Nahal Darga Canyon

About this place

The seasonal Darga Stream flows through Murba’at ravine (Wadi Murabba'at)) in the Judean Desert ending at the Dead Sea. Darga Stream gushes through the wadi in winter, and it is prone to flooding, but in summer the stream is dry. The ravine ends, about 18km south of Qumran, on the edge of the Dead Sea.

Here, shepherds discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls, and in the 1950s and 60s excavations of the Murba’at Caves uncovered evidence of human inhabitation over 5,000 years ago. Artifacts were found from several eras, including pottery, coins, and weapons from the Roman period. There are two hike trails at the site, one is challenging and only suited to experienced hikers.

This trail covers rough terrain and is supervised by Nature and Parks Authority. There is an easier trail suitable for families. On both trails, you’ll get stunning views across the Dead Sea, and see natural pools and waterfalls in winter.

The trails include a visit to the Murba’at Cave where scrolls and letters were found written by Bar Kochba, leader of Jewish fighters during the Bar Kochba Revolt (132-136AD) against the Romans. Visitors who want a desert adventure, mixed with a fascinating archaeological site at Qumran, can visit Nahal Darga and the Murabba'at Caves. 

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