ISRAEL

The Red Canyon - a hidden gem on the way to Eilat

Tracking in the Red Canyon next to Eilat
About 20 km north from Eilat, you will find one of the most beautiful desert trails in Israel - the Red Canyon. For years wind and water sculpted its red-colored walls of the Nubian sandstone giving it an elegant and unique shape.

The Red Canyon is 200-300 meter in length. You can walk through all of it (there and back) in 40-50 minutes. The route is quite simple. Only in some places you will need to climb up or down the stable metal ladders. But trust me, even kids can handle this.

There are two trails in the Red Canyon - green and black. The green one is fast and easy. It will lead you to the dried, narrow river channel (the most-photographed part of the track) which later opens up into a wider channel.

The black trail is a bit more difficult. You'll need to climb a bit in the beginning until you reach a peack with a breathtaking view (so worth the climb!). On the way back, you'll need to go down a steep drop so move slowly and make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Red Canyon photography
Photos from the Red Canyon
Unfortunately, there is no public transportation going to the Red Canyon. So you can only reach it by car (20 minutes) or by bicycle (about 1,5 hour). Keep in mind that you won't be able to take the bicycle to the canyon itself so you'll need to leave it at the parking lot.

The road from route 12 to the Red Canyon is a bit bumpy and covered with small stones. However, even a regular passenger car can pass here. You'll have to go slowly though, the way from the route to the parking might take around 10 minutes unless you are driving one of those tank-like pickups.
The Red Canyon is amazingly picturesque (or should I say instagramable?)! Definitely take your camera with you. I also recommend having a good tripod - small for a phone or a bigger one for a DSLR - to take full-body size photos like the one I took there with my boyfriend (tripod + phone + timer).
The best time to visit the Red Canyon is fresh winter months when it's not too hot to walk in the desert. But even then make sure to take at least 1 liter of water per person, a hat and comfortable shoes (especially if you intend to walk the black trail). Take into account that in winter this part of Israel often gets heavily flooded so check the weather before going! Avoid going on holidays and weekends though because it might get crowded there.

Getting back on the route to Eilat you can make a stop on a viewpoint overlooking Aqaba and the Gulf of Aqaba (look for a radio tower painted red and blue - it's up there!).