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

Hike 10: Up Nachal Sefunim past the bat caves to the edge of Bet Oren, then down the north edge of Nachal Oren to the Oren Junction nature reserve.

Hiking Time

5.5 hours


Red, Green, Blue, Red

Trail #

4174, 4173, 4172, 4183


Medium to Easy: some scrambling on rock on red 4174 and blue 4172

Type of trail

Mostly single file paths. Upper part of green trail and the beginning of the blue trail is a dirt road.


Bat caves, areas where you feel you’ve left civilization behind, wonderful views, varied trails and areas.


When the green trail is near Bet Oren and is a dirt road it is very easy to miss the left turn where it leaves the dirt road and goes into a single file path into the forest. From this point the green trail goes on and off dirt roads and it is easy to miss the turnoffs if you don’t pay attention to the blazes. Also the place where the green trail meets the blue trail is confusing.


Mostly very clean. Around the bat cave there is always some litter, also at the end of red trail near the Oren Junction there is some flotsam and jetsam.

4/12/2010 Carmel Fire

Much of the green trail and the blue trail go through burnt forests.

Trail Narrative

Park in the parking lot of the Oren Junction Nature Reserve, then walk to Route 4 and catch any northward bus to the Sefunim Bus stop, which is only about 5 minutes away by vehicle. Walk away from the parking area and the sea (east), and follow the red blazes, on the dirt road with tall trees bordering a banana plantation on your left (north). After a couple of minutes you will reach a gate. Go though the gate and close it behind you. Then go straight ahead up Nachal Sefunim on the red trail. You will pass an old abandoned mine built by the English. Listen for the high, bird like, alarm calls of the numerous Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis) that live in the rocks on the left (north) side of the wadi. You can often see family groups if you look carefully towards their calls. After about 20 minutes of climbing you will reach the bat caves on your right (south). If you reach the junction of the blue trail you’ve gone too far, it is a minute back. You can hear the bats squeaking when you climb in the caves. It is permitted to briefly shine a flash light at them, but make sure not to disturb their roosting.
     Thirty minutes of climbing will bring you to the bat caves which are on the right of the trail (south), take the time to go in with a flashlight a observe the bats, but make sure not to disturb them.
Then continue up the red trail. A minute from the bat caves you will pass the blue trail going up and south. Continue up on the red trail which goes down for a few meters and then continues up Wadi Sefunim. About 25 minutes from the bat caves you will reach areas that were burned in the fire. In the winter and spring the undergrowth was startlingly green, with lots of wild flowers, making the burned area less somber than you would think. About 40 minutes from the bat caves you will reach the junction with the green trail.
Take the green trail which continues up Wadi Sefunim straight ahead towards the east towards Bet Oren. (The red trail turns north and ends up in Tirat HaCarmel see hike number 1 for information about this trail). After about 50 minutes of walking the green trail will bring you to a dirt roads on the western edge of Kibbutz Bet Oren. Turn right (south).
In less then ten minutes the trail goes off the dirt road, to the left, into the forest. This turn is very easy to miss.
The trail then meanders through the forest for 10 minutes until it reaches another dirt road. Go right on the dirt road for a minute or so and then the trail again goes left steeply uphill into the forest.
About 15 minutes later the trail again joins a dirt road. Turn right down hill and in less then ten minutes the trail again goes of the dirt road to the left for a brief time until it reaches another dirt road. Here there are no blazes.
Turn left (east) and walk down hill towards Bet Oren until you can find a path steeply down to your right (south) which will take you to another dirt road. This is now the blue trail which goes down along the ridge of Nachal Oren. The blue trail continues as a dirt road for only about 5 minutes. It then becomes a narrow path which gradually descends into Nachal Oren. There are spectacular views along the whole trail. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to walk down to the bottom and reach the red trail. 
     The trail now follows the river bed. Another 40 minutes of scrabbling along the rocks brings you back to the Oren Junction Nature Reserve and the end of the hike.




Iris_Iris vartanii, אירוס הסרגל

 Iris, Iris vartanii, אירוס הסרגל

Getting to the trail and back:

By Bus:
Take bus number 202, or 221 from the Hof HaCarmel Central bus station in Haifa and get off at the Nachal Sefunim bus stop - pronounced Sfonim (
ספונים). At the end of the hike walk to the Bet Oren Junction north bound bus stop and take any bus that goes by back to Haifa.

By Car:

Drive south on route 4 to the Bet Oren Junction. Turn left on route 721 for a few meters and then turn into the Nature Reserve parking area and park there. Get off at the third stop Nachal Sefunim pronounced Sfonim (
ספונים). If you have two cars you can leave one of them at the Oren Junction and the other at Nachal Sefunim. 


Pictures from the hike

Red trail, 4174, nachal sefumin (נחל ספונים)

Red trail, 4174, nachal sefumin (נחל ספונים) 

3_cyclamen_Cyclamen persicum_רקפת מצויה

Cyclamen, Cyclamen persicum, רקפת מצויה

Aleppo pine_Pinus halepensis seedlings after Carmel forest fire

Aleppo pine, Pinus halepensis, seedlings after Carmel forest fire 

Green trail, 4173

Green trail, 4173

Blue trail, 4172

 Blue trail, 4172, down to Nachal Oren, נחל ארן

Red Trail, 4183

Red Trail, 4183,  in Nachal Oren, נחל ארן

Wild tulips_Tulipa agenensis_צבעוני ההרים

Wild tulips, Tulipa agenensis, צבעוני ההרים 

Back to Carmel Hikes home page


privacy policy

Make a free website with Yola