A signed dirt path alongside Mt. Sodom in Israel leads you to the beginning of the trail at Nahal Peratzim.
Pay careful attention to the signs, which can be confusing. About a mile and a half from where you leave the road, the sign tells you to go left (west). In just over another mile you make a sharp right turn (north). From here you have a little over half a mile till you reach the parking area where the walk begins.
While driving youíll see the enormous Amiaz plain before you, a beautiful, wild expanse that looks like itís in a film. After driving slowly for a few minutes youíll reach the signed starting point, park the car, and descend to the canyon. On nights when the moon is full the place is liable to be packed with hikers, which should give you a feeling of security.
At this point the canyon is wide and low, but if you keep going it will get much higher and narrower. The canyon walls create a sense of shelter, in total contrast to the huge open plain surrounding it on all sides. Note the rocky walls decorated with swirling designs in a variety of forms and textures, the result of generation after generation of erosion.
During the walk, after the red markings, the canyon becomes narrower and deeper, and the feeling of being cut off increases. The curves also become sharper and more frequent. The straight walls rise to a great height, and the distance between them is not more than several yards.
The path to the flour cave is short and fascinating. It takes about twenty minutes, but the knowledge that you are in fact underground, the moon that lights the jagged path with photogenic angles, the sharp turns, and the feeling of being cut off from the world, make Nahal Peratzim one of the most beautiful and popular nighttime walks in Israel.
Length of route: About 2.5 miles
Type of route: Circular
Level of difficulty: Easy
Full moon: Required
How to get there:
From Arad go to the Zohar Junction on road #31 and turn right (south) onto road #90 between the signs for the 193rd and 194th kilometer on the road. Turn right (east) to the signed path marked in red.
Reproduced with permission: Ynet