Red Canyon – Israel - Atlas Obscura
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Israel

Red Canyon

Squeezing inside this deep, narrow canyon reveals a festival of desert colors. 

The Eilat Mountains begin just a few minutes outside the busy seaside resort town of Eilat. It’s hard to imagine a more striking contrast between the concrete hotel blocks and the dramatic desert landscape just behind it. The most striking feature of the Eilat Mountains is the variety of rock formations and colors.

The colors change radically from black to white, yellow, red, and purple, creating a festival of colors. This color pallet is spread over craggy rock formations, some of which are very special.

The best way to enjoy this landscape is by hiking the Red Canyon. The highlight of this relaxed three-mile (five-kilometer) hike is the section that passes through the gorge, where you’ll squeeze between nearly 100-foot-tall (30 meters) walls made of reddish-colored Nubian Sandstone.

At some spots, the width narrows down to less than three feet (one meter). At times, you’ll need to use metal ladders and surf down a natural slide created by the smooth-faced rocks.

Know Before You Go

The Red Canyon trailhead can be reached also with public bus #392 from Eilat central bus station. It's a natural reserve, but there is no admission fee and is open 24 hours. Camping is allowed in a designated area near the parking lot. 


This short hike has it all. It's great fun for kids, but its unique natural beauty will also appeal to experienced hikers. Avid photographers will get fantastic opportunities for some spectacular shots.

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