Israel Trips - Yehudia - the Natural Summer Refresh

By: Yoram Raz

July august heat was less heavier this year, so we packed up our courage, frozen water bottles, sun protection cream and on we go to the Yehudia - the most wildest and beautiful of all the Golan streams, well known in its cool ponds, ladders and iron steps needed to cross the stream canyon.

We started from gush Dan area after visiting the local super market and supplying with some pastry for the road. On the way we picked up our friend Michael that came from Jerusalem to hike with us.

The trail start in the Yehudia parking by paying entree fee to national parks authority, and by the red marked trail to the ruins of the Yehudia village.

In the village the trail splits to green trail that goes down to the lower Yehudia and red trail that continue to upper Yehudia (since the hike is one-way one can go from upper Yehudia to lower but not vise versa).

The trail lead us east on the canyon edge in the yellowish landscape of the summer, it is amazing how only 4 months ago this area was decorated in all colors flowers, and how fast the summer painted all in yellow.

After about one and half kilometers the trail go down in a series of basalt stairs to the Yehudia waterfall where the canyon hike starts.

At the bottom of the fall refreshing surprise to the sweating hikers - clear cool pond to which the fall flows, a suitable place for resting swimming and of course breakfast.

The pool is fill with fish and hungry Michael imagines having them on the grill, we remind him this is nature reservation and the tenants are not to be eaten.

We continue on the trail about a kilometer and half to the well-known Yehudia ladder. It is a 12-meter ladder descending from steep waterfall directly into narrow pool 20 meters long.

And more challenge awaits at the end of the pool, a small cliff from which we descent using iron steps to another pool.

In front of the ladder queues of hikers line up putting their equipment in nylons as best as they can improvise, from special sealing bags threw giant garbage bags to one-use nylon gloves for cellular phone protection against the water.

Crossing this little extreme park is not as frightening as told by the older hikers apparently because that 20 years ago the ladder want here.

After crossing the pool and getting our gear out of the nylons we meet Dutch tourist and join together for the trail to lower Yehudia and the "paradise" pool.

The road to the paradise pool stretches to 3 kilometers and crosses the trail crossroad of green and red (the green go back up to the Yehudia village) it pass threw magical pools that in any other stream were first class attraction but in the lower Yehudia all hikers continue directly to the paradise pool and they know why.

After the 3-kilometer trail and about 2 liters of sweat we come to the decent to paradise pool threw waterfall pouring into it, happily on the waterfall side small iron holdings are installed to ease the climbing down and prevent slipping on rocks.

The pool as can be hinted by its name is a magical place of about 40 meters diameter, to which flows water fall (from which we got here) 4 meters high and on its north side up from the cliff hidden spring pour its water to create refreshing shower on the pool north bank.

After refreshing in the pool and watching the youths jumping from the cliffs to the pool, and of course Michael planning on the fishes (pretty big to admit the truth) we decide due to the heat to go back to the park threw the green trail which we passed on our way here (this trail is less steep then this on the end of lower Yehudia).

We go back to the trail crossing and start the accent threw the green trail leading to the Yehudia ruins in which we started the hike at the morning. The accent is done on army routine - from tree shade to the next and drinking a lot under each tree.

After the accent happy but tired we pass threw the Yehudia village ruins, and pass the cows herding here - and only Michael planning to grill them.

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