"Black gorge" (Central "Zavitan")
Golan Heights, Yehudiya Nature Reserve.
This trail follows the Zavitan Stream in the Golan Heights. The trail was named "Black Gorge" because of the black basalt rock that lends its dark color to the rockface.
This is one of the most extraordinary trails in Israel and combines pure wilderness, flowing water, cool rock pools, waterfalls and rich vegetation. It offers travelers a challenging yet incredible experience that will be etched in your memory forever.
Type of trip:
canyoning - moderate difficulty + rappelling.
suitable for amateurs
Swimming knowledge required.
6 km including rappelling.
Fall, spring, Summer - between may and October.
Rendezvous: 7:00am at parking area of Nachal Yehudiya Nature Reserve (pay entrance fee at reserve ticket office)
7:05am – Drive together to Sheikh Hussein parking area
07:15am – Hand out rappelling equipment and exit from Sheikh Hussein parking area walking westwards on a marked trail
After approx. 1.7km on a flat leisurely trail, we’ll arrive at a lookout point over the creek and then we’ll descend into the gorge where the Zavitan Stream flows.
After approximately 600 meters of walking on a trail that passes through lush river vegetation and the stream’s current, we’ll reach the first of the Black Gorge’s series of waterfalls.
There, surrounded by river vegetation, waterfalls and pools, we’ll stop for breakfast and rappelling instruction.
From the top of a small 4-meter waterfall, we’ll rappel into the pool according to the techniques outlined in our water rappelling instruction at breakfast, and we’ll swim to the edge of the second waterfall.
We’ll rappel down the second 25-meter waterfall into another pool.
We’ll continue down the river on foot for about 800 meters to a terraced waterfall measuring 18 meters in height, we’ll swim to the edge of the waterfall, and then rappel down into another pool.
This is when we’ll break for lunch.
We'll stay there for as long as time permits, then we’ll backtrack up a series of 450 stairs and then walk another 1.5km to the Yehudiya parking area where our vehicles await.
4.5 liters of water per person (preferably in insulated Jerri cans), medium backpack (at least 30 liter capacity for personal items and rappelling equipment), hat, light clothing suitable for swimming (not a swimsuit), walking shoes suitable for walking in water (closed shoes only), long hiking pants (not jeans), food and snacks, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, watertight plastic bag for personal or valuable items (camera, cellphone, car remote, wallet, etc.), rubber band for long hair, change of clothing and sandals (leave in the car for after the trail), sunglasses.
3 liters of water per person (preferably in insulated Jerri cans), medium backpack (30 liter capacity for personal items and rappelling equipment), hat, walking shoes (closed shoes only), light clothing suitable for cave crawling including long hiking pants (will get dirty) and long-sleeve shirt (for cool temperatures in cave), mandatory flashlight (preferably head-mounted), extra batteries, thin gloves (can be purchased at local hardware store), food for the whole day and snacks, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, rubber band for long hair, change of clothes (will be left in the car for after the trail)
Recommended: Camera, light snacks such as sour/sweet candy, dates, raisins, almonds
bed'>We’ll start by ascending the Mount Sodom ladder trail (black trail markings). After an ascent of about 25 minutes we’ll reach the opening that leads to the bowels of the Earth and the Colonel Salt Cave, and we’ll rappel down a breathtaking 75-meter salt shaft to the cave floor. Then we’ll explore the rare salt cave including salt stalactites and unique geological formations.
Recommended - Waterproof camera, light snacks such as sour/sweet candy, dates, raisins, almonds
Qualified rappelling instructors, all necessary rappelling equipment, extra water, first aid kit, coffee & tea kit.
The trip includes insurance, as required by law.
The "Yehudiya" Nature Reserve requires two weeks advance booking.
Please note that this trail is only open from the beginning of May to the end of October.
Cost per Participant:
Determined by size of group + 22 NIS nature reserve entrance fee (Israel National Parks Authority).