Hike of the Month – The Red Canyon

The Red Canyon offers amazing desert scenery making it a perfect introduction to the Eilat mountains range.

The Red Canyon (photo credit: FLICKR)
The Red Canyon
(photo credit: FLICKR)
A fact that is unknown to many visitors, but the noisy and touristic town of Eilat is also an amazing hiking hub. Within a short drive from town, you'll be able to explore wonderful desert hiking trails. What makes the Eilat mountains range unique is the contrast of colors. The sand and rocks change sharply between black, yellow, white and red. On the horizon, you've got in sight the Edom red mountains and down below, the deep blue of the Gulf of Aqaba. There is a very big variety of trails to choose from, ranging from easy strolls up to demanding hikes that will satisfy any hardcore hiker. The most well-known and accessible is the "Red Canyon." It is an easy hike that can be enjoyed by all. But it offers amazing desert scenery making it a perfect introduction to the Eilat mountains range and will hopefully encourage you to explore further.
Go to the Israel by Foot website for more hikes near Eilat.
The Red Canyon:
Starting point: On road #12, 18 kilometers east from Eilat (GPS 29.669024, 34.870384)
Hiking Distance: 2 or 5 Kilometers.
Climb: 100 m.
Difficulty: Easy. (But a few sections with metal handles and ladders).
By car: From the Google Maps location, turn right on the red marked dirt road and follow it for 1 km. until the trail head.
By Bus: Take Bus #392 and ask the driver to drop you off at the "Har Uziya'u" station. From the station, walk about 1 km. on the red marked dirt road until the trail head.
Start the hike by following the green marked trail down the wadi. At first the wadi is wide, but after about a kilometer, the walls start closing and we enter the canyon on a natural rock slide with the aid of metal handles.
Here the real fun begins. We pass a series of dry waterfalls and sharp turns as the canyon becomes tighter reaching a width of about 5 feet. The colors are a mix of red, white and purple. A great experience!
At the end of the narrow section, there is a right turn with black markers. If you are in a hurry, turn right and you are back at the starting point after a 20 minutes' walk.
If you want to enjoy more of the desert, continue down on a green marked trail until a junction with another black marked trail. Turn right and follow the black markers. At the end of a steep climb, you will reach the head of a dry waterfall. A nice spot for a rest with fantastic views. Continue another 300 m. with the black markers until a junction with a red marked trail. Turn right, and follow it for 1 km., back to the starting point.
Hikes courtesy of Israel by Foot.