The route type:
The canyon is dry all the year round but be wary about floods during winter rains.
When the technical part of the canyon is over, a number of options exist to complete the trip. The following description refers to the most obvious and logical option: you can follow the wadi of lower nahal Tahmas till the intersection with “black” trail (point 2 on the map below). From this point you can come back to the main road (road number 25) following this marked trail. The trail climbs along nahal Tahmason all the way (don’t confuse nahal Tahmason with nahal Tahmas! These are two different canyons!).
Much more “costly”, but in the same way much more worthwhile option is to follow marked trails till “Gabei Peres”. From here you can continue through the lower nahal Peres rappelling route.
Drive on the road number 25 (Dimona –
Tsomet Arava) till the sign “Metsad Tamar” (watch “118km” road distance mark as
Drive as to “Metsad Tamar”, park your car and descend into an obvious wadi which starts right below the road and leads to east (point 1 on the map below). This is nahal Tahmas.
The first 1.8km of the route is a flat wadi, sandy in places, which is very easy to walk. After that the canyon narrows and starts to be more rugged, rocky steps appear.
One more kilometer of walking and easy scrambling down the canyon will bring you to the first dry fall. Actually, it is the only serious and unavoidable rappelling spot of the route.
There are up to 2 dry falls which should be abseiled:
1. 26m (4m from the station to the edge, 6m vertical and then overhanging)
There are at least three reliable options for anchoring some 4 to 5 meters from the edge: a boulder on the right side of the canyon floor, a steel bar, hammered into the left wall and a very big through hole in the left wall.
The 1st rappelling station: "the boulder"
The 1st rappelling station: "the steel bar"
The 1st rappelling station: "the through hole"
200m further from the base of this dry fall you come to another dry fall some 10m high. It should be bypassed from the left side: go to the left a couple of tens of meters and then climb down. Be careful!
650m of walking will bring you to a spot where the canyon turns left sharply (it looks like a "dead end" from a distance). 80m further is the next dry fall that can be (or even should be) partly rappelled. It is a two-step (5-6m and about 4m) drop with a large pit between steps. You should climb down to the pit from the left side because there are no good options for anchoring above the first step. The second step can be either rappelled or climbed down (not easy).
2. 4m (vertical), 11m if measured from the through holes in the pit.
There are multiple through holes on the wall of the pit which is opposite to the second drop. As mentioned above, the second drop can be climbed down - especially by the last participant, which can be spotted from below.
200m further down the canyon you come to a small drop with stuck boulders. It can be negotiated in two ways: you can either climb down here (not easy) or scramble up to the right and then descend along a big slab. It is the beautiful spot down here anyway!
Some 70m after this drop the canyon widens finally. It marks the end of the technical (and any…) difficulties.
Walk along the wadi 700m till the intersection with the “black” trail (point 2 on the map). Leave the wadi and follow the trail which leads up the canyon of nahal Tahmason till the main road (3km with 300m height gain).
***** - 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...