Jerusalem, Israel

Hike the Lower Wadi Qelt to Jericho

4 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Bryan Young

Hike into history as you descend into Lower Wadi Qelt and discover St. George’s Monastery, walk parallel to Rome’s aqueduct of King Herod and trek below sea level into the historic town of Jericho.

Wadi Qelt is a word that stands for valley or stream. The Lower Wadi Qelt trail begins on top of what can be described as a canyon and brings you down to the stream that passes by St. George’s Monastery.

Starting from the parking lot trailhead, you will follow a steep and roughly paved road down into the Lower Wadi Qelt. Just remember, what goes down, must come up! As you follow this you will get your first glimpse at St. George’s Monastery hidden down in the Wadi Qelt.

Upon arriving at the bottom you can tour the monastery and view the ancient skulls of the monks martyred there by the Persians in 614 CE. St. George’s Monastery was founded in the 4th century by monks that were trying to experience what the ancient prophets had experienced. When you decide to go be sure to check the hours, as they are limited, because the monastery is still in use today.

From the monastery you will follow the trail west, downstream, heading toward Jericho. You will know you are going in the right direction because the trail will be descending the entire time. In fact the trail will be bringing you below sea level. When you reach Jericho you will be 846 ft (226 m) below sea level!

Near the end of the trail the Wadi Qelt will open up and you will get your first glimpses of Jericho and in the distance also the Dead Sea and the mountains of Jordan.

From here you can either turn around and hike back to the car, or you can continue walking into Jericho until you find a taxi on the main road to drive you back to the trailhead if you wish to avoid the gradual uphill back to St. George’s Monastery and the big climb back to your vehicle.

Another option is to drive to Jericho and then take a taxi to the trailhead so when you finish the hike you can head straight to your vehicle.

Some More History:The Wadi Qelt is a historic trail that begins at a spring near Jerusalem and heads westward across the Judean Desert toward the historic town of Jericho. For centuries monks, armies and smugglers have used the path as a remote, and sometimes secret, passage between the two cities. Today it is a wonderful hike.

The Wadi Qelt has 3 main entrance points, all with different features, and further up there are pools and springs in which to swim if you have the time. The Lower Qadi Welt allows visitors to see just St. George’s Monastery and also hike the final 1.5 (2 km) of the trail that brings you to Jericho.

Read More

Tags

Fitness
Running
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike through Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

    Ein Gedi was declared a nature reserve in 1971. The oasis is one of the most important in Israel. There is a hiking path that winds its way up the canyon, which begins at 1300 feet below sea level and climbs to 600 feet above sea level.As you hike...

    4 miles 500 ft gain

  • Take in a Sunrise at Mt. Masada

    Before it was known for its sunrise, Masada was an ancient fortress atop a mountain plateau constructed under the rule of King Herod the Great sometime between 37 and 31 BCE. Long story short, as the story goes Masada fell to the Romans in 73 CE ...

    2.5 miles

  • Hike up Mt. Arbel

    There are multiple ways to reach the top of Mt Arbel. You can ascend the Mountain from the south as part of the Israel National Trail or the west as part of the Jesus Trail. However, you can also park at the top and explore the magnificent views o...

    3 miles 500 ft gain

  • Explore the Ancient City of Petra

    I'm sure we all know and recognize Petra or the "treasury" from the Indiana Jones movie, but did you know its not a stage but an ancient city you can explore and enjoy. This ancient city was built over 2,000 years ago and wasn't found by western m...

    1.2 miles 0 ft gain