Masada Snake Path

Hike to the ruins of Herod's palaces and a fortress.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
6.3 km
Ascent
486 m
Descent
486 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
-298 m
High Point
49 m
Gradient
12˚
Masada Snake Path Map

The Masada Snake Path is one of the most popular hikes in Israel. This steep switchbacked path leads to the ruins of the Masada Fortress on top of the mountain. "Herod the Great built two palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE," according to Wikipedia. Today, these ruins offer some of the most intriguing historical architecture in the country.

Description

Masada was also the site of a siege "from 73 to 74 CE, at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War," according to Wikipedia. The siege ended with "the mass suicide of the 960 Sicarii rebels who were hiding there," who preferred death over slavery by the Romans.

While you can choose to take a cable car up to the ruins, the Masada Snake Path offers a fantastic hike from the base to the ruins at the top. The trail is well-built with a series of switchbacks and a reinforced trail tread. Hordes of tourists swarm this trail every single day, so you'll need to get an early start if you want to beat the crowds. However, the traffic isn't too difficult to deal with, as the trail tread is quite wide.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masada https://jessieonajourney.com/best-hikes-in-israel/ https://www.hike-israel.com/nature-in-israel/masada/

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Family friendly

Guidebooks in this area