Two Trails From Tsfira Campground

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Distance: 6kmTime: 4 hoursDifficulty: Easy
Ascent: 200mTrailhead and Markers Gallery

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The desert.

It seems that no matter how little there is to see there, its landscape completely captivates me.

A couple of weeks ago, we took our family on an overnight trip to a desert campground near Tsfira Pools.  The campground itself was empty – devoid of any frills, without even a tree for shade.  But the crystal clear, starry night sky more than made up for any creature comforts we were missing.

The first hike of our camping trip was out to Tsfira Pools – rainwater swimming holes in the middle of the desert.  And the next morning, after a campfire and a long night of stargazing, we ate breakfast and packed up our tents.  Then, we went off in search of another hike leading out from the campsite.

Hike from Tsifra Campground
Captivating.

We found two awesome trails.  The first was a short hike out to a lookout, with a view to an amazing perspective on the gaping canyon and Tsfira Pools down below.

The next trail was a long walk out to the middle of nowhere.  We were nervous about following a trail with no impressive landmarks or unique attractions. But even my little boys were totally absorbed by the desert sights along the trail.

Together, these two walks made one sizeable hike that gave us a chance to really explore the area around the campground. 

Here’s what we saw along the way:

To the Lookout

We finished the last of our coffee and set off along the blue trail.  The weather was perfect – cool and partly cloudy.  It was just the kind of day you would want to be wandering in the desert.

One would think that there isn’t much of anything to discover in the desert.  But the winter rains had left every canyon and crevice full of green growth.  Miniature butterflies flitted from little orange flowers to little purple flowers. 

Hike from Tsifra Campground
On our way.

Between the rocks, giant lizards came out for some morning sunshine.  To my kids, they seemed like miniature dinosaurs.  They ran to get a closer look as the reptiles scurried away.

Before we knew it, the lookout appeared in the distance.  A jagged cliff was surrounded by a guardrail.  The kids hurried forward to catch the view down below.

Desert Canyon

The view was pretty spectacular.

Hike from Tsifra Campground
Desert mountains and valleys.

A giant canyon lay beneath us, with a dry, twisty riverbed right at the bottom.  You could almost imagine it full of rushing water during a flash flood.

Out in the distance, we could barely make out the largest of the Tsfira Pools, which we had explored the day before.  It was cool to see the structure of the canyon which caused the pools to form.

Hike from Tsifra Campground
Looking down at Tsfira Pools.

We took in the views, then turned back the way we came, ready to search out another trail.

On the Red Trail

A little while later we were back at the campground, in search of the red trail.  We backtracked a bit more, then found it at the far end of the lot.  Up we walked, to follow the trail out into the middle of nowhere.

Soon, we reached a tall hill of rock.  We climbed to the top to feel the wind blowing against our faces, cool and crisp. 

Hike from Tsifra Campground
Dancing in the wind.

We passed a flower filled riverbed.  Little desert flowers popped up where the water had rushed through filling an otherwise empty space with a surprising amount of greenery.

Jet Planes and Cloud Formations

We followed the red trail to the blue trail crossroads, then stayed on the red to continue our desert hike.  The sights and sounds of the trail remained mostly the same the whole time.

Hike from Tsifra Campground
Desert wanderings on the red trail.

Bright white and puffy clouds dotted the blue sky, adding beauty and character to the stark, desert landscape.  Every once in a while, cool fighter jets flew overhead, low enough to rumble in our ears.

Down in the valley, dry riverbeds created picturesque layers of color.  The views out to the surrounding area were incredible.

Hike from Tsifra Campground
Layers of color.

After walking for a while, we reached a lookout over a sheer cliff.  It seemed like a beautiful spot to stop for lunch before turning back the way we came.

The Adventure Ends with a Picnic

The last meal of our camping trip was a picnic lunch in a lonely spot in the desert.  It was quiet and carefree.  We ate as we looked out at clouds and desert mountains, only a few hovering birds breaking the stillness.

Hike from Tsifra Campground
Picnic spot.

Without worrying about crumbs or spills, we finished up lunch and picked up our bags for the journey back.  Then we retraced our steps to the Tsfira Campground where we had begun our day.

Now that our camping trip was officially over, we could safely say that it had been a giant success.  Between the beautiful views, pleasant weather, and incredible night sky, the campground at Tsfira had been a great place to spend two days in the desert.

This easygoing, off-the beaten track hike had been the perfect end to a perfect two days.

Airplane in the desert.
Sights in the sky.

Hikers’ Notes:

Here’s what you need to know to hike out of Tsfira Campground:

  • Best suited to fall, winter, and spring.
  • Suitable for dogs.
  • Good for kids. There’s not a lot going on here, but my kids stayed entertained. Plus both trails are short and you can turn around and go back whenever you want.
  • Bring plenty of water, and wear a hat and sunscreen.
  • In the desert, it is very important to always follow trail markers. Also, check the weather reports for flash flood warnings before you go.
  • To get to the lookout, follow the blue trail out from the campsite and then turn around to go back the way you came. This trail is about a kilometer.
  • To follow the other trail, take the red trail from the other side of the campground. Follow it as long as you want (we walked past the blue trail crossroads, but didn’t hit the green trail crossroads), then turn back the way you came.
  • Use the trail map up top and the trail marker image gallery.

Don’t forget to read my guide to the navigational features in this post before you hit the trail.

Trail map from OSM.

Questions? Have you slept and hiked at Tsfira Campground? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

Flowers in the desert.
Flowers in the desert.

Hiking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each hiker’s responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.

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