The Red Canyon is one of Israel's most beautiful natural wonders. The round-cut, red sandstone rocks were created by the Wadi Shani, who has washed his way through the soft stone for thousands of years.
The Red Canyon is located about 20 kilometers north of Eilat near the border with Egypt. From the highway 12, a path leads to the parking lot, the canyon is signposted. At the parking lot there is an overview map with hiking trails. From the car park, follow the white-green trail and walk through a yellow desert landscape until you meet the Wadi Shani. Follow the dry river and the marker until you reach the Red Canyon.
The Wadi Shani, or Nahal Shani, is a dry river bed that carries water only after heavy rains. Distant thunderstorms can lead to flash floods, which can be life-threatening in the narrow river valleys. The wadi comes from the mountains in the Egyptian Sinai and flows into the Jordan Valley north of Eilat. Before visiting the Red Canyon you should check the weather report of the last days. Since rainfall in the desert is very rare, the Red Canyon is almost always accessible.
For the Red Canyon you should wear sturdy shoes, because you have to walk on stony ground and climb over rocks. Take a lot of drinking water for the hike. In the Red Canyon it gets very hot at noon, it is best to visit the canyon in the morning.
Before you reach the "Red Canyon" you walk through the dry river bed, which is getting tighter and has washed through yellow sandstone.
The valley of Wadi Shani is getting narrower, until only one person fits through the gorge. The rocks tower into the sky and offer a breathtaking view.
It is also worthwhile to look at the Red Canyon from above. On the way back you can choose a different route and let your eyes wander over the valley. The path is marked with black and white colour and leads up via steps and ladders. At high visitor traffic, the one-way regulations apply. Then you have to take this way, since the Red Canyon is too narrow for oncoming traffic.
Travel Guide Red Canyon
An exciting day trip into the Negev desert. The Red Canyon is one of Israel's most beautiful natural wonders and is ideal for a hike through the dry river bed.