The Red Canyon in Eilat is an amazingly beautiful place. There are many excursions to the Red Canyon, but in this article we will consider in detail how you can visit it by yourself.
Caution - note that in the canyon there is no cellular connection. You visit it at your own risk, act carefully in hazardous areas (on stairs, stones).
Warning - before traveling to the Red Canyon, check the weather forecast. If forecast shows rainy weather (a rather rare occurrence in these places), then cancel or reschedule this trip to another day. In this arid area, rain is a very dangerous phenomenon. The sand does not absorb moisture and there can be floods inside the bottom of the canyon.
The recommended time for visiting is winter, in another season it is better to go there at early morning (although it is better to arrive in winter as early as possible in order to slowly admire the surroundings). Visiting the canyon is prohibited after sunset.
If you are not going to the canyon in the winter, take a lot of water with you (officially recommended at 5 liters per person per day, calculate based on the time you plan to spend there). (From practice - in the winter in December, 2 liters were enough for two from 7 am to 1 pm, but the weather was not hot).
Entrance to the canyon is free.
How to get to the Red Canyon
You can get to the Red Canyon by taxi, rented car or by bus. The first 2 options are the most comfortable, but by the bus it is also quite real.
There is only one bus route passing by the red canyon - route number 392.
The price from Eilat to the canyon (2020) is 12.5 shekels. You can buy a ticket from the bus driver (tell him your destination stop, since the route is long and the price depends on it). You will need to get off at the stop called "Red Canyon". Buses depart from the central bus station of Eilat (usually from platform number 5).
Before the trip, be sure to check the bus schedule on this site - busses run rarely.
How to check the schedule:
Select "Search by destination." Enter in the departure field - Eilat. In the destination field - Har Uzija - Red Canyon.
Usually the schedule is available about a week before the trip. There you can also see actual price.
It is better to go to the canyon by bus, which leaves from the station at 6.30 or 7.00 a.m. There are also busses at 9.00 and 13.30 which is already quite late. Travel time is 20-30 minutes. If you go on early bus, most likely you will be on the bus with the military, who will go to the service early in the morning.
It is better to go back to Eilat between 12.20 - 13.20 (3 buses go at this time interval (12:23, 12:53 and 13:17) and are more likely to leave without a long wait). The schedule for the return trip is only an approximation. Since the route is long, the bus can arrive either earlier or late than the time specified. Later there are only 2 busses - at 16:08 and 19:47, waiting for these buses will be problematic. (Here time is indicated only approximately on the basis of what was currently on the schedule, be sure to check the current date for your particular day).
When planning a route, consider the day of the week. There are almost no busses on Fridays, and on Saturdays there are no buses at all - Shabbat.
As a conclusion of this part - we managed to come to the canyon by bus, go along a long route and go back by bus, but we need to keep track of the time.
From the bus stop to the starting point of the routes (parking)
Before visiting the canyon, download an offline map to your mobile phone (for example, maps.me). From the stop to the parking lot at the beginning of the routes, you will have to walk about one and a half kilometers along a road (without asphalt).
Once you are at the bus stop, go to the posters located nearby. From the posters, turn left onto the road:
On the way, you can enjoy the local scenery.
Parking is a small area where you can leave your car. Near the parking located a detailed map with routes, a box where you can take paper brochures and a toilets.
There are 2 main routes - short and long.
A short route starts from the parking lot, passes through the canyon, then returns from above the canyon to the parking lot (+ return to the stop, who needs it).
The length of the route: from parking to parking - 3 km, + 1.5 km * 2 if necessary to go to the bus stop.
Long route also starts at the parking lot (or from the bus stop). It ends at the bus stop (or there is an opportunity to alternatively return to the parking lot, this path is marked with a red dotted line on the map below).
Route length: from parking to parking - about 5 km, if necessary, to a stop + 1.5 km * 2
Which route is better to choose
The short route is simpler and takes less time. The canyon itself on a short route can be viewed in the same way as on a long route. The long route allows you to see some more interesting beautiful places and enjoy the local scenery. There is one important point - do not go on a long route if you are afraid of heights. In one place there will be a fairly sharp rise and a path at the edge of the cliff (the photo will be below in the article). For those who are afraid of heights, this will be a real test.
Canyon visiting rules
Part of the visiting rules was described at the beginning of the article. In the picture below you can see the original text:
You cannot go on routes after dark: