Mount Ye'ela
Location: American Independence Park, Jerusalem Mountains.
Description: Mount Ye'ela affords a spectacular view from the summit of the western slopes of the Jerusalem Mountains towards the hills of the Judean Plain, Nahal Sorek basin and the coastal plain. KKL-JNF has erected signage explaining about Operation HaHar, during which the area was captured in Israel’s War of Independence. There are picnic tables near the observation tower.
Mount Ye'ela is within American Independence Park, which sprawls over 4,000 dunams on the southern slopes of the Jerusalem Mountains, which descend from the Bar Giora area to Beit Shemesh. KKL-JNF began to create the park in 1976, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of US independence. The park’s open spaces are characterized by natural woodland and planted forests, springs, ancient agricultural terraces and sites from the past.
A trail that overlooks the immense twists and turns of Nahal Sorek begins at Mount Ye'ela. KKL-JNF’s Nes Harim information center can be reached by the trail.
Directions: Drive from Shimshon Junction towards Beit Shemesh (Route 38) and turn left on the Beit Shemesh bypass (3855) towards Mahseya. Near the moshav, ascend left towards the Stalactite Cave (Route 3866) and drive 6 km to the junction next to the Challenger Memorial. The road left leads to the Stalactite Cave. A short dirt road ascends directly ahead to Mount Ye'ela.
Photo: Yaakov Shkolnik, KKL-JNF Photo Archive