Nahal El Al and the Black and White Waterfalls

This is a wonderful hike along the El Al stream with two deservedly popular waterfalls -  the Black Waterfall close the moshav Avnei Eitan and the White Waterfall closer to Kibbutz Eliad. There are four worthwhile hikes one can do within this reserve: 1. Starting from the parking lot by Avnei Eitan to hike to the White Waterfall and return along the same route (about 30 minutes and 0.9 Km each way); 2. Hike from the parking lot by Avnei Eitan to the Black Waterfall and back; 3. Hike from the parking lot by Kibbutz Eliad to the White Waterfall (about an hour each way); 4. Most recommended is a circular hike to both waterfalls starting from Avnei Eitan and to take the paved bike/pedestrian path from Kibbutz Eliad back to your starting point. The time and distance given are for this option. If you have 2 cars another alternative is to start from Avnei Eitan and to leave the second car in the parking lot by Kibbutz Eliad.

Black Waterfall.jpeg

The Black Waterfall

THE HIKE

 

Time: Approximately 4¼ hours.

Distance: Approximately 9¼ Km.

Type of hike: Circular.

Difficulty: Almost all this hike is easy. However, there are short sections that are moderately difficult, which includes climbing two cliff faces with the assistance of handgrips – one down and one up. Therefore, this entire hike is usually categorized as moderately difficult. If there has been recent rain, the trail may be slippery and hazardous and should not be attempted. Even more so if it is actually raining.

Starting Point: From the parking lot before the Indian Village by Avnei Eitan There is a kiosk by the parking lot but it is not always open.

Directions: Enter into Waze “כפר האינדיאני” and click on “כפר האינדיאני, אבני איתן.” You will need to pass through the moshav Avnei Eitan to reach the parking lot. Indian Village is not your destination, but it is recognizable by Waze and the parking lot is just before the Indian Village.  Avnei Eitan is a religious moshav and is closed on Shabbat and holidays. However, there is a dirt road 100 meter or so from the entrance to the moshav that goes around to the left and this can be used to encircle around the moshav to the parking lot.

Different colors.jpeg

    THE HIKE:

  • From the parking lot descend to the nahal on the red-marked trail. A short distance from the parking lot you will cross a paved tayelet (bicycle/footpath). The descent is slightly difficult, but once you have reached the bottom the going is easy.

 

  • Continue on the red-marked trail through the valley. The hike passes through luscious foliage adjacent to the stream. This does prevent you from seeing the stream for much of the way, but you can hear it gurgling.

 

  • After about 30 minutes, you will come to the Black Waterfall, so called because of the black volcanic basalt stone around the waterfall. You will need to descend the cliff face to get to the bottom of the fall. The cliff is not excessively high and the descent is not particularly difficult - there are metal handgrips set into the cliff and crevices in the rock for your feet. At the bottom is a pool which is good for swimming (but check beforehand that swimming is permitted, as there is periodic contamination with leptospirosis).

  • You will soon come to another cliff face to ascend. The waterfall is small but the cliff face is a bit higher than the previous one. As previously, there are metal handgrips set into the rock. There is also another pool here.

 

  • Continue to the White Waterfall, so-called because quite a bit of the rock around the waterfall underlying the basalt is chalk. Shortly before the waterfall, you will need to cross the stream, but this is not difficult. The trail splits and there is a descent to the pool by the waterfall. One can swim here.

  • The ascent to the parking lot by Kibbutz Eliad is quite long, but not particularly difficult. After a short distance is an observation point for viewing the waterfall.You will eventually reach the parking lot. 

 

  • Adjacent to the parking lot is a paved path that leads to a paved tayelet or bicycle/footpath back to Avnei Eitan. Turn left onto this path. This path is not particularly exciting and there are no views over the nahal. However, it does offer a quick way back to Avnei Eitan. Shortly before reaching Avnei Eitan, is Mitzpe Habanim, which is an overlook over the nahal. There is a recorded explanation about the nahal in Hebrew.

 

  • You will soon reach the entrance into Avnei Eitan. Turn right on the paved path to the parking lot.

The White Waterfall.jpeg

The White Waterfall

Trail to White and Black Waterfalls along Nahal El Al. To follow your location on your smart phone, click on https://israelhiking.osm.org.il/share/RuPwHzPXiN. 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.