Nahal El Al Nature Reserve, in the southern Golan Heights, is one of the more popular hiking places among Israelis. It is the site of the breathtakingly beautiful White and the Black Waterfalls. You should see water most of the year.
The name “Nahal El Al” also refers to the perennial stream located within the nature reserve. The stream itself serves as a natural border between the white chalky stone and the black basalt rock areas. Because of the completely contrasting colors of these two rocky areas, the waterfalls end up with two different “colors.” This explains why it is called White and Black Waterfalls.
Each waterfall has its own pool – a tempting offer for any hiker on a hot summer day!
Nahal El Al is about three- to four-hour drive from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
When hiking at Nahal El Al, you are likely to opt for the most comprehensive trail to cover most of the ground and to see all the natural beauty that Nahal El Al has to offer. They include both waterfalls, winding streams, wide open fields and breathtakingly incredible vistas.
This is a “family” walk, so you will see small children and lots of baby carriers. However, it isn’t trivial and you will need to bring lots of water and keep an eye on the children but it is definitely doable. Go-get children will do well here. The full walk is five to six kilometers long and takes three to four hours. But since you can swim in the water at the bottom of the falls, the whole event can take considerably longer.
As always, parental caution is urged on the rocks and when swimming in the pools.
Nahal El Al can be combined with camping at the Avnei Eitan – Indian Village
Nahal El Al is not a circular route so if you have two cars leave one at the finish; or one driver will have to hitch back to the start or, better, walk back along the trail.
Alternatively, if you want to save time or only have one car then you can start from Avnei Eitan and walk down to the Black Waterfalls (and back). It takes around 30 minutes in each direction. Or you can hike from the other end to the White Waterfalls in about an hour each way.
Getting To Nahal El Al
It is located on Road 98 – one trail head is inside the village of Nov. The other trail head is signposted on the road near the village of Eli Ad. The normal direction is from Avnei Eitan to Eli Ad (but see the comment above about shorter options.)