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Masada east vs west entrance

Miami, Florida
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Masada east vs west entrance

How does the experience differ for taking the main entrance to Masada (east, facing Dead Sea) vs. the west entrance (which is less expensive).

How hard is it to ascend the west side?

How long does each side take to reach the main historical site at the top? Is parking more difficult on the west side? Is it practical for one to visit the inroductory film and museum on the east side, then ascend the mountain from the west side?

Tel Aviv, Israel
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1. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

Forget about entering Masada from Arad (the west side).

Use the main entrance off of Hwy 90 so that you can either ascend via cable car, or, if you're up to it, hike up the Snake Path. If you leave your car on the east side, you must descend that way as well.

Israel
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2. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

It is not cheaper on the west side - the difference is that there is no cable car, so you are not paying for it.

There is no problem parking on either side - however, as Dave noted, you will have to exit on whatever side you started on, unless you have a bus or other driver who will drive all the way around to pick you up. This is not a short drive - it takes close to an hour and a half. If you are coming from Arad and returning that way - fine. Otherwise, I would stick to the eastern side - that way you can see the movie and visit the museum.

BTW - it takes between 45 min to an hour to climb the snake path. The climb up the Roman Ramp takes no more than 10-15 minutes.

NYC/Israel
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3. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

Just to clarify--the "Roman Path" Oreet refers to is the name of the path on the Western side.

Israel
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4. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

The east ascent can be done on the Snake Path, Running Path or Cable Car. The west ascent is done by foot and is great for those who want to climb on their own but not have enough stamina to climb the previous two paths. The entrance cost is similar, but with the cable car it is quite a bit more expensive. I personally prefer the western side. The disadvantage is that there is no visitors center or fancy eatery or souvenir shop but just a simple snack bar. Additionally the eastern side has an underground parking lot, but the western side does not -- important when visiting the site on a hot sunny day.

Chana

Israel

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5. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

I actually like going up the "Roman Way." I like the view.

Pittsburgh...
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6. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

Referring to post number 4, 'VisitIsrael' wrote: "The east ascent can be done on the Snake Path, Running Path or Cable Car."

Is there a way other than the Snake Path to ascent Massada by foot from the east side? Could someone please share a little more information about the 'Running Path'?

Thanks!!

Tel Aviv, Israel
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7. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

From the main entrance of Masada near the Dead Sea (east side), you have only two options to ascend the mountain:

1. Use the cable car like the majority of visitors do

2. Use the Snake Path - the hike up takes a bit less than an hour

When you enter the national park on the east side, you'll do so through the beautiful visitors center. There you'll find an innovative museum, a film about the story of Masasda, various food outlets and shopping opportunities.

NYC/Israel
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8. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

There are two ways up from the East Side--the Snake Path and the Cable car. There is one way up from the West Side--the Roman Path. There is a yearly race up Masada on the Snake Path so that may be what Chana is referring to when she says running path! Hopefully she will clarify.

www.deadsea-race.co.il/masada_english.asp

Israel
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9. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

The path Chana is referring to should actually be called the "runner's path" in English. It is based on a path that connected the various Roman army camps and was used by the Romans for runners to go from one camp to the next to relay messages.

This is not an easy path - it is much more challenging than the Snake Path and not well known, at least not among those who are not serious hikers.

NYC/Israel
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10. Re: Masada east vs west entrance

Thanks Oreet for the explanation. One can always learn!