HaMakhtesh HaGadol
HaMakhtesh HaGadol
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Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles31 reviews
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shesekmatok
Los Angeles, CA754 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Solo
**check weather reports before traveling **

Hello fellow travelers 😊

This is a great day trip.
Plan at least 4 hours, to enjoy the hike and the views.
If u r in a hurry, 2 hours will make do, as well.

On waze or Google maps, type "colored sands". Make sure it's in Yeruham, since there's one more in Ramon Crater further south.
There are picnic tables on site and you can put up a tent for a night for free.

Cell reception is sketchy but available on high grounds.
I recommend you to download a map of the area on Google maps, prior to your trip.
One more tip, download the app MAPY, it's for offline use and it has the trails available.

This trail is a 4 miles loop, starts at the parking lot and includes the Small Fin, Large Fin, Ein Yorke'am and Nahal (Creek) Hatira.

It's easier to do it clockwise, starting at the creek, since the way down from the Large Fin is very steep.
I've done it counter clockwise and it was challenging.

If you start from the Fin, you have to cross the road and follow the black path.
If you want to start from the creek, you will find the trail facing the parking lot, on the very right of it.

From the Small Fin, you get the view of the Crater and its breathtaking.
After you descent from the Large Fin you have to cross the road for Ein Yorke'am.
Follow the black path then the red to get to water.
You may see some wildlife there, since it's a water source for them in the desert.
I've ventured a little further for more wonderful views, then you have to go back till you hit a path junction.
In order to make it a loop, you have to choose the path u didn't come from.
Right to Nahal Hatira, Left will take you to the Large Fin.

The Ibex I've met in Yorke'am, followed me to the creek.

Colored Sands is a great place to finish the hike.
Take your time to venture there, so many beautiful shapes and colors. See pics.

As always, feel free to ask questions, if u have any
have fun
🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️

Written April 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YitzchakM
Or Yehuda, Israel1,141 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
A month ago, my grown son and I went on our bi-annual, extreme hike. As is the case in all our hikes, it was an epic, life adventure. This time we travelled down to the desert in the south of the country, to the Central Negev, to explore the desert in the area of the Big Crater (Machtesh HaGadol), including climbing up two of Israel’s tallest, steepest, ascents - the Palmach ascent with ladders and handholds and narrow ledges, and the Big Fin, the main ascent to the top of the Big Crater. The hike was 18 kilometers (11 miles) and took us 9 hours to do. As usual, it was a totally awesome, worthwhile experience, and as usual, the pictures we took don’t capture the real beauty of the cliffs, canyons, mountains and the crater itself. We parked our car at the Oron Phosphorus factory and ordered a cab which took us to the dirt parking lot and trail head ("green" trail) of the Yamin Stream. We followed the Yamin Stream southward, passing natural, rock-hewn pools of water, passing huge 30-meter deep cracks in the mountainside, and passing a massive 50-meter high, dry waterfall until we came to the Hatira Stream (the stream that flows out of the Big Crater) which flows from west to east and empties into the Dead Sea. We followed the Hatira Stream westward for about 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) until we came to another 50-meter high rock wall, another impassable waterfall. At this point the trail veers to the left and we began to climb the interesting Palmach Ascent, which included climbing up metal ladders, hand-holds and railings all attached to the rock face of the steep, rocky, southern wall of the stream. We continued westward pass the beautiful Yorkean Spring, which was crowded with swimmers until we came to our spare water bottles that we had hid alongside Highway 206. We then crossed the highway and headed up the side of the Big Crater on a very steep rocky ridge called the Big Fin because from the distance it does look like the fin on the back of a fish. In reality, it is one of the “ribs” of the crater and looks more like a rib than a fin if you ask me. At the top of the crater, we had a phenomenal, breathtaking 360-degree view of the surrounding desert and the entire circle of the crater, including the lone opening (gap) in the crater that is common to all the craters in this desert (which a million years ago had allowed water that had collected in the crater to flow out and down towards the Dead Sea). We then turned south, walking along the lip of the crater with fantastic views of the inside of the crater, and finally, the trail turned eastward and down the crater back to the highway. We walked the two kilometers back to our car along the side of the highway and finally arrived at the car just as it got dark. We were exhausted, but exhilarated! This hike is a definite MUST DO for desert and nature lovers!
Written December 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gprimr1
Baltimore, MD2,773 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Solo
When I first mentioned I was visiting Yerucham, some people said there's nothing to see there, it's just a working town with a large Moroccan Jewish population. How wrong they were! Once you leave the town on Route 225, the scenery is just non-stop. I saw a sign for Mt. Avnon, and turned left. Follow a small dirt road, and you will be treated to absolutely AMAZING views of the canyon, with virtually no one to bother you.
Written June 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ronn B
Oakland, CA261 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
There are many other places I would go to visit on your first visit to Israel, however if you have been a few times and want a different view of the desert and the geological forces that have shaped the region then this is a great place. No services, no water, poor signage, so you should bring water and a map. The road is not fantastic here, but no problem safely getting here and exploring with our compact rental car if you stay on the main road.
We hiked up the Big Fin and it was a great hike, very exposed. This is a great place to really see the phenomenon of the erosion and tectonic patterns that formed this crater. The colored campground is very special as well.
Written June 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sofi NS
Athens, Greece22,840 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Get a defent car before driving all the way up there. After the main road you take a dusty road, somewhat narrow at points, that lead you to the top of the crater lip. Not suitable for a low tyre profile cars.
There you walk another 300m to the edge of the cliff where you can marvel the view. Somewhat windy and without any amenities, just a railbar to signify that you shouldn't walk beyond this point.
I liked it very much as will all photography enthusiasts.
Written December 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yigal L
Israel151 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
One of three (or four, depending on who you ask) craters in southern Israel that were created by water,
Written August 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nir Alon
Jerusalem, Israel34 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
An impressive natural crater offering hours of exploration for hikers and a beautiful and interesting drive through for 'drivers'. Do drive up the gravel road to Mount Avnun, Har Avnun (30.97229341134067, 34.98106955585443) for a bird's eye view of the area and then to Ein Yorkeam (30.93916505816989, 35.040831531899784) natural water pool, listed on TripAdvisor separately,
Written November 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David-Miriam-Cohen
Israel333 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Couples
Spent the day and slept in nearby yeruham. Clear blue skies, wonderful and clearly marked trails. Absolute must if you like hiking in the desert.
Written November 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael Bar el
Haifa, Israel233 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
The view point of Mountain Avnun is one of my favorite point in this area as it is located on a cliff with a terace on its top overlooking the entire Big Mahtesh, a spectacular view. It is easily accessable from the paved road by a unpaved desert road till a parking lot from where a short trail is leading to the viewpoint .A really must for everyone travelling in this area.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alexenbergmoshe
Miami, FL65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Friends
Great for hiking. Beautiful landscapes especially in the winter.
I have been there many time with friends, family and children.
Just driving around there is also great
Written September 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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HaMakhtesh HaGadol - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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