After dinner and a soak in the Dead Sea, some Galavanters got up pretty early in the morning of May 30, 2019. 3:30 AM early. It wasn’t check-out time at Isrotel Ganim. Nope, we had a steeply climbing hike to finish up before sunrise, also known as 5:30 AM.
There are three ways to ascend Masada, the ancient palace and fort overlooking the Dead Sea. You can take the cable car – if you want to wait till 8AM, well after sunrise, which I kind of did. You can walk up the ancient Roman siege road on the west side – but there’s no view and you’ll miss sunset if you don’t bustle. And it’s a much farther drive from our resort.
Or you can do what we did and go up the Snake Path. Which is really hard. It climbs steeply (there are even some steps) from 1,410 feet below sea level to 200 feet above sea level. Math informs us that we hiked over 1,600 vertical feet. In the dark. And it was 90 degrees F.
There were lots of teenagers in tourist groups. Nicole and I ruled over them with our mad pre-dawn hiking skills and made it to the top with several minutes to spare. We got a good vantage point on the eastern cliffs and there you have it.
There was a hard-rockin’ bar mitzvah underway at the summit when we arrived. Also, the teenagers all pretty much left after the sun came up, so we had a lot of Masada to ourselves for three and a half hours. We treated ourselves to the cable car descent.
Highly recommended. Detailed visit info here.