Upper Og Dry River
Level of difficulty:
7.8 Kilometers, difficult and tricky hike, fit walkers only
Recommended season - between October and June
The Og dry River is one of the northern parts of the Judean Desert. Its upper tributaries starts on Mount Scopus
and after a short section of canyon, south of Almon settlement, the creek enters a moderate level desert area.
The next section of the creek enters an impressive canyon section where an ancient Byzantine monastery ruins -
Deir Mukhlich- are located.
The canyon is lined with metal handrails that were installed in the narrow crossings and the short climbs along the way.
Throughout the canyon, an ancient path leads to the remains of Deir Mukhliich Abbey - Theoctistus Monastery.
The remains include a two-story building, water reservoirs and a cave.
Description of activity:
After pick up in Tel Aviv at 08:00am, we'll head on east. After about one hour, we'll arrive at the Nabi Musa Military Camp at the northern part of the Judean Desert.
We will park the car at the gate of the base, put our walking gear and start our hike.
We will head north down along a small dry creek until we meet the main road. Then a short walk along the road until we meet a bridge crossing above the Og dry river gorge.
We will leave the road and slide down on a green marker straight into the gorge.
We will climb along the gorge and see how the impressive walls are closing on us until it is no more than two meters in width in some places and until the walls will rise up dozens of meters above us on either side.
We'll need to climb short dry waterfalls along the 1 km narrow gorge, some bolted with steel ladders.
When we'll reach a 5 meters dry waterfall this will mark the end of our route in the creek river bed.
A short climb on the northern wall and we are out of the creek; that would be exactly the place to have lunch.
After lunch we'll start heading south-east on a narrow Goats Trail marked green.
After 300 meters we will enter Deir Mukhlich, the ruins of a monastery, which became the first cooperative monastery of its kind in the world, founded by Theoctistus and Abtimius monks in 411 AD.
We will walk through the ruins and head west on the narrow Goats Trail, using still pegs that were installed in the narrow crossings and the short climbs along the way.
1 km and we are back on the canyon river bed. Another 600 meter and we are under the bridge of the main road crossing the Og dry river.
We will climb up to the road and walk back until we'll meet our car again.
3 liters of water (very important, we are in the desert) walking/sports shoes (closed shoe), Hat, light clothing, day pack (around 20-30 liters), food and snack, mosquito repellent, sun block, sun glasses, food.
The cost includes: licensed Israeli tour guide, insurance, transportation, first aid kit, and coffee/tea.
The cost does not include: food, water, personal equipment.
I'll be happy to answer any questions.