The Masada Marls - between the towering cliff of Masada and the Dead Sea you will find a large, white marlstone region where rainwater and winds carved out ravines, nooks, and round hills out of the white rocks. This majestic and enchanted place is a nature-made playground where you can skip, jump, and play hide & seek. Taking the same path under the moonlight will greatly elevate your experience.
How to Get There
Take Highway 90 (around the Dead Sea) and south of the Dead Sea, between kilometers 226 and 227, turn west at the Masada Junction, following the signs to Masada. Park in the parking area below Masada. Masada, which appears after 1 km, is to the left of the road.
Before you leave for your hike, if possible, leave a car at the end, at Masada Junction . From the upper (west) side of the parking area , go south along the trail marked in black. The path climbs up and down over the white, crumbly marlstone hills that lie between the tall fault cliff and the Dead Sea.
Until 17,000 years ago – just this morning, in geological terms – a huge lake filled the entire Jordan Valley, from the Hula Valley in the north, to Ein Yahav in the Arava, in the south. Waters from the rivers in the area collected in Lake Lisan (the name comes from the Arabic word for tongue – the shape of the lake). When animals in the lake died, they sunk to the bottom. In the winter, debris carried by rivers also settled at the bottom of the riverbeds, and in the summer, when the water evaporated, the remaining salt settled at the bottom. As the lake disappeared, it left behind memorabilia – Lake Kinneret, the Dead Sea and the Lisan marlstone that the trail goes through. If you look closely, you can identify the various, thin layers that the rock is comprised of. Each of these layers depicts a season of the year.
The path goes down into the channel of a shallow river, and flows eastward with it. The whole area looks like a natural playground. After running between the soft hills, rolling down the slopes and playing hide and seek between the crevices and holes in the crumbly marlstone for one kilometer, the riverbed widens into a kind of amphitheater that humankind had no hand in creating . The amazing formations that nature designed will become, with a little help from your imagination, sculptures of images and animals, castles, kings and princesses. Continue walking east for about one kilometer along the wide path, until you arrive back at Highway 90 . If you haven’t organized a vehicle in advance, the driver will now go up to fetch the car via the road you took at the beginning of the trail.
For more information regarding tours in the area of the Tamar Regional Council (Dead Sea)
Tamar Regional Council, Nave Zohar
Dead Sea 86910
photo: haim kastelnovo