The Stunning Basalt Canyon in Nahal Tavor Nature Reserve
This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Galilee. It is a circular hike that is slightly difficult in parts and somewhat strenuous at its end because of the incline, but is highly recommended for individuals and families.
Time: About 3 to 3½ hours.
Distance: Just over 8 Km.
Type of hike: Circular.
Difficulty: Most of this hike is easy. However, there are some slightly difficult parts with climbing over rocks. Also, one area where it is necessary to climb up rungs on a cliff, although this is not difficult nor dangerous. There are four river crossings on boulders, but these also are not difficult. Towards the end of the hike is a fairly steep and long climb up a rocky path. A pair of walking sticks can be helpful for this hike.
Directions: Enter “Kibbutz Gazit” into Waze. This will bring you to the entrance to the kibbutz. Green signs to נחל תבור within the kibbutz will take you past the cowsheds. Turn left here. Exit the far side of the kibbutz by following the sign לשמורת נחל תבור and you will shortly come to parking areas on either side of the road.
From the parking lot there is a fork immediately ahead of you, both branches of which are red-marked. Take the right fork. After a while you will see a picnic area and observation point on your right, Neve Elad, and it is worth going through the grey gate to visit. Return to the red-marked trail. Ignore the green trail on your left and continue down the hill until you come to the stream. This is a distance of about 2½ Km from the parking area and should take you about ¾-hour. There is a parking area here, picnic benches, a map, and a sign explaining the vegetation and wildlife you will see along the stream.
Turn left along the blue-marked trail. This part of the hike is extremely beautiful with the path framed on either side by basalt cliffs. There are four stream crossings and it is worth looking before and after the colored markings to choose the best place to cross.
You will come eventually to two small waterfalls and a pool. The going now becomes a bit more difficult and there is a section in which you will need to climb up on rungs in the cliff.
Shortly after the fourth stream crossing, the blue trail deviates from the canyon. The path is rocky and only minimally difficult, but is quite long and steep. So, take it gradually, especially in hot weather. You cannot miss the view of Mount Tabor.
At the top of the path is the observation area Lashon HaMelech (תצפית לשון המלך) with views of the stream below. Two stone picnic benches are conveniently placed.
Just before the observation area is a signpost. Turn to the right (facing the observation area) on the blue-marked trail signposted to Gazit.
The blue-marked trail turns into a black-marked trail, and at a Farewell sign it becomes red-marked. Follow this to your car.
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View of Mount Tabor from the ascent path.
Map of trail along Nahal Tavor
To follow your location on your smart phone, click on https://israelhiking.osm.org.il/share/a0kfWeJGdn. 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.
Nearby places of interest:
You cannot miss Mount Tabor in the distance towards the end of the hike. One can drive up to the top of the mountain and hike around its summit (see the webpage Mount Tabor - Views from the Summit and its Biblical Associations). Consider also the Marzipan Museum at Kfar Tabor, the Silk and Honey Farm and the Archeological Museum at Ein Dor (all are on the same webpage and all are only a short distance from here).