The white surfaces in Nahal Tzalim (photo: Jordan Perry, Society for the Protection of Nature)
It's already the end of March and the desert travel season is coming to an end, so take advantage of the excellent weather in the coming month and go on a spring trip for desert-loving families.
We asked the instructors of the Nature Conservation Society's Sde Ein Gedi and Hezva school to recommend a family trip to the desert, and they suggested going to the
white flats of Nahal Tzalim
in the Judean desert.
Nahal Tzalim is one of the largest streams in the Judean Desert, the stream flows into the northern basin of the Dead Sea and you can walk in many sections of it.
We would recommend a trip to the eastern part, close to highway 90. The source of the stream is in the Arad valley and in the southeast of the Hebron mountains, the stream drains a huge area and therefore also washes many times every year, not for nothing is it called in Arabic Wadi a-Sial, which means, the stream of the great floods.
Its Hebrew name also tells about what is found in it - the tsala trees which some believe is the acacia tree.
The white surfaces in Nahal Tzalim (photo: Society for the Protection of Nature, Jordan Perry)
The surfaces are hard limestone rocks that have been eroded over time by the many floods in the stream (Photo: Society for the Protection of Nature, Jordan Perry)
The spring that flows in all seasons
The route is circular, and you can walk it in both directions, but you should walk as follows: from the overnight parking lot, start walking on the green path, a small and not alarming ascent on a comfortable and clear path, we will pass by a split with a sign 'Ma'ale Tzalim', where people who want to sweat a lot go.
We will continue on the blue path which descends on a bumpy jeep road to the bed of the river.
After about half a kilometer we will reach the white surfaces - aka hard limestone rocks that over time have been eroded by the many floods that flow in the stream. The floods cut and carved in the chalk surfaces and created nice ridges, which hold back the water even a few weeks after a flood, and if you were lucky and arrived right after the stream flowed , you will get to see the play in the form of water splashing between the backs.
You have definitely arrived at a good place for a long stop and rest, you can continue wandering along the blue path until it splits with a black path, from there begins a section called 'Gai Salaim', those of you who are interested in a more challenging and longer trip can continue from there towards Ein Nemer, a spring that springs in all seasons (suitable for the benevolent).
After resting on the white surfaces, we will continue walking, with black markings, down the river channel which gradually opens up and is slowly filled with huge acacia trees.
In the spring season, you can find a variety of plants typical of the Judean desert in the stream.
After a little more than a kilometer, you will see a split with a green path climbed with the path on the north bank of the stream straight to the overnight parking lot.
In the spring season, the river has a variety of plants typical of the Judean desert (photo: Society for the Protection of Nature, Jordan Perry)
before the trip - please check the forecast for flood alerts or heat stress.
Nahal Tzalim is part of a nature reserve, do not stay in the stream after dark.
It is possible that the condition of the backs is not warning, keep in mind.
Leave behind only footprints - we are guests.
Where do you start?
Write in Wise: Tzalim parking lot, a trip of about 3 km on a dirt road that is suitable for any vehicle.
Difficulty level: easy-medium
Length: about 3 km
Intended for: everyone
Recommended period: winter and spring
Accessibility: the route is not accessible
Trips in the country
Trips in the south
Trips in the country