Along this route we find cisterns, a grape-treading floor and a crushing mill used to compress and mash olives prior to extracting their oil. The trail ends in a shallow valley that passes below the Anim Ruins. The Agricultural Artifacts Trail departs from the Cistern Recreation Area, and it can also be accessed from a dirt road that climbs southwards from the Yatir Forest Trail about 150 meters from the Anim Ruins parking lot.
Yatir Forest was established with the help of donations from Friends of KKL-JNF throughout the world.
The Winter Daffodil Trail
The Winter Daffodil Trail starts from Route no. 316 and ends at the Western Scenic Route. It is around five kilometers long.
Access and markings: The access point to the Winter Daffodil Trail is located about 1.5 kilometers towards Houra (Route no. 316). It is indicated throughout with black trail markings.
The winter daffodil in flower: The flowering site is about 1.5 kilometers along from the start of the route, beside a small plot of pistachio trees adjacent to a terrace built from seven courses of large stones. Near the terrace, in late October and early November, a large concentration of winter daffodils (Sternbergia clusiana) comes into bloom. The winter daffodil grows from a bulb and produces large bright yellow flowers close to the ground. Each flower has six petals.
The Cave Trail and the cistern
This trail, which is around 600 meters in length, passes abandoned dwelling caves and an ancient cistern. It crosses a pine forest parallel to the Winter Daffodil Trail, and follows what was once the route of a trench that formerly collected rainwater that flowed down the slope and channeled it into the cistern.
The Reservoir Trail
Access: The Reservoir Trail starts around 400 meters to the east of the community of Shani (Livna)
This route, which is 6.3 kilometers in length, leads us to the Yatir Reservoir via the Cistern Recreation Area and the Agricultural Artifacts Trail. Before it fell into disuse this large reservoir, which has a capacity of 650 thousand cubic meters, supplied water to the groves and orchards of the Yatir region. Today it is surrounded by a fence and access to it is forbidden. From the reservoir our route leads onward to the Mexico Recreation Area (the junction of Routes 80 and 316), where it ends.
The route, which is marked in blue, can be negotiated by private cars.
The Eastern Scenic Route
Access: The route departs from the Yatir Forest Trail about 50 meters from the sign at the entrance to the Foresters’ Fortress.
This route is 13.5 kilometers long and it grants us magnificent views of the forest expanses and access to the Amsha Nature Reserve, which overlooks the wide open spaces of the Judean Desert. Along the way KKL-JNF has created terraces and planted them with broad-leaved trees. The Eastern Scenic Route also provides access to the footpath along the ancient Roman road that descends from Maaleh Dragot to the village of Dureijat. The Mexico Recreation Area adjacent to Route no. 80 that descends to Bikat Arad (“Arad Gully”) signals the end of our route.
The Eastern Scenic Route is indicated by red trail markings and it is can be negotiated in a private car.
Mount Amsha Nature Reserve
The nature reserve extends over the slope to the east of the scenic route, in an area where Mediterranean, prairie and desert vegetation all meet. Here we can find two rare species: Phlomis pungens, which bursts into pink flower in April, and the local variant of the Persian lily (Fritillaria persica), which in March and April grows a tall stem that bears bell-shaped flowers whose color ranges from chocolate brown to vanilla.
This scenic lookout consists of a metal platform and pergola perched on a spur of Mount Amsha at 860 meters above sea level. As this is the highest point of the Yatir region, we have a magnificent view of the whole area: the Judean Desert and the Arad Gully are directly below us, while the Moab Mountains soar on the far side of the Syria-African Rift Valley. The lookout is named after Hurvat Krayot (“the Krayot Ruins”), which is located below it, beside the road to Arad.
Below the Krayot Lookout we can see the remains of the Roman road that led from here to the village of Dureijat via Mount Amsha and Maaleh Dragot. Additional traces of the road can be seen close by the fence around Kibbutz Har Amsha. Further on, in the Maaleh Dragot stretch, the road is wonderfully well preserved.