Timna Park is a popular day trip from Eilat, providing many attractions for kids and famous landmarks. Our guide also includes several hikes that will take you to the more secluded and rewarding spots in the park.
Table of contents
- Timna Park Map
- Main sites (Solomon Pillars, Mushroom, etc…)
- Tours from Eilat
- Arches Hike
- Mount Timna Hike
- Timna Bird’s eye Hike
- Mountain Biking.
- Basic Information (Prices, Hours)
- How to get to Timna Park
TIMNA PARK MAP
TIMNA PARK OVERVIEW
The park situated about 25 Kilometers north of Eilat and 8 Kilometers north of Ramon Airport. The park area is large and therefore it is recommended to visit it with a car or an organized tour. The typical distance between one attraction to the next is about 5 kilometers. Another option is to leave your car at the entrance and tour the park on mountain bikes (Can be rented in the park).
There are two main reasons to visit the park:
The 1st, which we will cover here in detail, is the fantastic selection of natural attractions that can be visited within a small area. All the essential attractions can be reached within a few minutes’ walk from the parking lots. However, it is possible (and highly recommended) to combine these attractions into an exciting desert hike. We provide a detailed description and Hiking Maps for such 3 hikes inside the Timna Park:
- Short hike to the stone arches and copper peer.
- Mount Timna and Solomon Pillars hike.
- Hike on the cliffs above the Timna Park.
The 2nd reason that brings many visitors, is a variety of attractions for small kids, including pedal boats on the lake, colored sand bottle craft, making “King Solomon’s copper stamps”, and more. To get more information on this type of attractions, we recommend checking the park’s official website.
The main archeological findings in the Timna Valley are connected with ancient copper mining. Copper mines and mining peers at Timna Park can be seen throughout the park as well as remains of melting furnaces dating back to King Solomon’s period (10th century BCE). Mining continued by the Israelites and Nabataeans until the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, and during the Roman period. (Further reading on copper mining in Timna Park). The best way to see peers and mining caves is to go on the Arches Hike.
TIMNA PARK MAIN LANDMARKS
Table of contents
Solomon Pillars in Timna Park
Solomon’s pillars are red sandstone rock formations that look like huge stone pillars. The 40 meters tall pillars were formed by wind and water erosion. The impressive shape of the pillars that resembles a temple brought the ancient Egyptians, (1300 BCE) who carved copper in the Timna Valley to erect a temple to the goddess of Hathor at their foot. You can park the car here, and continue on foot for a few minutes to the site, or go a 12 kilometers hike that climbs to the summit of Timna Mountain and visits the pillars along the way.
The “Mushroom” in Timna Park
The “Mushroom” is another unique natural formation, formed by the erosion of the red sandstone. The bottom of the rock experienced a more rapid erosion resulting in the beautiful mushroom shape we see today. Park here, and walk a few minutes to see the “Mushroom”.
Timna Park Stone Arches
The Arches that were created by the erosion of the sandstone created several natural windows on the cliff. Some in the shape of a circle and others of an arch. Since they are located above the valley floor, the view of through the arch is fantastic. You can park your car here, and view the Arches from the valley, or go on a 3 kilometers hike and pass through the arches from one side to the other. The hike is very short but challenging and includes sections of climbing with the aid of metal handles and ladders that are installed on the rocks.
The “Chariots” (Rock Engravings in Timna Park)
The “Chariots” are ancient engravings dating to the 14th century BCE, located on the wall of a small gorge. The drawings show Egyptian chariots alongside a hunting scene. In the visitor center, you can observe additional engravings that were found around the Timna Park.
Timna Lake is an artificial lake collecting flash floods water. Surrounding the lake are shaded seating areas, a playground, and a restaurant. Also plenty of attractions for kids: Paddle boat hire, filling miniature bottles with colorful sand, Camel rides, and stamping of Copper “King Solomon’s Coins”.
TIMNA PARK TOUR FROM EILAT
The best way to visit Timna Park is in a private car. If you choose to go by bus, you will need to walk about 3 kilometers from the bus station to the park’s entrance. Therefore if you don’t have a car, we recommend joining an organized tour from Eilat that will bring you to all the main landmarks of the Timna Park.
TIMNA ARCHES AND MINES HIKE
It is the most popular short hike in Timna park, and justly so. Although it’s just 3 Km long, it is an exciting hike that includes some rock climbing with the aid of metal ladders, plus fantastic views on the Timna Valley.
- From the parking lot walk about 300 meters back on the road and look for the beginning of a Green Trail.
- Turn left and start following the Green markers down a short gorge.
- At the end of the gorge, turn left and continue with the Green Trail.
- The trail leads us to the “Plates Field”. The area is full of bright dents in the ground nicknamed “Plates”. It is not a natural phenomenon, but the remains of ancient mining shafts. About 8,000 “Plates” were discovered in the Timna Valley, indicating the extensive mining activity in the area.
- From here we continue to the “Small Arch”. From the Arch, there is a good view of the Timna Valley, with Mount Timna dominating the scenery. (You can climb on mount Timna in our second hike)
- From the Small Arch, descend into the valley between the two arches. At the end of the descent, you reach a junction with a RedTrail.
- Start climbing on the Red Trail toward the ‘Big Arch” with the aid of metal handles installed in the rocks. The spots call for an extended break. (But is usually very crowded).
- Descend to the other side of the arc with the aid of another ladder.
- After a short walk on the Red Trail, you will reach the junction with a Black Trail. Near the junction, you can spot a cave opening in the sandstone cliff. (The name of the cave is “The Egyptian miner’s cave”)
- Enter the cave (no headlamp needed) and immediately begin a challenging climb of 15 m with the aid of metal handles installed in the rocks. At the end of the climb exit through a narrow opening in the top of the cave towards a “terrace” in the sandstone rocks.
- From here, continue to climb on a ladder and reach a balcony with a beautiful view of the Timna Park.
- Continue walking on the Black Trail until meeting The Red Trail again.
- Follow the Red Trail inside a small gorge. Along the walls, you can identify ancient mining peers.
- Continue walking until a junction with a Blue Trail.
- Turn left and follow the Blue Trail back to the parking lot.
- Along the way, you will pass another ancient mine. (Possible to go inside and visit). This mine is considered to be the oldest copper mine in the Timna Valley, and some say in the entire world.
MOUNT TIMNA AND SOLOMON PILLARS HIKE
The Timna park is usually crowded, especially the famous landmarks and short hikes. However, If you make the extra effort of climbing to the summit of Timna Mountain, you are very likely to enjoy majestic views with the tranquility of the desert.
Distance: 12 Kilometers
Climb: 400 Meters
Starting Point: Main entrance.
- From the main park entrance and visitor center, follow the main road into the park for about 3 km. (If you are visiting with 2 cars, you can “save” these 3 kilometers and leave your second car here)
- Look for a Black Trail marking on your left (2). Turn left and start following the Black Trail.
- The path starts climbing towards a black Granite hill. It passes slightly below the summit, but make a small extra effort and climb to the summit (3).
- You are rewarded with excellent views of the colorful Timna valley and the tablet-shaped Timna mountain you will reach later.
- Continue with the Black Trail for 2.7 Km, until the trail descends to the valley and meets a junction of wide dirt roads (4).
- Turn right on the unmarked dirt road and follow it for about 700 meters until you reach the Solomon Pillars (5). The spot might be over-crowded but still deserves a visit.
- On your way notice on your right the ruins of an ancient Egyptian temple to the goddess of Hathor
- After enjoying the natural wonder of the Solomon Pillars, retrace your steps back to the junction with Black Trail (4).
- Continue straight on the same dirt road for a few minutes until you reach a junction with the INT (Israel National Trail).
- Turn left and start following the INT markings climbing gradually towards the summit of the Timna Mountain. After about an hour of a challenging hike, you will reach the flat table-shape summit of Mount Timna (5).
- Leave the marked trail and walk around the flat summit. This will give you amazing views each time in a different direction.
- To the west are the steep cliffs of the Timna Valley western rim (You can walk on these cliffs on our Timna Bird’s Eye Hike). To the south and east extends the flat Arava valley and behind it the Edom Mountains in Jordan. To the north lies the reddish Timna Valley, in which small hills are scattered in unique shapes. A perfect spot for an extended break.
- From the summit, continue to follow the INT for another 3 Km until you are back at the park’s entrance (1).
TIMNA BIRD’S EYE HIKE
The hike does not start at the Timna park, however, it is my favorite Timna Hike! An amazing trail above the backdrop of the Timna Valley. Walk on a secluded and amazing trail along the cliff, 500 meters above the valley for an unforgettable vista.
Distance: 7 Kilometers
Climb: 250 Meters
Starting Point: A dirt road in the Eilat mountain (30 minutes’ drive from Eilat). Google-Maps
Driving Directions: From the Google-Maps location, Turn to the Green marked dirt road and follow it for 5.9 Km, then turn right to the blue marked dirt road and follow it for an additional 3.7 Km until a Junction with a Green marked dirt road. (A detailed driving map is supplied with the download pack). The dirt roads are suitable for a regular passenger car.
- Start at the Junction of a Green and Blue dirt roads (1).
- Follow the Green Trail along the wide Matak Wadi.
- At first, there is nothing special to see. But gradually, the wadi narrows and the banks of the gorge are filled with colored sand and rocks, in shades of yellow, brown and white. In between the rocks and on the ground are small white stones, made of phosphorus. This material causes the stones to “twinkle” in the sun’s rays.
- Walk 1.9 Km until a junction with an unmarked wadi joining it from the right (2).
- Important Note: Just after the junction with this wadi, the Matak wadi you had been walking in makes a sharp 90° left turn. If you reached it, it means you missed the turn to the unmarked wadi!
- Turn right and follow the beautiful unmarked wadi upstream. This small wadi is also filled with colorful sand and rocks. After 600 m, you reach the saddle at the end of the wadi and meet a Red Trail (3).
- All of a sudden, you find yourself on the edge of the cliff with the Timna Valley 500 m below you. The view is truly overwhelming and calls for an extended break!
- Turn right and follow the Red Trail for 3 Km.
- You are walking on the edge of the cliff with the Timna Valley below always in sight. Most of the way is relatively flat, but near the end, the path climbs to the top of Mount Berech. The views from the top are even better (4).
- Turn right on the Blue marked dirt roads and walk 1.4 km back to (1).
DOWNLOAD THE FULL MAP AND GPS FILE FOR JUST 5$
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN TIMNA PARK
The park authorities have created 54 kilometers of marked mountain biking trails. They range from flat family-friendly trails to “Single Tracks” suitable for serious mountain bikers. You can come with your own bike or rent in the park. There are both regular and electric bikes on offer. More details on the park’s official website.
BASIC INFORMATION (PRICES, HOURS, LOCATION)
Daily 08:00-16:00 (Fridays until 15:00)
July, August and some holidays: 08:00-13:00
Admission fee: Adults 44 NIS / Children 36 NIS
Location: Google Maps
HOW TO GET TO TIMNA PARK
By Bus: Lines 22, 23, 397, 390, 991, 391 and 444 Stop on the way from Eilat to the north at the Junction on the main road near Timna Park. From the junction, it is a 3 kilometers walk to the Park’s entrance.
With an organized tour from Eilat: The best way to visit the important landmarks in Timna park without a private car, is to join an organized tour from Eilat. It will save you the long walk from the bus station, and also inside the park (The distances between the main landmark are long.) Check out this recommended option.
TIMNA PARK WEATHER AND CLIMATE
Timna Valley is one of the hottest and driest places in Israel. During the summer (June-September) 40°C is a typical figure, and 45° will not surprise the locals. Winter daytime temperatures are mild and would typically be around 20° C. The average annual rainfall is around 25 mm. You should take this into account when planning a visit. Don’t try hiking or biking during May-October. On the other hand, winter brings perfect weather for outdoor activities.
Can I reach Timna Park by Bus?
The Bus Stop is on road #90 at the Junction near Timna Park. From the junction, it is 3 kilometers walk to the Park’s entrance. Therefore, if you are without a hired car, it would be much more convenient to take an organized tour from Eilat.
If you still prefer, Bus Lines 22, 23, 397, 390, 991, 391, and 444 leave Eilat going north and have a stop at the Timna Park Junction.
Can I rent a bike at Timna Park?
Yes. There are 54 kilometers of signposted mountain biking trails in Timna Park. Both standard mountain bikes and electric bikes are available for rent. Price from 60 NIS for half a day.
Are there any good hiking trails in Timna Park?
What is the meaning of the name Timna?
The Timna Valley is named after the biblical figure Timna. Timna was a concubine of Eliphaz, Esau’s son, and the mother of Amalek. (Genesis 36:12)