Starting point
kibbutz Yahel
Ending point
Pundak Neot Semadar
Subject of the trail
Desert cycling
Total climbing

This is one of the most impressive days on the trail, where you’ll make the steep ascent to the top of the Escarpment Cliff to one of the highest points above the Arava, 470 m above sea level. You’ll climb along an ancient, narrow mountain pass in Wadi Ketura, once used by camel caravans and now especially prepared as a single track. The view from the top – of the Arava and the Mountains of Edom – is worth the effort. After the climb, the trail merges with the Shezafon Valley and leads to the community of Neot Smadar. The trail ends at the Neot Smadar roadhouse. 

The ride begins at Yahel junction, on road 90 (Arava road). The trail will take you via an underpass to the eastern side of the Arava road. You’ll then cycle south for about 13 km along the Arava until you reach Wadi Ketura, where you’ll cross the road again via an underpass. Then you’ll begin the climb up Wadi Ketura toward the Ketura Ascent. Right after the beginning of the ascent is the small Ketura Spring, which has dried up in recent years.

The ascent has been prepared for cyclists – part riding and part walking. Steps have been cut the steepest points to make your ascent more convenient.

On the way, you’ll take in fabulous views of the Arava and the Mountains of Edom.

From the top of the ascent, you’ll pedal along a short single track toward the Ketura Valley and the community of Neot Smadar. A tower-like building here houses local arts and crafts. You can’t help but marvel at the flourishing agriculture and the produce here (as well as cakes, jams and wines), which is for sale at the Neot Smadar Inn at nearby Shezafon Junction. This is where the segment ends.


The average cyclist the is expected to finish this segment in a few hours. You might consider merging it with the next segment and rich Shahrut in the end of the day. 

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Climate & Weather

Neot smadar area us has a desert climate with high temperatures all year round. Especially during the summer it may get hot. Precipitation figures are low all year round. The rain that does fall mainly falls during the winter. Although temperatures are slightly lower during the winter it remains warm. yahel_israel_385028

You can learn more about the region's climate here 

Starting point: Kibbutz Yahel


By car from the north: From Dimona, take road 25 to the Arava Junction and turn south, taking road 90 to Kibbutz Yahel.

By car from the south: From Eilat, take road 90 to Kibbutz Yahel.

By bus: Bus nos. 390, 394 and 397 from Be’er Sheva. Click here for the bus schedule.


To see all service providers
Name Address Link to website Geographic Location Category
Neot Semadar Inn Shizafon junction South Accommodation
Ma'ayan BaMidbar Kibbutz Yahel South Accommodation
Neot Semadar Country accommodation Kibbutz Neoy Semadar South Accommodation
Kibbutz Ketura Guest House Kibbutz Ketura South Accommodation
lotan eco guest house no street address kibbutz lotan South Accommodation

Trail Partners

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