Please everywhere you hike take out MORE than you bring in!

Hike 11: Up Nachal Bistan to the access road leading to the Arab Ein Hod, then beneath Nir Etzion to the Ein Hod artist colony.  From there to the Atlit Caves, and back down to Beit Oren Junction. 


Hiking Time

6 hours

Blaze

Blue, Red, Israel Trail, Red, Black

Trail #

4186, 4188, no #, 4185, 4184

Difficulty

Medium to Easy

Type of trail

Mostly single file paths.

Highlights

In the winter and spring the blue trail up Nachal Bistan is a living stream. The artists colony of Ein Hod is a wonderful town to wander around in, and has many cafes. The Atlit Caves are deep with interior rooms.

Problems

When the blue trail reaches the paved road which goes down to the Arab Town of Ein Hud there are no clear trail marks. Go down hill to your left (east). After about 5 minutes of walking on the road there is a clear blue blaze indicating a turn towards the right (southwest) off the paved road down hill onto a dirt road. If you are hiking in spring when the vegetation is high it is very hard to see where the red trail reaches the place where Israel Trail turns north. If you reach the Israel trail going south, up hill, you’ve gone too far. Go back a few meters and head though the olive trees toward the cluster of buildings on the hill (Ein Hod).

Cleaniness

Mostly very clean. There was some litter in Wadi Bistan. There is an area below the Arabic Ein Hud where there is a stream which I think is village sewage water, and that is not pleasant.

4/12/2010 Carmel Fire

Parts of the Blue Trail through the Wadi, and of the forest when you climb out of the Wadi were burned. Parts of the second Red Trail (4185) were also burned.

Remember to take out MORE than you bring in.

Trail Narrative
    
Park in the parking lot of the Oren Junction Nature Reserve. Walk east in the Nature Reserve, there will be a picnic area on right. Walk past the picnic area on to a gravel road which is the beginning of the black trail (short loop). In about 5 minutes you’ll see a sign for the blue trail going directly down into a thickly vegetated river bed. The blue trail goes up this river bed for about 2 hours.
    
Then it climbs out of the Wadi into a forest of partially burnt tall trees. Another hour of walking through this thickly forested area brings you to a dirt road. A few minutes walking on this dirt road brings you to a paved road.
    
There are no clear blazes here. Go down hill towards your left (east) and walk on the road for about 5 minutes until you see a clear blaze pointing you onto a dirt road on the right (southwest) of the road going downhill. After about 10 minutes o walking on the dirt road, you will see a black trail going uphill, stay on the blue trail going down hill. You will pass a cattle drinking trough, and then a stream of sewage from the Arab Ein Hud above. Ten minutes more and you will reach the red trail.
    
Take the red trail going towards your right (west). This trail takes you gradually down out of the Carmel Mountains on to the coastal plain. Nir Etzion and Ein Hod will be on your right. In spring the vegetation can be overgrown and it sometimes feels like you are bushwhacking, but the trail is well marked, keep following it. After about an hour you will be on a dirt road walking straight towards the sea and route 4. You are looking for the Israel Trail which crosses the red trail a few meters after you reach an olive groove on the right. The Israel trail goes south and up hill right before a sculpture of a multicolored amphibian. If you reach this point look at the olive tree exactly across from the Israel Trail going south: that is tree one, the next olive tree going back is tree two, the next tree has the blaze for the Israel trail going north.
    
The trail zigzags through the groove and in a few minutes you will reach a parking lot below Ein Hod. Make sure to take an hour and explore this charming town which is full of art galleries, sculptures, museums, and cafes.
    
The Israel Trail (together with another red trail) continues to the north across the street (route 7111) from the entrance to Ein Hod. Follow this trail for about 25 minutes until it reaches the black trail. Take the black trail to the left (East). In about 20 minutes you’ll arrive at the Atlit Cave. This cave is much deeper than it seems. There are deep chambers within, one of which you need to climb to get into.
    
The Bet Oren parking lot is about 10 minutes down a very long stair case from the caves. 

Getting to the trail head and back:

By Bus:
Take bus number 202, from the Hof HaCarmel central bus station in Haifa and get off at the twelvth stop which is Bet Oren Junction.  The bus number 221 also goes to Oren junction, ask drivier to tell you when to get off as this bus stops at different places along the way.


By Car:
One car:
Drive south on route 4 to the Bet Oren Junction. Turn left and then after a few meters turn right into the Bet Oren Nature Area parking lot.

 

Pictures of the hike

Wadi Bistan on the Blue Trail

Blue trail (4186) in Wadi Bistan  

Climbing out of Wadi Bistan on Blue Trail - Forest

 Blue trail (4186) in climbing out ofWadi Bistan

Dirt Road in Forest on Blue Trail

Blue trail (4186) in dirt road in forest.

Sculpture at end of red trail- if you pass this you've gone too far

 End of Red trail (4188).  If you pass this sculpture you've gone too far.

Ein Hod public square with school kids

 Artist colony of Ein Hod, public square with school kids.

Artist village of Ein Hod sculpture

Sculpture in Ein Hod 

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