Dead Sea Camping
The Dead Sea holds two impressive world records:
The saltiest lake (~35%) and the lowest spot on earth.
Between the Judean Desert and the Jordan mountains, the Dead Sea has it all: Hiking, hot and cold springs, archeological sites and amazing views.
Sleeping options range from 5 star luxury hotels to free camping sites under infinite stars.
When to go: Because of it's unique location (lowest point on earth),
the Dead Sea is a hot area with high temperatures.
Winter is therefore a great time to travel & camp here.
In summer, it can get extremely hot and is not recommended for hiking.
You could go camping in summer, just remember that many free camping sites have no shade and no water. The best seasons are spring and fall when its not too cold at night and not too hot during the day.
Getting there: The northern area is around a hour away from Jerusalem by car. Masada & Ein Bokek are another hour southward.
By bus: #486 from Jerusalem to Ein Bokek, through Qumran, Ein Feshkha, Metzukey Dragot, Ein Gedi and Masada.
#421 from Tel Aviv to Ein Bokek & Masada.
Around weekends & holidays, nature lovers and hippies head for "Metzokey" (=cliffs) on the Dead Sea shore. Hot and cold springs, pools, breathtaking desert views with great company.
20 minute walk from the parking lot. No charge.
Free camping: Behind the army checkpoint, a small parking lot and free camping area.
Water: Fill up near the check point.
Wood: No wood.
Warning: This area is geologically active and is continually changing. Beware of sinkholes and walk around with someone who knows the area.
Hiking: The most extreme canyoning in israel- The Darageh. Ask us for more information.
Ein Gedi campsite- abandoned!
Veteran hikers remember the great camping site on Ein Gedi beach. Unfortunately, due to the geological conditions, sinkholes destroyed this site. You can see it from road 90 near the Ein Gedi Reserve and observe the power of nature.
Hiking in the desert is a great experience, yet it can be dangerous. Rain in higher areas such as Jerusalem, finds its way down to the Dead Sea.
On its way, the water gushes through dry river beds and canyons, creating powerful and potentially fatal flash floods in the canyons.
Before hiking in this area, always check local weather reports on Israel Meteorological Service.
Between Ein Gedi and Massada, Wadi Ze'elim is a beautiful camping site in the heart of the Judean Desert Reserve.
Getting there: 4 KM from the road (no 90). Accessible to all vehicles. Never leave your car here unattended.
Free camping: Beautiful gravel surfaces protected from wind, with great fire pits.
Water: No water or shade in this site
Wood: No wood in this site. It is forbidden to burn any vegetation growing in the reserve.
Hiking: Many trails leading to Wadi Ze'elim, Massada and more
Masada East Campsite
King Herod built his magnificent winter palace on this high cliff overlooking the Dead Sea.
2,000 years later, Masada is one of the most impressive sites to visit in Israel.
Free camping: Official free campsite is located 800m east of main entrance. Location here
Water: Fill up in the entrance area.
Wood: No wood in sight.
Hiking: Many trails surround Masada. The most popular one is the Snake Path. It is recomended to start climbing before dawn and watch the sunrise from the top of Masada. Consult your map and avoid hiking during hot hours.
For updated weather & information, call Masada site on 08-6584207
Opening hours, entrance fee and more info in this link.
"Ein" in hebrew means spring. In the desert, springs create beautiful oases that attract animals, birds, insects and, of course, hikers. Most of the hotels in the Dead Sea are located in one area near the Ein Bokek spring. The shopping area there has restaurants, fast food minimarkets, and the brand new Dead Sea Mall where you can find designer stores, cafes, and of course Dead Sea products and souvineers.
There is a well-serviced beach (including a men & women seperated beach). A beautiful promenade stretches from the northern entrance to the south.
Free camping: Right at the northern entrance to the hotels area.
A large parking lot, very popular for RVs & caravans. This is not a nice spot of nature, just a suitable site to spend a free night in this area
Water: There is a faucet with fresh water.
Wood: Can be found near the hotel's operating areas.
Hiking: A short hike, marked in black will take you to the oasis of Ein Bokek. Starting point: under the big bridge of of the Bokek Stream.