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Sde Boker Circular

Bicycle tracks

Sde Boker Circular

Geographic region: Har Hanegev

Kibbutz Sde Boker's claim to fame is as the place where Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, lived. Ben Gurion lived in a modest hut that may be visited to this day. The graves of Ben Gurion and his wife Paula are near the kibbutz, by Wadi Zin. It is advisable to visit the site to see its amazing vista. In the migration seasons in the winter, you can see an abundance of birds too. 

How to arrive: 

Highway 40, park your vehicle in the Haroeh parking lot or the fuel station south of Kibbutz Sde Boker.

Route:

Route length: 30 km circular 

Difficulty level: Medium. Cycling is on wide desert trails and has brief sections of flowing singles (without drops / jumps). There are a number of ascents and descents, some of which are steep (you can cross them on foot if you find them hard).

Recommended cycling seasons: Winter, it is important to check on rainfall because the site is prone for flooding, autumn and spring. In the summer, the site is hot and cycling is not recommended.

Cycling type: Circular, desert tracks, jeep and single tracks.

Ascents: 250 meters cumulative climb.

Route is suitable for: Experienced cyclists. The route is not suitable for beginner cyclists with no experience in long off-road cycling trips.
Technical level: Easy-medium. After all, desert is desert and always has surprises, crevices in the ground, rocks, stones and so on.

Physical difficulty level: Medium-easy
Protective gear: It is advisable to cycle wearing elbow / knee pads.

Attractions in the area: Ben Gurion's hut, Ein Akev, a charming spring and a recommended foot trail. 

Description of the route:

We start from the Haroeh parking lot and cycle to the beginning of the terraced trail on which the Hebrew University conducted agricultural experiments involving desert growing and irrigation methods. We continue by crossing Wadi Haroeh and the ruined dam and continue towards the Indian teepees in the Desert Olive Farm, a special place in which one may find Indian tents and a pastoral atmosphere of blending in with nature.

After carefully crossing Highway 90, we enter the beautiful Wadi Noked, which is also known as Wadi Etz, being named after a gigantic acacia tree growing in it, marked in maps dating back from the British mandate last century. Under the tree, it is advisable to take a break to rest, have a snack and drink.

We leave the acacia and the path ascends to an impressive vista overlooking the enter Sde Boker  basin and the Zin Cliffs. At this vista there is a modest but impressive monument that was built in memory of Omri Haim Yakobovich Elmakias, a Golan infantryman who was killed in the last war in Lebanon, who has family at Ben Gurion College.

From the vista, Kibbutz Sde Boker, Ben Gurion College, the agricultural land of the kibbutz, Mount Zaror and Zin Cliffs on the southern side of Wadi Zin are visible. The site has a monument in memory of the soldier and a very moving poem on it.

After the vista, the trail descends on a dirt track towards the Halukim ruins. These ruins, date primarily from the 10th century BCE, the times of Ancient Israel (and according to some researchers the time of the United Kingdom).

After a short ride dirt track running parallel to the road, the trail climbs to the Haroeh dam. This dam was built by Yehushua Cohen, a member of the Lechi organization, who,as part of his view of fulfilling Zionism, after the founding of the state joined the residents of Kibbutz Sde Boker , moved to the Negev and became Ben Gurion's friend and guard after he moved in 1953 to a hut in Kibbutz Sde Boker.

The trail continues on Mount Zaror, with a vista that is located more closely to the Zin Valley. Through Meitzad Zin and a vista overlooking Maale Zin, continuing on a nice single trail to the sculpture park that also overlooks Zin Valley and back on a wide trail along Sde Zin to the endpoint. On the way we shall pass by Ben Gurion's hut (the hut can be visited and it is a few hundred meters from the route's starting point).

 

Difficulty - MEDIUM

South
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