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|Distance: <1km||Time: 30 minutes||Difficulty: Easy|
|Ascent: 0m||Trail Map||Terrain View|
The Dead Sea is one of the most strangely beautiful bodies of water in the world. From afar, the turquoise salt-lake sits flat under an open sky, a colorful feature in an otherwise earth toned landscape.
Thousands of tourists and locals flock to the Dead Sea every year. Its mineral rich waters are touted as healing a number of ills – from skin problems to back pain. Immersion in the Dead Sea has been a sought after activity throughout the ages – even King Herod visited the Dead Sea.
For those who like to walk rather than soak, the Dead Sea isn’t usually a top destination. But there is one walk into the world’s lowest lake that is both beautiful and memorable: the Salt Walkway.
The Salt Walkway isn’t a hike. But it is an adventure into a world of weird beauty, where salt and water look more like snow and ice…even in the heat of the summer.
Here’s what this little trail at the Dead Sea looks like:
Just Pull on Over
The Salt Walkway starts just off the side of Highway 90, right before Neve Zohar and hotel town. It’s easy to get to. When we went, we pulled off to the side of the road before the gas station and parked in the little lot. Then we made our way across the street and towards the beach.
We made it to the trail just before sunset – which is probably one of the two best times of day to walk it. Sunrise on the Salt Trail is equally magnificent (I know because we visited it again the next morning.)
Since we had just finished up a day of hiking, we were still wearing our waterproof hiking boots – which proved to be the perfect footwear for this jagged trail.
The salt looked crumbly, but in reality, it was hard to the touch. Water shoes would have been fine, but bare feet would not have been.
An Ice Kingdom
It was a strange experience to walk along a trail made out of salt. The white clusters looked like piles of snow. And the still puddles of mineral rich water that lay on the trail looked like slick ice.
All it took was to reach down and touch the surface to break the illusion. We dipped our hands into the slippery waters to wash off some of the mud from our earlier hike, then continued to crunch along the trail.
Short and Sweet
As we approached the end of the walkway, two blotches in the distance became clearer and clearer. Soon we realized: they were beach chairs, their plastic legs covered with a thick layer of salt.
As the sun set, the moon rose, a small white sphere in the pink mist of the atmosphere. I can say with all honesty that I’ve never seen scenery quite like this. I kind of felt like I was somewhere in Norway or Iceland (not that I actually know what those places look like!), even though it was warm and summery outside.
When the sky began to really get dark, we turned around and made our way back towards the beach.
We were only at the Dead Sea as a stop between hiking trails. But seeing that Salt Walkway at sunset was a worthwhile adventure all on its own.
Only in Israel can you walk a salt plank into a flat sea at the lowest place on Earth. This trail along a Salt Walkway is a truly unique experience.
Here’s what you need to know to walk this little trail:
- Good for all seasons if done at sunrise or sunset. The Dead Sea area is extremely hot, and the water is not at all cool and refreshing. That said, this walk is tiny: you could try it on a hot day, then hop back into your air conditioned car.
- Good for kids. Make sure they wear shoes. The waters of the Dead Sea sting when they hit open wounds (scratches, mosquito bites, dry skin). My kids do not enjoy this feeling! Keep this in mind when you decide whether to let your kids dip in the water.
- This is a short, easy, and flat walk suitable for just about anyone.
- To get to the “trailhead”, follow the Waze or Google Maps link in the table at the top. Park your car, then cross the road towards the Dead Sea. You will see the trail right there on your left.