The Yagur Stream

There are a number of wonderful trails along the Yagur Stream that weave through the trees and hills and include gushing waterfalls.

Mt. Carmel seen from Kibbutz Yagur 521 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Mt. Carmel seen from Kibbutz Yagur 521
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
On the eastern side of Mount Carmel, the Yagur River winds its way through the hills and trees. The river, named after the nearby Kibbutz Yagur, includes a number of waterfalls and challenging hiking paths.
Another name for the river is Wadi Shomriya, and it is one of the many dry river beds in this mountainous area that fill up with water in the rainy season. Because the river flows through the mountains and is quite long, hikers need to climb up (or down) numerous steps along the path, and some of the waterfalls reach seven meters high.
Although the trail is a bit difficult, it still attracts a large number of hikers.
Autumn is the perfect season to hike along the Yagur. The relatively low temperatures and the shady paths enable hikers to disconnect completely from their normal, busy worlds and immerse themselves in the pastoral world of the river, which overflows with water during the rainy season.
There are a few different paths along the Yagur River. The first one is a linear trail (sporting red trail markers) that begins in Usfiya and ends at Kibbutz Yagur. The starting spot is Ein el-Balad, which is adjacent to the Usfiya water tower (take Route 672). If you choose this path, it’s worth asking locals you meet along the way to tell you the shortest way to the ending point. The trail is not long, but it does include a number of steep and challenging descents.
Because most people don’t have two cars at their disposal, we will focus on the circular paths that both start and end at Kibbutz Yagur.
First, park in the lot next to the horse stables and follow the red trail markers toward the river. When you leave the kibbutz, climb up the slightly steep hill, from the top of which you will have a fantastic view of Mount Carmel. You must be careful to watch your step as you descend on the other side. Then you will reach a shady area and the river. This is a popular spot to rest or have a picnic (as you will quickly realize from all of the wrappers scattered around the area).
From this point, you can choose from a number of trails. The two most popular ones continue along the red trail, which climbs up above the Yagur River. You can return along the black or green trails.
Alternatively you can begin in the opposite direction and take the “barley path,” which is marked in blue, until the path splits in two directions.
At this point, you can choose between two options: to continue along the black path toward Ein el-Balad, or to continue with the blue path until the next split, where the path meets up with the green trail. The green path weaves through the trees until it reaches the red path at the top of the hill, which you can take back down alongside the river.
If you decide not to take the green trail, you can continue along the blue path toward Ha’amakim Intersection. As you will soon see, red trail markers will replace the blue ones. Continue along this path until you reach another split, where you can opt for the blue path, which reaches Usfiya.
When you reach Usfiya, you can descend along the river.
Personally I recommend starting with the ascent along the red path, since I enjoy steep ascents more than steep descents. In either direction, though, walking along the Yagur River is a wonderful experience.
Location: Northern Carmel area Type of hike: Circular path, includes climbing on ladders Level of difficulty: Difficult, appropriate for seasoned hikers Length: 4-5 hours Directions: From Yagur Intersection, turn toward Kibbutz Yagur and leave your car in the lot on the right just after the gate at the entrance.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.