Jilabun Nature Reserve and its spectacular waterfalls
This beautiful and deservedly popular hike along the Jilabun River is slightly difficult, but still appropriate for families. You will have spectacular views of two non-season-dependent waterfalls - the Dvora 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 former prosperous Jewish town of Dvora from Mishnaic and Talmudic times as a side-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. There are four river crossings balancing on rocks, and none are particularly easy. Two walking sticks can be very helpful for this. If you are not good at balancing, consider the possibility beforehand that you might step into shallow water.
Directions and starting point: 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 Jilabun Fall, whereas for a full hike it is best to include the Dvora 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 side road and turn your car round to face 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 the Israel Nature and Parks Authority may have a stand at popular times of the year at the beginning of the trail to help guide you on your way.
The Devorah Waterfall
From the Syrian army buildings walk down the valley to the Dvorah Waterfall on the red-marked trail. This descent is not difficult. After crossing the river on rocks, you will come to an observation point for the Dvorah Waterfall. It is possible to swim in the pool by the falls.
Continue along the red-marked trail towards the observation area for the Jilabun Waterfall. Walking through the lush foliage by the river bed you may notice freshwater crabs by the water. You can walk down to the pool from the observation area and swim in the pool
From this 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.
From the lower parking area, turn left along the jeep road, also blue-marked, and this will bring you back to your car in the upper parking area.
The Jilabun Waterfall
ALTERNATIVE OR ADDITIONAL HIKES:
1. Side-trail to Daburiya. Just after the observation point for the Devorah Waterfall, you can turn right onto a blue-marked trail to the ruins of the abandoned Bedouin village of Daburiya. This can be either added to the circular hike or done as a separate hike. It is about a 10-15-minute walk to the beginning of the ruins from the observation area. 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 just before the ruins explains that the threshold from a Bedouin home was found with the inscription “This is the study house of Rabbi Elazar Hakapar.” It is now located in the Golan Archeological Museum in Katzrin. It is possible to explore the ruins for other Jewish engraved inscriptions and patterns, but there is no defined path and you can easily get lost and is best not attempted. (If you do get lost use the map below to find your location relative to the trail).
2. Shorter Hike. For a much shorter hike, continue along the jeep trail you entered from Route 91 until you come to the lower parking lot. From here take the blue trail to the observation area for the Jilabun Waterfall. You can also walk further down to its pool.
3. Longer Hike: 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.
Map of the 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 free app unless you wish to.