Rising 250 meters from the southwestern shore of the Dead Sea, this magnificent landform, made almost entirely of salt, boasts the ability to grow 3.5mm a year. At approximately 2km wide and 11km long with a variety of trails, visitors can enjoy either shorter or longer treks around Mt. Sdom’s various features.
Movements in the geological strata over the last 100,000 years have caused some grandiose geological structures on this mountain that are worth exploring. Most famous of these today is likely the large pillar known as “Lot’s Wife”, which is meant to recall the story biblical account of the escape of Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah. It is believed that here, in the midst of the family’s escape, Lot’s wife turned to look back at the destruction and was immediately turned into a pillar of salt.
Those who invest the time to climb to the top will be richly rewarded with panoramic views of the Dead Sea and its surrounding hills. Careful planning to arrive at sunrise or sunset promises to yield scintillating displays of the various surface minerals as they are illuminated by the sun’s lower position in the sky.
At the base of the mountain lies the Malcham Cave. At 5,500 meters in length, it is the longest single natural salt cave in the world. While it is certainly worthwhile to scramble about and examine the lunar landscape and salt caves formed over the years by rainfall, do be careful to observe signage prohibiting entrance to caves deemed too dangerous for exploration. Those interested in fossils can benefit from a short hike along the “fish trail” where fossils of fish prove that the Dead Sea was once living.
Bike rentals and Jeep rides are also available to take visitors into the heart of the mountain to view some of its more remarkable cavernous phenomena.