Trail Length 6.5 km. Trail number 11355 on Trail Markings Map 11. Trail marking color – black.
Until 2005, Nahal Kanafan was relatively unknown to travelers in Israel. However, a group of nature enthusiasts from Arad marked it, along with Nahal Kina and Nahal Kisan, bringing attention to these streams.
The trail starts its descent from the Arad airstrip, accessible via the Paz gas station. It’s worth noting that the Israel Trail also traverses this area. The path is indicated by green markers, while the descent to Nahal Kanafan is denoted by black markers.
The stream’s name is rooted in the Thorny Wing flower, known as “Kanfan Kotzani” in Hebrew. This flowering plant, an annual desert plant of the Caryophyllaceae family, typically blooms after rainfall and gradually withers as summer approaches.
During your journey along the Nahal Kanfan you will pass through a geological feature known as a “mini basin” which is a “narrow and deep crevice at the base of a larger basin, formed by water infiltration into rocky terrain, resulting in a series of basins.”
An additional term that holds significance during your visit is “Travertine.” This is a type of terrestrial limestone that accumulates near mineral springs, particularly hot springs. It frequently displays a fibrous or concentric pattern and is found in shades of white, tan, cream, and rusty tones. The formation of travertine involves the rapid deposition of calcium carbonate, frequently occurring at the outlet of a hot spring or within a limestone cavern.
Within the approximately one-kilometer-long “mini basin,” you’ll encounter straightforward crossings, although navigating the streambed isn’t without its challenges. However, the picturesque beauty of the surroundings makes it all the more worthwhile.
Moving past the “mini basin,” the path directs you to the merging point of Nahal Kina and Nahal Hemar, indicated by blue markings. As you continue into Nahal Hemar, your journey will intersect with Nahal Dimona, within a spacious valley sculpted by the flow of desert streams. Just before you arrive at the juncture with Nahal Dimona you will spot a cave situated in the cliff wall.