The sea of Galilee seen from Mount Arbel

Israel Mountains

This is not a “Standard Guide” on Mountains in Israel. Besides the basic information you get with other guides, we provide the information on how to reach the summit of each mountain (whether it is by vehicle or by hiking) accompanied by a hiking map or a link to the relevant page on the website.

Mount Hermon

Location: North of the Golan Heights.
Altitude: 2,814 (In Syria). Highest Summit in Israel: 2,224

The Mountain:
The Hermon is a narrow mountain ridge that forms the Lebanon-Syria boundary along its spine. The ridge is about 70km long, but only 10% of its southern area is inside the land of Israel. The highest peak is 2814 m, and it is in Syria. The highest point in Israel is 2224 meters, but it is part of a military outpost and closed to the public. What we are left with to visit is a 2020 m summit. Because of its significant height, Mount Hermon captures a great deal of precipitation compared with the surroundings. The mountain gets snowfall each year and has a white cap typically between December and April. In mid-winter, the snowline starts around 1500-1700 m. Although it gets about 1500 mm of annual rainfall, no major rivers are running down the Hermon. Most of the water seeps into the limestone rocks, feeding powerful springs that form at the base of the mountain. These springs are the major source of the Jordan river.
The Hermon Ski Resort is the only ski resort in Israel and attracts many skiers and families with kids that come to see the snow (A rare sight for Israelis)

How to reach the Summit?
The 2,224 point is part of an army base and is not accessible to the public. The highest point we can reach is 2,020 m
By car:
Drive to the upper parking lot and take the chair lift to the top. During winter, especially on weekends, it is usually crowded, so expect a long wait.
The Hike:
Its a great hike with fantastic views on northern Israel and southern Lebanon. You will be walking on the highest marked trail in Israel, climbing from 1400 m up to 2020 m. The trail goes on the south ridge, not inside the ski resort, and offers tranquility and a feeling of a real hike.
Distance: 4 Kilometers
Climb: 600 meters
The hike is straightforward. From the southern edge of the parking lot, follow the Green markers all the way to the upper ski-lift station. The first section is a moderate ascend on a dirt road. After about a kilometer, the trail leaves the dirt road and climbs steeply to the summit of mount Habushit (1930 m) (The best spot of the hike). From there, its about 0.5 km to the upper station of the ski-lift. Go down with the chair-lift and then walk along the road about 2 kilometers to the lower car park (Or hitchhike)
Important: Hiking on the trail must be approved by the regional brigade at least one day prior (phone number: +97246966207.Usualy approved without any problems)

Mount Hermon Hiking Map

Mount Hermon Hiking MaP
Click for High Quality map

Mount Bental

Location: Northern Golan heights, near Kibbutz Merom Golan.
Altitude: 1,165 m

The Mountain:
Bental is an extinct volcano. It is a part of the volcano rim together with the Avital mountain south of it, together they form the crater which has a horseshoe shape with a southern opening that was caused by the lava flow. From the summit, there is an amazing 360° panorama to the plains of the Golan in both Israel and Syria and to mount Hermon. On the top, you can also enjoy food and drinks at the “Coffee Anan” restaurant (with a balcony).

How to Reach the summit?
A narrow road reaches the summit. No need to walk. If you do want to walk up, Section #5 of the Golan Trail climbs the mountain from one side and goes down on the other.

Mount Meron

Mount Meron

Location: Upper Galilee.
Altitude: 1,212 m

The Mountain:
Mount Meron is the highest mountain in the Galilee and the highest summit in Israel west of the Jodan river. An air force base is located on the summit itself, but about 50 m below, there is a hiking trail that makes a 360° circle around the peak providing great views to all directions. The slopes from all sides are densely forested with a beautiful and varied Mediterranean forest.

How to Reach the Summit?
A road serving the army base reaches very close to the summit and the beginning of the hiking trail. Near the parking, there are picnic tables and pleasant sitting areas, but no views. To enjoy the panorama, you will need to make an easy but beautiful short hike.

The Hike:
Distance: 2 Km
Climb: Almost Flat.
Just follow the red markers along the trail that makes a 2 kilometers almost flat circle around the summit only 50 meters below the peak. On a clear day, you can see from Mount Hermon on the northeast down to the Mediterranean Sea and everything in between. A great choice if you are looking for a short hike while traveling in the Galilee.

Mount Meron Hiking Map

Mount Meron Hiking Map
Click for High Quality

Mount Tabor

Looking East from Mount Tabor

Location: Eastern lower Galilee.
Altitude: 575 m

The Mountain:
In the center of the Lower Galilee, Mount Tabor rises prominently above the surrounding valleys. Its commanding height relative to its surroundings made it an interesting point that brought to its summit warlords and prophets, who have created fascinating history spanning over thousands of years. The trail at the top of the mountain takes us for an easy circular hike with spectacular views on northern Israel. The mountain is important to both Christians and Jews and is mentioned seven times in the bible. Read more about its bible significance here.

How to reach the summit?
A narrow road serving the Church of Transfiguration reaches very close to the summit and the beginning of the hiking trail. Near the parking, there are picnic tables and pleasant sitting areas, but no views. To enjoy the panorama, you will need to make an easy and beautiful short hike.

The Hike:
Distance: 2 Km
Climb: Almost Flat.
Just follow the Black markers along the trail that makes a 2 kilometers almost flat circle around the summit. On a clear day, you can see a wide-ranging panorama of northern Israel. If you are looking for a more serious hike to climb to the summit check out our Mount Tabor Hike.

Mount Arbel

The sea of Galilee seen from Mount Arbel
View from Mount Arbel

Location: Eastern Galilee.
Altitude: 181 m (380 meters above the Sea of Galilee)

The Mountain:
As we drive on Route 90, by the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the impressive sight of the high and steep cliff rising directly 400 meters above the road cannot be ignored. Mount Arbel is indeed impressive when you look at it from below, but the view from its summit is even more beautiful. Without a doubt, this is one of the most beautiful lookouts in Israel.

How to reach the Summit?
Mount Arbel is a part of the Arbel National Park, which includes in addition to the summit view, the ancient Arbel synagogue and the Arbel fortress. You can reach the summit in an easy, almost flat walk from the parking lot of the national park or make a full day hike climbing from the Sea of Galilee and visiting along the route also the ancient synagogue and the fortress.

Hod Akev

View from Hod Akev, Negev Desert, Israel

Location: Negev Desert.
Altitude: 576 m

The Mountain:
“Hod Akev” translates to English as the “Needle of the heel”. It’s a cone-shaped, steep mountain rising sharply above the Zin valley. Its altitude is not significant, but because of its location and its height relative to the surroundings, it is seen from afar, and the desert views from the top are overwhelming.

How to reach the Summit?
The Israel National trail passes through Hod Akev. Climbing from one side and descending from the other. The approach from the north is steep and technical, requiring the aid of metal handles installed along the trail. The approach from the south is on a comfortable path but still requires effort. The base of the mountain is about 5 Km walk on a dirt road from Midreshet Ben-Gurion. The best recommendation is to combine the climb with a visit to Akev spring. One of the classic hikes of the Negev Desert.

Mount Ardon

The colorful Makhtesh Ramon viewed from the summit of Mount Ardon

Location: Makhtesh Ramon.
Altitude: 722 m

The mountain:
Mount Ardon is not an “independent mountain”, it is a prominent point on the walls surrounding the carter. It has a unique trapeze shape and a flat table-style summit. It’s a great experience to walk on the “edge of the table” with the views of the complete Makhtesh Ramon in sight.

How to reach the Summit:
You can reach the foot of the mountain with a vehicle (On a dirt road that is passable also for private cars). From there it’s a steep 300 m climb. The circular 6 kilometers hike is short but tough. Highly recommended for hikers.

Mount Carmel

The view from the Carmelite Monastery of St Elijah

Location: Near Haifa
Altitude: 546

The mountain:
The Carmel is a long and narrow ridge with a north-south orientation rising parallel to the Mediterranean Sea. It is the closest mountain in Israel to the sea. The mountain is forested with mostly ever-Green trees and, therefore, is also named in Israel the “Green Mountain”.
The city of Haifa occupies the northern area of the ridge.  The central and higher area of the mountain is a national park with many picnic areas, hiking, and biking trails. It serves as a popular weekend retreat. The only settlements in this area are Kibbutz Beit Oren and two Druze villages, Dalyat el Carmel and Usfiya (All were built before the national park was declared). The mountain is mentioned many times in the bible, the most famous being the battle between Elijah and the Baal prophets (1 Kings 18).

How to reach the summit?
The highest point of 546 m is near the main road in Usfiya at coordinate 32.729819, 35.049781. You can access it in a few minutes’ walk from the road. However, because it is flat and forested, there is no view from this point. To enjoy excellent views from Mount Carmel, we recommend visiting the Muhraka Monetary. You can just visit it and enjoy great views from the balcony or make a beautiful hike in the area.

Mount Gilboa

Jeezrael Valley from mount Gilboa Summit

Location: East Jezreel Valley
Altitude: 536 m

The Mountain:
The Gilboa is an 18 Km long ridge in an east-west orientation. It is the northeastern edge of the Samaria mountains and the southern border of the Jezreel valley. There is a scenic road (Road #667) crossing the ridge that enables excellent views on the Jezreel and Jordan valleys with effortless access. The Gilboa is mentioned several times in the bible. The most famous being the curse in 2 Samuel 1:21 ” You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain…”, and indeed the mountain is arid with only 400 mm/year of rain.

How to reach the Summit?
The summit of 538 m is very near Malkishua at 32.436466, 35.419440, But there is no trail reaching it and also no wide-ranging views. To enjoy great views, we recommend the Shaul summit (302 m) and the Barkan summit (497 m). Both with great views on the Jezreel valley below. You can find in our Bible Walks section a  detailed description for visiting it.

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
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