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Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

Belém, PA
Level Contributor
46 posts
220 reviews
Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

I am going to travel to Israel next March. I´m planning to get to Mount Sodom summit through the FISHES TRAIL. However, I can´t find any information in the web about its starting point. I found no maps, I found no clear indication about the starting point of the fishes trail whatsoever.

So, where´s the exact starting point of the fishes trail to Mount Sodom and where can I find a map of the trail? I will be driving a 2WD (4x2) small car, so I´d like to park it near the starting point before the beginning of the journey.

I´d appreciate any help.

Ney Wagner

Israel
Level Contributor
84 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

I'm very suprised that you heard about this trail, as it's waaaay off the beaten path. The trail is 3 Km only, starts on a dirt road and ends on the 90 route, few kilometers north of the Dead Sea factories. Those are two different places, so unless there is someone that can pick you up, your only options are doing a shorter hike, or picking up a different place to hike (no public transportation). There are some hikes in the region that can be done with one car, so If you are interested I can suggest you some.

In addition to that, ANY hike in the Judean Desert should not be done by yourself, so unless you have a partner, going into the desert that you don't know much is not reccomended. Mt. Sodom is beautiful, but If you are by yourself, then If something happens to you, no one will be there to help, and since I cannot predict whether there will be someone else in that place, do yourself a favor and dont act irresponsibly.

If after all of that you still want to hike there, please let us know more about your trip so we will be able to help.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
390 posts
51 reviews
2. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

Do you read Hebrew? I have topo maps I use for hiking, 1:50,000, published by the Society for Preservation of Nature (SPNI), but they are only in Hebrew. For this area, you would need map #11. You should be able to get them at a bookstore in Jerusalem or central Tel Aviv. DE's please confirm these are still readily available, or would they have to be ordered in advance?

My map does not label this trail by name, so I'm not 100% sure, but based on the links below and google-mapping "Fishes Trail," I believe it is trail # 11415. (If you got the map and some help before you go, you might still be able to use it even if you don't read Hebrew.) The trailhead, from Route 90, is south of the 31/90 junction. I think I recall seeing a road sign (English and Hebrew) in the area for Mount Sdom, but I've never hiked it. Sounds interesting.

The route 90 trailhead is easily accessed, but you would need a 4WD to access the other side, so you will have to make it a round trip. If you do not want to leave your car at the roadside, you could take a taxi from Ein Bokek and get the guy's number and call him on cell when you are back on the road (arrange in advance.)

I previously did a one-way hike in Wadi Zohar where I was advised by a guide to take a taxi to the trail head (and the trail would bring me back within walking distance of Ein Bokek), avoiding the one-way problem, and also avoiding leaving a rental car on the road all day. I was told incidents have been reported (car break-ins or theft.)

The trail connects with others, so if you are up for a longer hike you could connect to a trail leading north (roughly parallel to 90) instead of doing a total roundtrip. Again, you would want a good topo map to do something like this, and be able to call for the taxi, if needed, when you're done.

Also, if you do an extended hike, please make sure someone (friend /desk clerk/ hotel concierge) knows what your plans are and when you expect to be back. Make sure there is no risk of flooding before you head out. Bring plenty of water.

abrahampath.org/path/…

--with google map for general orientation. I think "Glow Shunt" on the map is a google mistranslation for Metzad Zohar (an old Nabatean Fortress) so don't rely on that label for anything.

lonelyplanet.com/israel/…mt-sodom

Belém, PA
Level Contributor
46 posts
220 reviews
3. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

Hi Omer! Thank you so much for you response. I will be hiking with my wife and, of course, I´ll bring a good amount of water, sunscreen, a hat and hiking shoes (and a GPS). I was planning to book a cab in order to grab us in the end of the trail and take us to the starting point where we left the rented car. Is it dangerous to leave the car at the roadside?? This is our main concern, because I dunno if it´s even legal leaving the car at roadside. Can we legally park the car at the roadside in Israel?

About my trip: on this day I intend to spend the morning in Ein Gedi park (we´ll just do the basic non exhausting Ein Gedi trails, we´ll not reach the extrenuous lookouts over the mountains). Then we will have a lunch in some random restaurant in Ein Bokek . And then we will go to the fishes trail starting point, we´ll leave the car roadside, hike over the Mount Sodom and reach the other side, I believe it ends on the Dead Sea Works facilities. When we get to the dead sea works facility, we´ll call the cab we prearranged in Ein Bokek. Is it feasible? Do you thing we could have any problems doing that?

And yeah, I´m accepting other suggestions for the afternoon part, if you think there´s a best trail to do in these parts, I´m all ears. I´ve been told about a Nachal Zohar trail, do you know it?

Belém, PA
Level Contributor
46 posts
220 reviews
4. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

Hello, nodedet! Thank you so much for your response.

Oh, I don´t read Hebrew. I guess I´ll try to buy the english map in Israel. Thanks a lot fot the tip!

We are planning to do just a short hike to the Mount Sodom, since me and my wife will have spent the morning in the Ein Gedi park and a longer trail would be too exhausting. The short hike to Mount Sodom through the fishes trail doesn´t see too challenging, or is it?

So do you think leaving the car roadside would be a problem? Are there car thieves in these parts? Should we book a taxi to get us to the starting point and grab us at the end of the trail? My original plan was just booking the cab to grab us at the end of the trail, so we could leave the car roadside at the starting point... is it too risky considering it´s a rented small 2WD car?

Is there a risk of flood in a mount´s trail? Mount Sodom seems pretty dry, I don´t think there´s some kind of creek or body of water along the trail... and March is a pretty dry month in Israel according to the internet.

Modi'in-Maccabim-Re...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
17,980 posts
322 reviews
5. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

Mt. Sodom is a great hike, however the Fishes Trail is rated as difficult. You will need to drive several kilometers on Mishor Amiaz to get to the trail head. It would be best for you to park your car at the end of the trail and have a taxi take you to the head of the trail. You can park your car there without any issue (or at the trail head). You MUST, I mean absolutely MUST have a trail map with you as there are many trails with many colors and in order to get to the one you want you have to have a map that you can follow. Getting lost in the desert is not fun and the 3 hour hike could turn into a 6-8-10 ordeal you wouldn't want to remember. There is the possibility of flash floods in March, but not much of such. The bigger issue is that if it has rained within the previous 48 hours you cannot drive up Mt. Sdom. It is a salt mountain and the water makes it very slippery, like driving on ice and forbidden from driving on. The 4 or more km to the trail head would make no sense in case you thought of this as an option.

If you are interested in a shorter, less difficult trail Mt. Sdom from the top down is lovely and is about 1.5 hours. You can leave your car up at the start of Mishor Amiaz and then hike back to where it is parked (adds about 30 minutes of walking).

Chana

Israel

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
17,508 posts
6. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

<<Oh, I don´t read Hebrew. I guess I´ll try to buy the english map in Israel. Thanks a lot fot the tip!>>

There are no detailed hiking maps in English. And a detailed hiking map showing the marked trails is what you need. And yes, Nodedet, there's no problem finding them, but obviously they are no use if you can't read Hebrew.

Read Chana's first paragraph carefully.

Israel
Level Contributor
84 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

The Fish trail I know Is from Mt. Sodom to down. It is moderate in it's difficulty level. Elementary school students can do that. There is a road sign towards Mt. Sodom on the route 90. Then you drive several kilometers on a dirt road and park at Amiaz Plain (Mishhor Amiaz). The hike is indeed what nodedet describes and is not difficult to navigate. It's marked with white-blue-white signs on the rocks beside the trail. The trail ends on route 90, several kilometers north of the entrance. A taxi can pick you up from there. Thats a map I found on the internet: http://www.mapa.co.il/%D7%98%D7%99%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%9D/Trip_Details_Map.asp?subjectID=10&ID=17177&Name=%e8%e9%e5%ec+%e1%e4%f8+%f1%e3%e5%ed&RecomendMapa=True

It's in hebrew, yet it's not hard to understand.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
40,837 posts
39 reviews
8. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

Bottom line the OP is looking for a hike that is neither exhausting or challenging. ( post # 4.). thet are refraining on doing a longer trail at Ein Gedi ( which would be safer since it is in a National Park!) I think hiking in the desert, dependent on a map in a language you don't read, is not a smart thing to do. Just my opinion!

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
390 posts
51 reviews
9. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

Shuffaluff: I was thinking if he has the map, he can go over it with someone at a hotel before hand and highlight or mark everything up in English (or native language), the way auto clubs used to do. The numbers at least are still readable.

Omer's map link is great! and you can see how steep the trail is. Having a more extensive topo map of the area might still be helpful though.

I do confess to a weakness for maps. My experience hiking in Israel has been that the trail markings and blazes are excellent, but it really is no joke to be lost or disoriented in that wilderness. The trail seems easy enough but personally I always want a good map with me.

Edited: 5:35 am, February 09, 2017
Israel
Level Contributor
84 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: Mount Sodom hiking - Fishes Trail

I have just shared a map that I found. Regarding hiking in the desert: I generally agree with rdglady's opinion, but it should be the OP decision only. My suggestion, btw, is choosing a longer hike in En Gedi, such as Nahal Arugot, that is much more "tourist friendly". Mt. Sodom is beautiful, but so does Ein Gedi.

PS: Here's a map of En Gedi:

parks.org.il/ParksAndReserves/…brochureEn.pdf