The Jordan River Tributaries Hike
Are you ready to conquer “eretz palgey mayim”, the land of water, on your next hike in the beautiful country of Israel? There's no place like the Finger of the Galilee, the most prolific area in Israel when it comes to natural streams of water. The Jordan River hike is, without a doubt, an excellent way of cooling off in the scorching Israeli summers. If you are into wet hiking and trekking, this is one of the most complex wet trails we warmly recommend you to consider.
The Jordan River is the result of three main tributaries reuniting: the Hermon stream that springs out of mount Hermon, the Snir stream that springs in Lebanon (also the longest in the Middle East) and the Dan stream, the largest tributary that springs in the Tel Dan nature reserve.
As you can imagine, all three tributaries are generous at providing tourists with gorgeous hiking trail options they can add to their itineraries when visiting Israel. The hike we are going to talk about here is the one that has the Hermon stream as the final destination, targeting the lower section of the stream.
Lower Hermon Stream Hike – Get Ready For A Wet Experience!
If you love "wet" hiking, you will have loads of fun walking in the long stretch of water and swimming in the Hermon stream at different depths. Just make sure you are a good swimmer before you get into the water for a swim. The hike also includes a stop at the incredible Hermon Stream Canyon, probably the most mesmerizing attraction part of the trail. Get ready to capture the full majesty of the gushing water – just keep in mind the path to the canyon is a dry one, so there will be no wading.
What To Expect
- Hiking distance: 3.5 km (1 km wet hiking)
- Climb: almost flat
- Level of difficulty: easy
- When's the best time to hike: from June to September
- Availability: from April to October
- Starting point: the entrance to Kibbutz Sde Nechemya
Park your car at the entrance to the kibbutz and start walking toward the gate. Before you reach the gate, go left and follow the dirt road that runs parallel to the river. (1) Go up the stream for about 1.8 km. There´s nothing more satisfying than watching a river follow your tracks while hiking, guiding you to your next destination and keeping you company if traveling by yourself. At the end of this walk, you should see the stream reuniting with the Snir river coming from the left (Lebanon). The Snir stream has a huge drainage basin that makes it fluctuate a lot during heavy rainfall. The Snir is also responsible for 27% of the water found in the Jordan River. At the same time, the Hermon stream generates 23% of the water found in the River Jordan. Going back to the place where the Snir merges with the Hermon stream, this is the exact spot where the Jordan river officially starts – certainly another spot that will make you thank yourself for choosing tho go on this hike. Look at your right and you will see Kibbutz Sde Nechemya. In 650 meters, you should see a footbridge (2).
Next, go straight and expect to see a parking area to the right. Go left here and walk a short distance to the river bank. It is also possible to get into the water in various other spots along the trail prior to and after this point. It all depends on your swimming skills and your need to cool off in the deeper or more shallow waters of the Banyas or Hermon stream.
Once you are tired of all the swimming, you can continue your hike – this time protected by a comfortable shade that will be following you along. You can also wade down the stream or simply walk along it to cool off; you should see the Dan stream popping up in front of your eyes in just a few minutes. The Dan stream will then reunite with the Banyas stream to the right. Walk down the stream and you should feel the flow getting significantly stronger while also hearing a loud gushing water sound. This is a sign that you are getting closer to a waterfall. You can now leave the stream to the left and go past the waterfall.
It´s time to get back into the water – you´ve already waded around 200 meters! Follow the downstream direction for the next 900 m and you should see a pedestrian bridge going over the river 50 m in front of you. Now it´s time to cross the bridge and start walking on the road that took you there at the start of the trail. Choose the path that leads to the right and walk for 650 m and you will reach the entrance to the Kibbutz Sde Nechemya.