Take in a Sunrise at Mt. Masada

Rate this Adventure Israel Mt. Masada

Added by Jared Blitz

Masada is infamous for its sunrise. It starts off with vibrant blues, purples, and pinks before turning everything on the mountain gold, including the Dead Sea that lies below.

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 after the Jewish Zealots running the fortress slayed their own women and children before committing suicide rather than being overtaken by the enemy and enslaved or murdered.

Since I wasn't responsible for the logistics of this iconic hike, I'm including directions from Wikitravel. It states:

"Most people access Masada from the eastern side near Road 90, which runs down the Israeli coast of the Dead Sea. The less used option is Road 3199 from Arad to the western side. The road ends at a parking lot, from which there is a comparatively easy 15-20 minute ascent to the top.

By bus you can get to Masada with line 486 from Jerusalem or Ein Gedi or with line 421 from Tel Aviv Arlozorov - Terminal 2000 via Ein Bokek (Dep. 09:00 Su-F and 12:00 M-Th from Tel Aviv, 13:13 Su-F and 16:13 M-Th from Masada, 2h40, ₪84.20 return). The buses stop at the main entrance from Road 90, and the price is quite expensive (₪40 from Jerusalem, ₪36 with a student discount)."

I approached from the aforementioned west side of the mountain, which is the easy 15-20 minute hike. That is probably the way I'd recommend ascending since the whole reason is to watch the sunrise. The sunrise really is as magical as everyone says. It was one of the more memorable experiences I have had hiking in the early morning. Overlooking the Dead Sea (that is rapidly disappearing due to drought) adds to the experience if you're interested in the history of the area.

Prior to leaving, you can walk around and see old bath houses and other architecture that archaeologists have uncovered and preserved. The engineering is really impressive considering the historical era and how difficult it is to get water on top of a mountain in the desert.

When you're done exploring Masada, hike down the 2.5 mile "Snake Path" along the mountainside. Basically, it's 2.5 miles of switchbacks. The difficulty only lies in the fact that switchbacks are boring and you're fully exposed to the sun, so if you're hiking during the summer it can be a little rough. The end does offer another treat, however, with a couple of fresh-squeezed juice bars waiting for your business, offering a cheap (I remember it being roughly 50 cents US for about 20 oz) reprieve from the heat.

If you don't feel like hiking down there is a cable car you can ride for about $20US.

Pack List

  • Hat
  • Small backpack and Camelbak
  • Light hiking boots or cross-trainers work fine
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

2.5 Miles

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Romantic
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Jared Blitz

A teacher of health and fitness in Higher Ed, an exercise physiologist, a lover of the outdoors, and fulfilled by shooting landscape photography. https://jblitzphotography.smugmug.com/browse

More Adventures Nearby

Hike up Mt. Arbel

Israel / Mt. Arbel Parking Area

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.

Isaac Desautels
18 Saves

Hike through Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

Israel / Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

Ein Gedi was declared a nature reserve in 1971. The oasis is one of the most important in Israel.

Isaac Desautels
20 Saves

Hike the Lower Wadi Qelt to Jericho

Israel / Lower Wadi Qelt Trailhead

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.

Bryan Young
11 Saves