Masada Snake Path is a 1.1 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Arad, Southern District HaDarom, Israel that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.

Length1.1 miElevation gain994 ftRoute typePoint to point
Kid friendlyHikingWalkingPartially pavedViewsRockyNo shadeHistoric siteNo dogs
Description
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Facilities
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Getting There

Masada (מצדה) is a UNESCO Heritage Site and the second-most visited site in Israel, after Jerusalem. The Snake Path (שביל הנחש) was once the rear entrance to Masada, and consists of roughly 700 steps up the side of the mountain. Masada, the last fortress of Jewish freedom fighters protesting Roman rule, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park. Its camps, fortifications and assault ramp constitute the most complete surviving ancient Roman siege system in the world. Because of its history and the wonderful condition of its ruins, its second in popularity only to Jerusalem as an Israeli tourist destination. Herod, a Roman king of Judea, created Masada in 37-31 B.C. as a winter palace. In 66 AD it served as a fortress against a Roman attack. The snake path was a "back door" to the fortress and rarely used at the time. Today there are around 700 steps that cover 2 km, and gain 350 m (1,148 feet) in elevation. This trail is frequently completed by taking the tram back down, but you can also return the way you came or take the path down the other side of the plateau.

There is a large structure with toilet facilities and a cable car to the top if needed.

It is recommended to wake up early and climb the Snake Path early in the morning to watch the sunrise from the top of Masada.

Step 1: Get to Israel Step 2: Join a tour Step 3: Enjoy

Weather
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Reviews (74)
Photos (70)
Recordings (59)
Completed (219)
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Wildflower Photo & Film
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2020
HikingGreat!

We did this hike in early July and it was 45 degrees Celsius outside at 4:00am! Absolutely brutal and we were drenched in sweat by the time we made it to the top, but it was definitely worth it for the spectacular sunrise. Make sure to bring lots of water and your camera!

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Delia Medina
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

I hated and loved this trail...we hike the Snake Path on June 2019, very early in the morning and we got to see the sun raising over the Dead Sea and the Judaean Hills. Strenuous and hot but worth every single step

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Stone Conroy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 24, 2020
Hiking

Fall 2019–sunrise hike was spectacular

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Eyal S. Ron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 2, 2020
HikingFeeNo shadeRocky

It was a comfertable day (15 C with a nice strong breeze) to climb the Snake Trail. It was a well marked trail and yet, I found the trail difficult due to its steep slop to the top. To hike to the top and return was 39 IS which included covered parking and entrance fee to the archeological digs. We paid extra 20 US and went down by the cable car. Recommended.

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Sam Tucker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 11, 2020
Hiking

It was a grinder but worth it this morning!!!

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Anastasia Podrabinek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 12, 2019
HikingNo shade

Short hike, great view. Better to do early morning, before it gets too hot.

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Susan Ponder
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HikingNo shadeRocky
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Roy Falik
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HikingNo shade
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Andrew Pollard
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RunningRocky

I did a self-supported race summiting Masada via the Snake Path 9x through the early morning to afternoon. This route is arduous, but fulfilling whether you are hiking up/down one time or multiple. 9x will give you just over 10k ft of ascent or 3,050 meters and about 25 miles or 40 kilometers. If you want the real experience, forgo the gondola ride all together. For ultra runners and those in mountain running, this is a technical, mostly single-track course that's more like stair climbing than running trail as its composed largely of stone steps. For the gravel sections, it's loose stone with embankments you can use to your advantage. You don't want to fall on the downhill on this trail as the risk of injury is real. I made the mistake of going out too hard and did not use poles on the first 4 trips. This caused my legs muscles everywhere to lock up for the remainder of the day so if you're make a serious workout out of this, slow and steady with spot on nutrition and hydration is a requirement. FYI, you'll burn through electrolytes as it's dry and hot here. Miscellaneous: - Have your receipt for the entry to the trail handy as you'll be asked for it nearly each trip - if you want to get in additional running, but more flat, try running from the trail entry to park entry- it's a long road but not flat. For zero grade I went to Arad and ran alongside the Dead Sea in town to finish my miles. - this is a very special place to run...the views are unique and beautiful - the Dead Sea couldn't be a better place to soak your legs in afterward, I had zero swelling the morning after...just start early enough so you can get into the sea before dark

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Sally Wei
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 15, 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

Masada hike - Israel IE with Yale SOM

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Larry Van Vleet
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HikingNo shade
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Jeffrey Grossman
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Awesome experience!

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Aaron S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 21, 2018

Short. Heavy Traffic. Nice climb

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Nathanael Ryerson
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amazing trail, went on it downhill in 90 degree weather. took about 35 minutes

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Cindy Smies
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 28, 2018
Hiking

Worth every step. Take extra water and a hat- all sun.

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Kate Ramsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2018

Amazing hike! You must go before sunrise

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David S
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Hiking

Amazing

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Brian Rush
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Awesome short duration intense hike. If you have not hiked or been active take the gondola instead. Take one or more water up with you and the same amount goi ng down. If planning to walk down after hiking up be sure to take a good break of 60 minutes. I made it up in 31 and down in 21. I took one shade/water break early and a few quick water breaj s up, sat with a man for a minute who almost turned back about 2/3 of the way butf I heard he finished after an hour. it was about 95*F when I hiked Mesada. I'd love to do it again some day. Be ready, and if hiking back down be sure footed and know your quads will get a good workout. Bring water!

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Регина Фрошгейзер
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 3, 2018
Hiking

Amazing track

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Bruce Warren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2017
Hiking

Current favorite trail I've done. I went, mistakenly, at midday which made it that much harder, but the ruins at the top make it very worthwhile. Took the tram down.

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Sam G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2017
Hiking

Beautiful for sunrise hike!!

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Jeremy D
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Done in 35min, start early

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Jess K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 28, 2017
Hiking

I did this hike 2 years ago on a spur the moment decision. I was waiting in line to go up the tram and 2 of my friends decided they were going to hike it so I decided to join them. I had never hiked any kind of mountain previously. I would say that at this time I was not in the best shape and I struggled a lot with this climb. I completed it and was so proud of myself. I will be returning in 4 months and am hoping to do this again. I am in much better shape now than I was then.

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David Peterson
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Great views.

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Sydney Rait
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 19, 2017
Hiking

The hike was hard and the heat was about 102 but it was so worth it. I'd do it again in a heart beat. The views, the culture, there's nothing like it.

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