Khan Shaharut, Kisuy Dunes, and the Uvda Valley
Region: South, Trail Duration: About 2 .5 Hours, Starting Point: Yotvata, Ending Point: Khan Shacharut, Trail Type: Walking, Vehicle Route
Israel Nature and Parks Authority
From Highway 40 turn west at the Shizafon Junction (towards Eilat). Next, follow the signs southward to Khan Shaharut (and the entrance to the Uvda military base).
As soon as we take the access route to Shaharut, we find ourselves in the Ovda Valley, which offers a number of marked Israel National Trail trails. The trail lies on the east side of the road, and it is best to follow it east, to the golden sand dunes of the Kisuy Stream (Nahal Kisuy). The site looks as if it were taken from the Little Prince. The beautiful sand dunes are scattered along a few hundred meters, perfect for playing around and having fun in. The distance from the road is no more than 1 km.
From here, we continue to Khan Shaharut. We go south with the road, following the signs, until we reach a cliff rising above the Arava, 540 meters above sea level. The view from the site is spectacular. The Edom Mountains unfold before us, from Aqaba to the south to the Menucha Junction to the north. Yotvata, Kibbutz Grofit and Kibbutz Ketura lie below us (Ketura, Abraham’s wife and the mother of Medan, is mentioned in Genesis 25, reminding us we are in the land of the bible).
Hikers can choose to take a special trail – one that goes down from Khan Shaharut, through the He'etekim Cliff, to Nahal Yotvata and Kibbutz Yotvata. The trail passes through a spectacular canyon, a small spring, and the entire area is dotted with an abundance of impressive fossils.
The rock formations along the way are remarkable, the landscape is impressive, even though this is one of the lesser-known trails in Israel. The trail descends from the camel ranch, through the ancient Ma’aleh Shaharut (Shaharut Heights), toward the Nahal Shaharut Canyon, and joins the paved path marked in green. The trail to the Arava road is two and a half hours long.
Reporter: Shahar Shila – Desert Tourism Expert