Nahal Bkiim

Judean Desert




The route quality:   **  



The route type:


The route actually can be passed without rappelling but it would be wise to have ropes.

The canyon is dry all the year round but be wary about floods during winter rains.

Bring your own equipment to build a station if you decide to rappel.


Getting there:


In my opinion, there are three options to approach the route and no one is convenient:


1. Drive on the road 31 from Arad do Dead Sea and after 6.5km turn right to the road 258. Drive another 10km and turn left to a dirt road that leads to a military base. Some 1.5km before the base leave the car and go east in the direction of Bkiim canyon. There is a possibility that the way will be blocked by the barbed wire.

Another car should wait for you at the end of the route.










Other two options share the same start/end point at the nahal Pratzim car parking spot.

Drive on the road number 90 along Dead Sea to the south.

Between 194 km and 193 km distance marks (just before Dead Sea Works plant) turn right to a dirt road marked with red marks ("Nahal Pratzim" direction). Follow the red marks till nahal Pratzim car parking spot (point 1) and park your car. From here two options are available:

2. Follow the dirt road that leads to the military base from east and try to get permission to pass to nahal Bkiim.

3. Follow up the slopes that are immediately to north of the first wadi counting from the dirt road that leads to the military base. This is the most physically demanding but also the most interesting approach. We did it and there is the description below:

From the car parking go West-North-West on a dirt road in the direction of an obvious canyon (point 2). Don't enter into the canyon but climb up along its north side. Keep an obvious ridge (point 3) all the way till a point (point 4) where you can either go down to the left into the canyon or go down to the right into some more flat wadi. Turn right and go to the wadi. Climb up the wadi all the time keeping to point 5 that is placed on a kind of flat saddle. Just before the main plateau you will see a big rujim in a number of tenth meters on the right side. Our supposition that it marks the best entrance point into the Bkiim canyon (point 6), but unfortunately we went by. We have climbed to the main plateau and after that we got down to the Bkiim canyon through some not so pleasant steep gully.  























On the ridge (point 3)







A view on Amiaz Plain and nahal Pratzim


Approaching the plateau (point 5)







Route description:


The bottom of Bkiim canyon is flat in the upper stretches.

After 500m of easy walking, the canyon narrows and you have to negotiate a series of short rocky steps. No one of them is difficult.



A view of the upper stretch of nahal Bkiim


In the canyon of nahal Bkiim





At the end you come to a more significant dry fall that requires rappelling. We suppose it can be avoided by climbing to the left over rocks into a parallel gully. We didn't check it but it seems quite obvious from below the dry fall (after rappelling...).

Anyway... The height is 16m (from the station), the wall is sloped.

No prepared anchors. There are cracks in the left wall with stuck stones.



Approaching to the rappelling


The rappelling station


The rappelling station





The only significant dry fall...







The most impressive part of the route is the last stretch of the nahal Bkiim where it runs into Amiaz Plain ("Mishor Amiaz"). The waters dug here a stunning white canyon.

You can either to turn right on a dirt road marked with black marks that runs south in the direction of the parking spot or to continue along the white canyon till its conjunction with nahal Pratzim. Once in nahal Pratzim, turn right and follow red marks to the parking spot.

The first option is shorter but the second is much more beautiful.


















The route quality:


*****  - The only one of its kind. A "must do" trip!

****    - Very interesting, highly recommended!

***      - Pretty nice route.

**        - Inexpressive one.

*          - Do it if you have nothing to do...



* Pay attention! The information is updated for February 2011. Try to check it before starting on your trip.