The Colored Canyon




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The Colored Canyon

Introduction {Ride or Hike}

The Coloured Canyon is a unique natural spectacle in the middle of the Sinai desert with snakey narrow canyons with impressive multi-colour sediments. It presents one of the most magnificent rock formations in the world. The vegetation is very limited – lonely acacias, green Capparis (Capparis sinaica), tamarisk trees, willow trees, sodom apples (which are poisonous) and desert pumpkin.

Now, the rock formations are an incomparable attraction: they vary from sandstone to limestone, granite and veins of basalt dominate the scenery through the entire hike.

It’s difficult to convince people that the fascinating interplay of colors on the canyon is not the work of a master artist laying down brush strokes. The sight is even made more beautiful by the background colors that blend in smoothly.

With the 4WD Jeep, you arrive on a plateau with very good sight to the mountains and the canyon right to your feet. When you start descending, you’ll notice that many of the rocks are covered in a chalk-like powder – caused by being worn down by tourists.

After about 20 minutes, it feels like walking through a dry riverbed. It is a must, besides watching your feet, to look around and above you (at some points, the walls reach some 20 stories in height) to realize that it is a geological wonderland.

At some places, the rocks radiate crystalline colours, at others, they have a smooth velvety appearance. As the trip continues, the river gets smaller and smaller, and the walls plain from strong water-pressure in wintertime. 

Except for one or two obstacles, it’s fairly an easy hike. For example, at one point, one has to slide down through a vent, where the two sides of the Canyon almost touch each other and where maybe thousands of years ago, a fallen boulder had blocked the way, leaving a narrow opening underneath.

On the other side of this obstacle, the Coloured Canyon floor gradually starts to rise again. A few minutes later, another obstacle appears where the best way to handle is to swing yourself around a huge rock to slide two meters down, or simply to jump over it.

Here again, you’ll find native Bedouin tour guides who will lead you through the area either by foot or on camelback and they will definitely supply you with stories about the area and its history while pointing out other important features that the lone tourist would most likely miss if touring the area alone.