Jilabun Nature Reserve and its spectacular waterfalls

This beautiful and deservedly popular hike along the Jilabun River is a slightly difficult hike, but is still appropriate for a family. There are spectacular views of two waterfalls, the Devora Waterfall and the Jilabun Waterfall. At 41 meters high, the latter is the second highest waterfall in Israel, second only to the Gamla Waterfall.  It is also possible to view the ruins of the prosperous Jewish Byzantine town of Devora from Mishnaic and Talmudic times as a side-hike on the blue trail.

Gamla Falls.jpeg

THE HIKE

 

Time: 2-2½ hours.

Distance: Approximately 3 Km.

Type of hike: Circular.

Difficulty: This is a slightly to moderately difficult hike. However, there are railings or bars in the rock in the most difficult spots in the hike. Two walking sticks can be very helpful especially for the river crossings. There are four river crossings balancing on rocks, and none are particularly easy. If you are not good at balancing, consider the possibility beforehand that you might land in the shallow water.

Directions: Enter “Gilabun Fall” into Waze. Continue northwards along route 91 until you see the entrance to the nature reserve on your left with a black sign ״נחל גילבון״. This Waze direction will take you to the Lower Parking lot and close to the Gilabun Fall, whereas for a full hike it is best to include the Devora Waterfall. Hence, after about 1.5 Km on the gravel approach road take the first right following the signpost to Devora Falls “מפל דבורה.” You can park anywhere along the side of this road for the next 500 meter until its end. However, if there are many cars, and especially if they are parked on either side of the road, consider parking at the beginning of this approach trail and turn your car round facing the exit. This will save you difficulty in exiting when lots of cars attempt to use the same one lane for leaving. 

Admission: There is no admission charge, park office or brochure, although Israel Nature and Parks Authority may have a stand at popular times of the year at the beginning of the trail.

Jilabun.jpeg

THE HIKE:

  • From the buildings of a former Syrian army camp, continue on the red-marked trail down the valley to the Devorah Waterfall. This descent is not difficult. After crossing the river on rocks, you will come to an observation point for the Devorah Waterfall. It is possible to swim in the water by the falls. Walking through the lush foliage by the river bed you may notice freshwater crabs by the water.

  • Continue along the red-marked trail towards the observation area for the Jilabun Waterfall. It is also possible to walk down here to the pool to swim.

  • From the observation area, walk back a short distance to the beginning of the blue trail on your right. This ascent will bring you to the Lower Parking area.

 

  • Turn left along the jeep road, which is also blue-marked, to your car in the upper parking area.

Devorah.jpeg

ALTERNATIVE OR ADDITIONAL HIKES: 

1. Just after the observation point for the Devorah Waterfall you can turn right onto the blue-marked trail to the ruins of the abandoned Bedouin village of Daburiya. This hike can be either added to the circular hike described above or done as a separate hike. It is about a 10-15-minute walk to the beginning of the ruins. In Byzantine times there was a prosperous Jewish town here called Devora. The Bedouin sometimes used the basalt stones from originally Jewish buildings for their own houses. A green notice, for example, at the beginning of the ruins explains that a threshold was found with the inscription “This is the study house of Rabbi Elazar Hakapar.” This is now located in the Golan Archeological Museum in Katzrin. It is possible to explore the ruins looking for Jewish engraved inscriptions and patterns, but there is no defined path and you can easily get lost and so is best not attempted (if you do get lost use the map below to find your location relative to the trail).  

2. For a much shorter hike than the circular hike described above, park in the Lower Parking lot by continuing along the jeep trail you entered on from Route 91. From this parking lot take the blue trail down to the observation area for the Jilabun Waterfall. You can also further down to its pool.​  

 

3. For about a 5-hour one-way hike continue along the red-marked trail to the Hacksinim Pool and mill. You will need to have a second car waiting for you by the Pkack Bridge.

Trail in the Jilabun Nature Reserve. To follow your location on your smart phone, click on https://israelhiking.osm.org.il/share/PBvRzDlY8m. Click on the black box with a cross at the top left of the map and it should change color to green. It is not necessary to download the program unless you wish to.