The Golden Dunes of ’Uvda


Shizzafon Junction – Shaharut Ascent

Segment length: 24 km
Starting point: Shizzafon Junction (entrance to Ne’ot Smadar)
Ending point: Ma’ale Shaharut
Services on route: Shaharut
Average riding time: 6 hours
Water: 8 liters per person
Level: Difficult

An impressive singles route runs through the watershed and along the edge of the cliffs above the ’Uvda Valley. The IBT climbs to the Kasuy sand dunes and then continues to the edge of the rift valley near the small settlement of Ma’ale Shaharut by the Shaharut Ascent.

From the Shizzafon Junction, the IBT ascends Nahal Ayya to the Kasuy sand dunes. The route continues to Nahal Yitro (Jethro) and then along the rift valley cliff to the Shaharut Ascent.

  • Kasuy Sand Dunes: The broad valley of Nahal Kasuy is covered with dunes of pure white sand. Its whiteness sets it apart from the bulk of the world’s sand dunes, where the sands have a more tinted hue.
  • Shaharut Ascent: The top of the ascent overlooks the southern Arava, the head of the Gulf of Eilat, and the Edom Mountains. The ascent is probably part of an ancient trail that once connected Kadesh Barnea in Sinai to Neve Yotvata. Parts of the ascent were destroyed in the 1970s when a modern road was built to enable vehicles to ascend the rift valley cliff.
  • Shaharut: Established in 1985, this small settlement is designed to be a tourist village.

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