Abseiling in Israel

A man doing abseiling

Thanks to its very diverse scenery, and the tendencies of many Israelis to “walk on the wild side” and do extreme sports activities, Israel is an epic destination for adventure lovers, with a very developed culture of sand boarding, surfing, skydiving, and more. Alongside them, thanks to the multiple dramatic canyons that you can find here in many different parts of the country, Israel is also one of the best places to experience the unique sport of abseiling. Here, you will find everything you need to know about abseiling in Israel, for the ultimate adventure experience during your Israel trip.

What is abseiling?

Abseiling (known in Israel as Sneppling) is a technique for crossing height obstacles, such as waterfalls and deep canyons, in descent, with the help of ropes. Abseiling started as a side activity in rock climbing but today it stands as a sport of its own

In most places in the world, abseiling is mainly used as a means of crossing height obstacles in two sports: canyoning and rock climbing. In canyoning, you surf down streams, and the abseiling actually enriches the experience and allows you to reach places that are inaccessible without it. In rock climbing, abseiling is used as a means of descending from the middle of a route, in case of emergency, or in case there is no other way to descend from the end of a route.

How to do abseiling in Israel

In Israel, abseiling has developed mainly as a tourist activity. In this great organized activity, a group arrives at a cliff, a waterfall, or a canyon with easy access and prepared equipment, and multiple guides lead and secure the surfers while they descend along the rope. Thanks to the huge variety of great abseiling sites, and a big community of abseiling, you will find plenty of great options for abseiling tour operators during your visit to Israel, mostly in the Judean Desert.

Of course, every tour provides different services, but usually, it’s important to come to an abseiling trip with suitable hiking equipment, as it usually involves hiking between the different abseiling spots. So make sure to bring a hat, water, hiking shoes, and comfortable clothing for your abseiling experience.

Best abseiling sites in Israel

Nahal Rahaf

Let’s start with the most recommended abseiling route in Israel. Rahaf stream, which located is near the Qumran Caves, falls in a series of 9 waterfalls, from a height of 5-35 meters/16-115 feet, so there is a wide range of options suitable for people of different levels of experience.

On this route, which goes through the canyons of the Judean Desert, you will also find dozens natural steep of rock steps that you pass with the help of ropes and pegs. Beyond the impressive amount of waterfalls, one of the biggest attractions here is the many pools of water here in the winter.

The height of the pools varies from year to year due to the amount of rainfall, so many abseilers return here time and time again because each time the water level creates a completely different experience. The route is open between the months of November and May and in a year with a lot of rainfall, it also can even be done in June.

Nahal Zavitan – the Black Ravine

The Balck Ravine part of the Zavitan River in the Golan Heights is widely considered to be the best abseiling route in Israel for the summer months. In addition to abseiling, you will enjoy huge water pools, rock steps, and ladders here. The route is ideal for inexperienced abseilers with reasonable physical fitness who want to try experiential abseiling for the first time in their lives.

The length of the two waterfalls here is 5 meters/16 feet and 20 meters/65 feet. After the first series of waterfalls, you will get to another smaller series of 2 waterfalls and pools where one of them descends with pegs and the other by abseiling. This is a very popular route, so you should register in advance to secure your place.

Nahal Khatsason

A great route in the Judean desert, which starts high in the Samaria region and ends in the Dead Sea. This is the route with the biggest height difference you will find here, with the highest descent being 120 meters/393 feet – the highest waterfall in the country that you can abseil on.

The climb to the beginning of the stream takes an hour and a half, but the fast way down is worth every moment of the climb. Further along the route, there are other waterfalls of varying heights: 20, 35, and 60 meters/65, 115, and 196 feet, so even less experienced abseilers can join this wonderful trip. The trip to the stream is possible mainly in the months of May or November since in the winter months the stream is closed due to the nesting of a rare night raptor and in the summer months, it gets scorching hot here.

Nahal Tur

A short and beautiful stream located a little north of the village of Metsoke Dragot, is part of a series of 3 particularly high waterfalls: 50, 60, and 80 meters/164, 196, and 262 feet, making it one of the best streams in Israel for experienced abseiling enthusiasts, as well as suitable for experienced children from the age of 10 and older.

The spectacular views of the Dead Sea and the Gilead Mountains enhance the surfing experience and make it one of the best natural experiences in Israel. The trips in the area are solely done in the winter months when it’s pleasant to hike here, and there are even impressive desert blossoms along the way. Due to the route’s popularity, you should reserve a tour here as soon as possible.

Nahal Tahmas and Peres

Located between the Judean desert and the Negev region, this is a particularly beautiful route, also suitable for less experienced surfers, as there is an option to join the group by walking only and not abseiling. The stream features impressive canyons, natural pools, and 2 waterfalls, with the incredible 50-meter/164 feet-high “Window Waterfall” being the most familiar and attractive one. A trip to these streams is usually held once a year during the winter when it is not too hot to walk in the desert.

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