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There are a number of hikes in the Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve, although some are only appropriate for experienced hikers. Described here is a spectacular and very popular, circular hike along the Zavitan Stream.  Most of the hike is on easy jeep trails, but there are sections that are mild to moderately difficult with climbing over rocks. There is an optional but well worthwhile descent to the bottom of the Zavitan Waterfall and its pool. The pool is deep and suitable for adult swimming.

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Time: About 3½ hours.

Distance: Almost 9 Km.

Difficulty: Most of the hike is very easy, walking on jeep trails. However, the red-marked footpath along the Zavitan Stream is mild to moderately difficult, although not dangerous. The optional descent to the bottom of the Zavitan Waterfall involves descent on a ladder by the cliff and is not difficult although it involves walking along rocks. Walking sticks can be helpful for climbing on the rocks and for crossing the stream near the waterfall.

Directions and starting point:  Enter “Yehudiya Reserve” into Waze and this will bring you to the Yehudiya parking lot. This part of the park is accessed from Route 87. After checking in at the park entrance and obtaining a map (also available in English), turn right to the Zavitan Parking Lot in your car following the sign to the Upper Zavitan Stream. This is a poor quality road. The parking lot is not signposted, but is on the right-hand side of the road at the end of the road and just before a gate.

Admission: This is a site of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. It is open Sunday to Thursday and Saturday 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, and Friday and holiday eves 8.00 am to 4.00 pm. It closes 1 hour earlier in the winter. Last entry is 2¼ hours before closing. A kiosk serves hot and cold drinks, snacks and some hiking equipment. There is a large shaded area with picnic benches next to the kiosk. Restrooms are nearby. There is an admission charge. There is overnight camping. The park rangers should tell you if there is any problem swimming in the pools because of bacterial contamination. phone number is 04-696 2817. Click here for their website. 

Public transport: There is an infrequent bus service between the Degania area and Katzrin that stops at the Yehudia parking lot. From here it is a few minutes' walk to the park kiosk.

Upper Zavitan Falls.jpeg

The Upper Zavitan Falls from the observation area.



  • Cross the road from the parking lot and follow the blue sign to the Zavitan Fall.


  • After some distance you will come to a fork. Turn onto the black-marked path. There is a black-marked sign here to the Upper Zavitan Stream, but it may be placed slightly after the turn-off. On this section of the trail, you will see the ruins of the deserted Arab village of Sheikh Hussein on your left.


  • At a red-marked sign to the Zavitan Waterfall, turn to your left along the red-marked footpath. This path goes along the bank of the wadi and then into the wadi itself and can be somewhat difficult in parts with climbing over boulders. It passes two pools with basalt walls and typical hexagon rock formations.


  • You will eventually come to an observation area with a brick wall overlooking the Zavitan Waterfall.


  • About 300-400 meter from the observation area is a 4-way junction. From here is an optional there-and-back descent to the waterfall and its pool. It is indicated by a blue-marked signpost to Zavitan Waterfall. It will add about 40 minutes to your hike (and this time has been included in the time given above). The water in the pool is deep and is wonderful for adult swimming. Pools and streams in the Golan have been intermittently contaminated with leishmaniasis and swimming is then not advised. The park ranger at the park entrance will inform you if this is the case. The descent to the stream entails descending a ladder, but this is neither difficult nor scary. Somewhat more difficult is climbing over the boulders on the way to the pool. The side of the pool is a good place for a snack or lunch. Return to the red-marked trail the way you came via the ladder.

  • At the 4-way junction, turn left onto the trail marked in blue and this will take you directly to your car.


(This hike can be considerably shortened by hiking directly to the Zavitan Waterfall on the blue-marked trail and returning on the same path).

Polol on way to Upper Zavitan.jpeg

 A pool along the Zavitan Stream.

Upper Zavitan Canyon Short Trail

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Links to the HOME PAGE and best family activities, hikes and historic sites in the GOLAN, EASTERN GALILEE, UPPER GALILEE, LOWER GALILEE, JORDAN VALLEY & LAKE KINNERET, the SHEFELAH, TEL AVIV-YAFFO and surroundings, NORTH of TEL AVIV, and SOUTH of TEL AVIV.

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