We begin our hike at Mitzpe Ofir, which offers a majestic view of Lake Kinneret. This lookout was established by the Shaal Family in memory of their son Ofir, who died at a young age. From Mitzpe Ofir, we’ll hike along the ridge of the cliff that overlooks the Kinneret; it’s hard to take your eyes off of this incredible view! On the way, we will pass by old Syrian bunkers that threatened the villages down below in the Jordan Valley, until the Six-Day War in 1967. We’ll descend to the Nachal Ein Gev riverbed and walk right next to Tel Soreg. Some researchers believe that this tel is the Biblical city of Afek, which was the site of the battle between King Ahab of Israel and Ben-Haddad of Aram, in the 9th century BCE.
Soon we will be climbing the ascent to the Golan Amphitheater. When we reach the top of the hill, we’ll be on the watershed: to the west is the Nachal Ein Gev riverbed (in which we hiked just a few minutes ago), which flows into Lake Kinneret; to the east is the Nachal Meitzar riverbed, which flows into the Yarmukh River. You are now standing on the “narrow waist” of the Golan, where the entire width of the Golan is no wider than a few meters.
You can stop for a rest at the Golan Amphitheater, which offers grassy areas, basalt seats, and shade.
The hike begins at the Mitzpe Ofir Lookout. You can park your car on site. There is a public bus stop on the main road (Road 789), just one kilometer from the lookout.
The hike ends at the Golan Amphitheater. You can park on site.
Public transportation: There is bus service to Moshav Givat Yoav. For bus details, see: www.golan.org.il/bus.
Hiking Rules & Safety:
*In the Golan, it is strictly forbidden to cross fences or wander off the marked trail; in a number of places, the path goes near minefields.
*It is forbidden to enter IDF live-fire training areas.
*In the Golan, you will see many cattle fences; make sure you cross only at the official crossing points. Open the gate, and remember to close it behind you! It is forbidden to climb or cut fences.
*Be very careful when crossing or walking on roads.
*Overnight camping is allowed only at official campsites. Don’t camp out in the middle of a trail segment, or anywhere that is not an approved campsite.
*It is strictly forbidden to burn toilet paper. Don’t light a fire under trees, and never leave a campfire unattended.
*Make sure you take your trash with you, and leave sites cleaner than when you arrived.
Thank you, and enjoy your hike!