Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (2022)

Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (1)

Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (2)Get there with Google MapsMount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (3)Get there with WazeMount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (4)Get there with Moovit
Trail MapMount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (5)Hike it with Google EarthMount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (6)Trailhead and Markers Gallery
Distance: 10.5kmTime: 5 hoursDifficulty: Strenuous
Ascent: 290mMount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (7)4x4 ParkingMount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (8)4x4 Parking

Click here to go straight to hike notes.

Click here to see the video for this hike.

4:00 AM. I rolled over, closed my eyes, and tried to sleep. But something was pulling me into the day, nudging me to get out of bed and get going. And that something was sunrise in the Negev.

Less than a two-hour drive away, there was a desert mountain waiting, along with dramatic views of dawn over hills of multihued rock. All we had to do to experience this beauty was get out of bed right now, get in the car, and go. So that’s what we did.

Two hours later, we were pulling into the college at the edge of Sde Boker. The sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon. Our plan for the day was to climb to the top of Mount Tzror, then complete the circle through the valley at Nahal Tzror.

Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (9)

Since this particular hike had been recommended by a friend, we were pretty sure it was going to be a good one. And as we set out onto the trail, shivering in the cold morning air, we looked forward to an epic adventure.

Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror did not disappoint. On our hike that day, we got to experience the magical beauty of morning in an otherworldly desert landscape. There was a flat-topped mountain, a cool canyon, and rolling walls of chalk white rock. We were all alone on the trail that morning – just us and the desert birds. It was a great day.

Here’s how we hiked to Mount Tzror and through Nahal Tzror in the desert near Sde Boker:

Shaking Off the Sandman

The first part of the trail was blessedly simple. As the sun rose over the horizon, we walked along a flat path out into the desert. On one side, the full moon still hung low in the sky. On the other, the sun gleamed a bright orange-pink.

There other people on this first section of the hike. Early morning joggers and walkers were completing their morning exercise out in this flat part of the desert near Sde Boker. It was a pretty cool place for a morning run.

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Soon, we left the joggers behind and found our way onto a more rugged part of the trail. From here, we would be beginning the slow ascent to Mount Tzror.

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A Flat-Topped Mountain

For a while, the terrain remained relatively uninteresting. This was fine for us. At that time of day, there was a lot to look at.

Dawn had revealed a spectacular sky filled with miniature grey clouds. As the sun’s rays filtered through the fog, a beautiful scene appeared. In the distance, a flat-topped mountain stood alone, protruding from a deep valley, the dramatic sky completing a perfect picture.

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Soon, we would be sitting up on top of that mountain. First, we stopped to take in the scenery from the top of a little rock hill. Desert dunes spread out all around in shades of gold, white, and almost black. It was the most beautiful scene we would see that day.

Over the Ridge

Next, we proceeded towards Nahal Tzror. We climbed down along a white chalk ridge. On both sides of the narrow ridge, the valley dipped sharply.

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As we walked across the ridge, it felt like we were in a scene out of a movie. I could just imagine the hero, walking alone on this narrow pathway in isolated terrain. For us, there was no world to save or villain to conquer. Instead, we proceeded up to the top of Mount Tzror where a spectacular lookout awaited.

On Top of the World

When we reached the edge of the mountain, we put down our bags and took in the views. The scene at the top was surreal. In the distance, we could see some of our favorite trails: Hod Akev and Keren Akev were just across the valley.

On one side, the desert continued in rolling hills and mountains into the sunlight. On the other, we could see green fields near Sde Boker. And behind us, more desert valleys and peaks completed the panoramic view.

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At that point in the day, it was most definitely time for coffee. After saying our morning prayers, we poured out hot coffee from our thermos and parked ourselves on the edge of the mountain.

It was so peaceful there. Over breakfast and coffee at dawn on a mountaintop, we talked about many things. One of them was how worthwhile it had been to get out of bed at 4:00 AM in order to experience that moment.

Into the Nahal

After spending quite a while at the summit of Mount Tzror, we packed up our stuff and got back on the trail. The sun was rising fast. The cool of the morning was almost gone. It was time to get going.

We climbed back down the mountain and followed the trail into a shallow valley. As we walked, we passed by strange stone structures and narrow cliff edges. After hiking for a while in this world of rocky beauty, we reached a breakaway trail to a standing pool.

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Since it was still early in the rainy season, we weren’t expecting to find any water in the pool. And as we approached, we saw that it was, in fact, completely dry. Still, the rolling layers of rock above the pool were beautiful to look at. They reminded me of the scenery at Ein Avdat Nature Reserve, just a few kilometers away.

We took some pictures, then continued to follow the path until we reached the end of the valley.

All in a Day’s Adventure

From here, we followed a more run-of-the-mill path back to the trailhead. Although there was no dramatic scenery here, there was a steep climb. By the end of our journey, we were hot and sweaty. It was hard to relate to the cold we had felt just a few hours earlier.

As we crossed through the gate back into Sde Boker, we took stock of the morning. It had been an incredible adventure. In only a few hours, we had seen the sunrise and a full moon, climbed to the top of a desert mountain, and experienced one of the most spectacular views in the Negev.

Our hike to Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror had been well worth getting out of bed early for.

Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (16)
Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror Adventure (17)

Hikers Notes:

Here’s what you need to know to hike this trail to Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror:

  • This trail is suitable for cooler days in fall, winter, and spring. During the rainy season, make sure to check for flash flood warnings before you go.
  • We did not bring our dog, but I see no reason why this trail would not be suitable for dogs.
  • Wear a hat and sun protection and good hiking shoes to hike this trail. Bring at least 2.5 liters of water.
  • If you have a 4x4, you can shorten the trail by 3.5 kilometers. Go to the 4x4 parking and begin on the road to the blue trail, skipping the red trail.
  • To follow the full trail, take the red trail from the parking area. Follow the red trail to the big road. Make a right onto the road until you reach the blue trail. Follow the blue trail towards Mount Tzror. When you reach the green trail to Mount Tzror, take it to the top of the mountain and then return to the blue trail. Follow the blue trail through Nahal Tzror. Look for the breakaway trail in Nahal Tzror (marked white, clear, white) and follow it to the standing pool (full only during rainy season). Return to the blue trail and follow it back to the road/black trail. Turn right onto the black trail and follow it back to red and back to the trailhead.
  • Use the trail marker gallery, the trail map, and the Google Earth file in the table at the top of the page to find your way on the trail.

Don’t forget to read my guide to the navigational features in this post before you hit the trail!

Trail map from Amud Anan.

Questions? Have you hiked this trail to Mount Tzror and Nahal Tzror? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

Check out our video!

Hiking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each hiker’s responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.

You can shorten this walk by one hour; instead of leaving your room by foot going in a north easterly direction along the cliff like you would to do to walk to the Sculpture Park , you can drive out to road 40, turn right (north) and after several hundred meters turn right again on a dirt road signposted ‘Sde Tzin’.. Har Tzaror is not generally on the tourist track and more’s the pity as a good part of this hike is downright spectacular.. On the first Saturday of every September the entire village gets up in the middle of the night and walks in a procession to Har Tzaror to witness the ‘sunrise ceremony’ which marks the start of the final year for grade 12 at our environmental high school.. A slightly boring part, an extremely pleasant desert-hike part and a breathtaking part.. If you have walked along the cliff, you will come to this stone via the red path coming either straight from Krivine Guesthouse or from the sculpture park .. I have already said that I prefer starting with the black path, but if you are stubborn and ungrateful and you insist on taking the blue path here’s what to look out for:. Dead animals are scraped off the road; the Bedouin will call the Nature Reserve rangers to tell them they have a dead camel or donkey and a truck will duly arrive to hoist it up and bring it to this feeding station.. But let’s go back to the departure stone and start the walk from the black path as this is how I prefer to do this hike.. Start walking down a broad dirt road [all vehicles] called Tzir HaNeft (petroleum road).. From there, you will start your descent along the far side of the mountain – the leg I have designated ‘pleasant desert-hike’ – until you reach the university fence [now on your left] and in another 20 minutes (the last lap) either you will find your car where you left it or if you came by foot you will return to Krivine Guesthouse along the cliff.

The Place to Stop Before the Place to Stop After a long journey filled with chatter, we reached the final ascent towards Sartava.. Just beyond this patch of grass, we could see a beautiful panoramic view out to the surrounding area.. Aside from the views, we also noticed the remains of an ancient fortress at the top of Sartava.. You can hike this trail the way it's listed, or just head straight up and back down the green trail for a shorter and more direct hike.. At Sartava, take the green trail to the top.. Then, follow the green trail up to the top of Sartava.. Have you been to Sartava?

For good measure, we’ll top and tail the whole trip with a great hotel in Marrakech, complete with luxury hammam treatments and a courtyard pool.. Accommodation in twin rooms Equipment Guide Local transport Most meals included Max 14 travellers per group Private airport transfers. Day 1 Arrive in Marrakech Airport (RAK) Day 2 Hike from Imlil to refuge Day 3 Hike 10 hours to summit Day 4 Hammam day in Marrakech Day 5 Depart from Marrakech Airport (RAK). At 6pm, you’ll meet your group at the hotel and head out across Djemaa El Fna Square, where you’ll see hundreds of street food stalls come alive.. The summit climb involves scrambling across steep scree fields and you’ll need to take it steady to manage the rising altitude.. You’ll need to be relatively fit to tackle this trip and capable of hiking all day through a challenging terrain.

DAY 1: Marrakech – Imlil – Azzaden valley – Tamsoult refuge. Today involves a fairly stiff climb out of the Azzaden Valley to the Toubkal refuge over the Aguelzim mountain pass at 3,560 m. Lunch will be taken with spectacular views over the Atlas mountain range.. DAY 3: Toubkal refuge – Toubkal summit – Imlil – Marrakech. This is not included in the total price.. Refuge du Toubkal If you’re going to climb Mount Toubkal you will end up at the Refuge du Toubkal sooner or later.. It is recommended to do winter mountaineering practice before making a plan to ascend Toubkal in winter.. Best time for ascending Mount Toubkal. Trekking on Mount Toubkal is possible all year round.. However, the best time to hike to the top is in Spring, from April to May.. That time of the year, the weather is not too hot and you will be able to see some snow in the mountains.. – Ice axe and crampons (winter)– Basic First Aid Kit– Headtorch / headlamp– Day sack/backpack– Walking stick– 3 to 4 season sleeping bag– Water bottle or camel back. Our trekking options include Mount Toubkal ascent, walking the High Atlas valleys, and treks through Berber villages revealing the breathtaking quiet beauty of adjacent valleys.. Our activities rely on the knowledge, strong limbs and hospitality of the Berber people, who work as local guides, muleteers and accommodation providers.. After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company.

> Quick ascent of Mt Toubkal> Visit Berber villages> view of all the High Atlas Mountains. An experienced mountain guide willtake you on a walk through the Berber villages via the shrine of Sidi Chamharouch (2500m)to reach the mountain hut.. DAY 2: Toubkal refuge – Summit – return to Imlil. x Crampons and Ice Axe In case you are summitting Toubkal in winter, crampons and an ice axe a reccommended.. x Personal Expenses Personal expenses along the way and during the trek, like Soft/alcoholic drinks, are not covered in the total price of the trekking.. Refuge du Toubkal If you’re going to climb Mount Toubkal you will end up at the Refuge du Toubkal sooner or later.. Mount Toubkal, locally known as Jebel Toubkal, is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, and North Africa.. About 60 kilometers south of Marrakesh, Toubkal is a popular base for trekking and climbing.. It is recommended to do winter mountaineering practice before making a plan to ascend Toubkal in winter.. Trekking on Mount Toubkal is possible all year round.. Trekking in the Atlas is fine, but make sure you drink enough water.. For Atlas Trekking you need to prepare as you would for walking in any mountain region; it can be warm and sunny during the day but the weather in the mountains can quickly change from sunshine to snow and cold winds (autumn through late spring).. – Ice axe and crampons (winter)– Basic First Aid Kit– Headtorch / headlamp– Day sack/backpack– Walking stick– 3 to 4 season sleeping bag– Water bottle or camel back. We organize trekking trips within Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains emphasizing a community-friendly approach.. Our trekking options include Mount Toubkal ascent, walking the High Atlas valleys, and treks through Berber villages revealing the breathtaking quiet beauty of adjacent valleys.

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