makhtesh Ramon, where a Taxi will take us back to our hotel in Mitzpe Ramon.
  • If you still have some power go on a Star Gazing tour. A fantastic night experience.

Day 5 – Mount Ardon and Nekraot HorseShoe

  • The colorful Makhtesh Ramon viewed from the summit of Mount Ardon
    View from Mount Ardon
  • Distance: 16 Km (7-8 Hours) / Climb: 600 m
  • Starting Point: Road #40, Makhtesh Ramon.
  • End Point: At the foot of Mount Ardon.
  • The morning starts with a short taxi shuttle to the heart of Mitzpe Ramon (Where the previous day ended).
  • After a few smooth and flat kilometers, we will make a short but steep climb to Mount Saharonim. A knife-shaped ridge that is part of the crater’s wall.
  • To our left, we get a great view of the Ramon crater. We follow the ridge near the top of the “knife” and descend on the other side to Nekarot Wadi.
  • We walk through this beautiful horseshoe-shaped canyon with its unique colors and rock formation.
  • Another few kilometers further, we reach the foot of Mount Ardon, the final highlights of the trek and a perfect dessert for our adventure.
  • The ascend is tough and steep, but worth every bit of effort. The views of the Makhtesh from the summit are amazing.
  • After the descent to the other side of the mountain, a “Jeep Taxi”  will take us back to Mitspe Ramon.


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