Mt. Sodom

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Mt. Sodom
Recommended seasons:  Fall,Spring,Winter
Duration:   Three hours, with all the sites
Track length:   Hiking in Nahal Pratzim – about 2 kilometers
What's on Mt. Sodom : General Information
Suggested season: All year long
Suggested equipment: Drinking water, flashlights, hiking shoes






Site Description
Sodom – land of salt and marlstone. Salt mountain with caves; wide plain, where a stream connects in it in marlstone that resembles Halva; one "flour" cave – that's the landscape of the land of Sodom
Type of route: Car and walking
Recommended season: Fall, summer, winter


The area
You can reach Sodom in two ways:
The first – descend from Arad on road 31 to Zohar Junction, turn right (south), to road 90.
The second – descending from Jerusalem, eastbound, on road number 1, and turn right on road number 90. Continue along the Dead Sea coastal road that has incredible landscape, until you reach Zohar Junction, and from there, south

On track
Mt. Sodom – Land of salt and marlstone. Salt mountain with caves:
Wide plain, with connecting stream with marlstone in it, resembling halva;
And one flour cave – that's the landscape of the land of Sodom.
The course
On our way south, after kilometer marker 201, is a chimney cave that is part of Mt. Sodom. Due to the danger of collapse, the cave is closed.
We continue on road 90 south. Along the way, we notice on the left a water canal. The canal transports water from the north basin of the Dead Sea to the southern basin, which currently contain evaporation pools that serve the Dead Sea Works. A little before the Dead Sea Works entrance, after kilometer marker 194, is a marked entrance to the "flour cave". We ride on a dirt road (1) marked in red. The road is navigable for all types of vehicles (except on very rainy days), and we can enjoy the sights of the sinkholes along the road.
We continue riding until suddenly a wide plain is before us. This is the Amiaz Plain. Ancient landscape , wild, is revealed to our eyes and explains why many film directors chose this as a preferred film location. We will gaze forward (west) and try to locate the channel of Nahal Pratzim, and we will see how difficult it is to distinguish it from here. Later, we will be surprised when the river appears all at once.
We will arrive at the crossroads marked (2) and continue straight in the direction of Mt. Sodom. We will go on the road marked in blue until the crossroads (3), and there turn right (east) on the road that is marked in black. We continue riding until the parking area, and walk up to the observation point from Mt. Sodom. From the mountain, is a wonderful view (4) of the Dead Sea Works, evaporation pools and Jordan. We will go back the way we came until the crossroads (3), and then continue straight – west, following the sign directing us to the "flour cave". The road is marked for the entire length in the black trail mark. After reaching an additional crossroads, we turn right (north), ride another kilometer and we reach one of the openings of Nahal Pratzim. We will park the car and descend to the river bed (5).
Nahal Pratzim descends from south to north, and close to the Nave – Zohar – Arad road it turns east and empties into the Dead Sea. In our walking in the river that undermines the soft stone, called marlstone, we should expect beautiful sights of marlstone layers that have deteriorated and anticlined during the years.
It's nice to see the different shapes and try to imagine and find in them known objects. You can also go into the small crevices that flood waters shaped in the marlstone. Every year, the cracks in the walls of the riverbed sides expand, and collapsing of portions is a regular occurrence, but don't fret, the riverbed is wide enough and safe enough for travelers.
We are headed for the "flour cave". After walking about 900 meters, we will see on the right a crack, and next to it a bridge shaped opening and a wooden sign: "Flour Cave" (6).
The beginning of the flour cave was a crevice that expanded. Currently, it is closed to visitors, so we will ascend a steep uphill but passable path, that will lead us to the Amiaz Plain (7). Here in leaving the cave, spread before us again is the plain. We can walk some to the west, view the river and cliffs that we previously walked on. The way back to the car is clear (5), because we can see it from where we are standing. We go back to the main road in the same way that we entered.


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