The Hiking and Biking Hotel's stairway led directly down to the Ramon Crater. Hiking in and into the Ramon Crater is an impressive experience that should not be missed. The desert and especially the sunsets in that area are spectacular. Agent 0815 (who was my hiking companion) and I photographed all the views that were to be viewed on that day (including the Nubian ibex and the Ramonalinidae). At the end of the day we happily and tiredly hiked back up to our rooms on the 5th floor. I found the Ramon crater, its population, and the Negev scenery so beautiful that I would have gladly spent another day or two there (despite of the distinct absence of a hotel elevator), however, while hiking in the crater Agent 0815 had irretrievably lost a very important USB stick with highly sensitive information and he decided that we had to return to Tel Aviv immediately to copy the information lost. Since we were traveling in his car, I had no choice.
The Carpentry Shop is a hill made up of black prismatic rocks. The rectangular pipes on the side of the hill are made of the same sort of sand found on beaches. That makes it the only place in the world where prisms made of heated sand turned into liquid which, in cooling naturally formed rectangular and hexagonal prisms.
At Mitzpe Ramon you have, of course, the Ramon Crater, or Maktesh as it is called in Hebrew.
Enjoy an evening on a jeep trip along the bottom of the crater, it is many, many kilometers long. But the best part is the last minutes of the daylight when the sun progresses westward on its journey. If you are lucky and have some clouds to get lit up from below by the suns last rays, even better.
Just at the city's southern border you can find the Maktesh Rimon visitors center. From there you have a perfect viewing station to see some of the sights from the crater rim. While it cannot compare to the Grand Canyon for sheer size, it does have its own beauty.
We took Polona (Oja) with her husband Igor and son Marko to see, but it was a very dusty day (to be expected sometimes in the desert)...but we had better luck with Malena when she came to visit, it was an almost perfectly clear day.
On our way from the Dead Sea to Eilat, we took this one - breathtaking landscapes!
Mitzpe Ramon's biggest sight is the Ramon Crater, 500 meters deep, 40 kilometers long, 10 kilometers at its widest, and claimed to be the largest in the world. This is not, however, an asteroid impact site: just a particularly large asymmetrical hole dug out of the ground by natural processes of erosion. The Ramon Crater is the largest of three Negev craters, containing geological formations unlike those you would see anywhere else in the world. Together with a magnificent panorama, it presents a fascinating story of geomorphologic evolution.
The Ramon Crater is the largest amongst the three craters of the Negev, shich makes it the largest in the world... These craters were not created by meteorites but are a unique geological phenomenon, not to be found anywhere else in the world.
The entire crater is a geological park with such sites as the "sawmill", the ammonites wall with is fossils and several hiking trails.
Looking over the edge into the crater you can see that dark pyramid shape, that is the "Devil's Workshop" where the stone is a dark color that makes it stand out in the lighter colors of the surrounding desert. Here you will find eight sided stones that have split along the sides giving you an affect as if a giant had been cutting wood and this was the pile of cut wood discarded to the side....this is easily accessed by car, or you can walk the path down the cliff face.
This one is the lower pools and the waterfall where we have stop and rested after we came down from the hiking till half way.
It can be quite nice and relaxing there unless if you arrive in a day when School classes kids has arrived as well.... Should i say more...... ???!!!
One important thing: Bathing in pools is absolutely FORBIDDEN !
There's a two options for hiking in this Canyon:
1. Is the short and easy one which can take between 1-2 walking hours.
Actually we did it though i think that it could be interesting to do the longer one but i was the minority so i did the Fatty's rout.
We have went from the lower entrance up to the middle way just to watch the cayon from above but we didn't go up in the ropes towards the top of the Canyon, then we came back in the same way but we went down towards the pools and the waterfall where we sat down to rest a bit and enjoy this place.
2. The second option is harder, you basicaly do the same as we did in the first rout but you just go on towards the top of the canyon (and the upper parking lot) and that should take you aprx 2- 3 walking hours. BUT, There's a catch here, once you arrive the upper parking lot you need to find the way to get back to the lower parking lot to take your car.... so thats a rout that is better to do when there are two cars and someone is not hiking with you and can wait in the upper parking lot to pick you up.
Yes ... this are ibex's ... and you have pretty good chance to see them when you're hiking, The Ibex's are quite common in the negev area (as well as in the Judean mountains in the dead sea area and the hills around Eilat)
If you see them please keep quiet, dont try to get too close to them nor run after them or anything else.
If you're a birds lover you might be lucky to see some of the more unique birds.
I didnt manage to get a clear photo of this one but i suspect it to be either a falcon or a Hawk although if by any chance you know birds and you have a nother idea regarding this photo please let me know.
One of the most beautiful things in the desert area is the change of the sand's colors through sunset time.
If you were hiking in the desert all day and you want a magical and relaxing end to your day i suggest you to enjoy it in the Sunset time and watch the amazing show of the changes of colors.
Going up the stairs to see the views of the pools from the top, there are 60 stone stairs that were made by teenagers on the 50´s and that they have been improved since the area is national park.
The trail continues further up.
Two Byzantine churches stay so close to each other that you can confuse thinking is only one (specially if you see only remains lol)
The Southern church is named after the martyred Saint Theodore (you can only see remains of the columns about half the height they were during the Byzantine era).
.The nearby Northern church was build at the site of a pagan Nabatean temple.
There is not a sound to be heard here, except the noises of the gazelles and ibex that you may see near the entrance.
Walk along from the entrance to find the stream, and you are as lucky as we were with the sandstorm, you will be able to enjoy the silence and maybe watch and be so close as we were form the ibex.
Walk along the pebbled, dry river bed between massive walls of the canyon.
The path goes further the riverbed where the canyon grows narrower and its walls are taller.