From HaMinsara to the Prism Wall in the Ramon Crater

HaMinsara, also called “the Carpentry Shop,” is one of the top sites in the Ramon Crater. In Hebrew, “Minsara” means “prism.” It’s a small hill covered quartzite rocks that look like dark, rectangular bricks. Originally, it was a hill made of sandstone, but then the sand heated up due to magmatic activity, turned into liquid, and cooled down to become these “bricks.”

We stopped by this fascinating hill on our trip to Ramon Crater last month. But hiking up HaMinsara wasn’t enough for us. We decided to take a short hike from HaMinsara to “the Prism Wall,” located about 3.3 km away. It’s an easy trail, flat almost all the way, and the “Prism Wall” at the end is beautiful. Here’s a summary of my experience.

Important to note:

  • The hike is under your full responsibility, so please be careful while hiking.
  • Make sure to bring comfortable shoes, at least 2 liters of water, and a hat. If there’s a lot of sun, put on some sunscreen, too. The entire trail is exposed to the sun.
  • Make sure to start the trail enough time before sunset. Check sunset hours and start the hike at least 3 hours before sunset so you won’t get stuck in the dark.
  • There’s no place to fill water on the trail.
  • Check the weather forecast before starting the hike. If it’s too hot, don’t hike. If it’s rainy, check if there are flash flood hazards.

How to get to the head of the trail?

It seems like those in charge of Ramon Crater Nature Reserve want to keep away as many people as possible. Maybe that’s why there are no bus stations inside the crater. So, the best way to get to the head of the trail is by car. Initially, we thought of taking a taxi into the crater, but we checked the prices, and it was too much for us.

We took the car and parked it at the dirt parking lot next to HaMinsara. All you need to do is drive down from Mitzpe Ramon on road 40 into the crater. Then, the first turn right will take you to the parking lot. The trail to “the Prism Wall” is a green trail, that leaves from the western side of HaMinsara hill. If you stand in front of the hill, it’s on the right side.

If you prefer to hike, you can do something completely different. Climb down from the promenade in Mitzpe Ramon on a green-marked trail into the crater. After about 1.3 km, turn left with the green-marked trail. Continue for another 1 km and you should reach “the Prism Wall.” From there, you can continue on the trail to HaMinsara.

The trail from HaMinsara to “the Prism Wall”:

Length: 3.3 km in each direction, a total of about 6.6 km.

Duration: About 2.5 hours, depending on your pace.

Difficulty: Easy.   

View the trail on Israel Hiking Map: Click here for the trail map.

Map taken from Israel Hiking Map

The hike starts from HaMinsara (1). Before going on to “the Prism Wall,” we climbed up to the top of the hill. There’s a wooden pathway leading to the top, and you can look at the unique rocks all the way up. It’s a very easy circular trail to the top and back, a length of about 580 meters in total. By the way, it’s called “the Carpentry Shop” because someone thought that the bricks looked like chops of wood. Judge for yourself.

HaMinsara Hill

We returned to the starting point and then started walking to “the Prism Wall” on the green-marked trail. To be honest, it’s not a very interesting trail. You walk on and on and everything is quite flat around you. There were some small steps on the way, but nothing major. Near the end, there was a place we had to climb down a bit and then up a bit, but then we were again on a flat trail.

On the way, we saw a young man who was sitting on a rock and reading. In the middle of nowhere. “Hello,” we told him. I think we crashed his plan of sitting in solitude. I think this trail is barely taken, so usually it must be a perfect place for some peace and quiet.

“The Prism Wall”:

A short while after meeting the guy, we reached “the Prism Wall” (2). I’m putting it in quotation marks because I’m not entirely sure how it’s called. This is how someone called it on the collaborative map of Amud Anan. I haven’t found any reference to it anywhere else. It’s an impressive dark wall of what looks like natural solidified columns. If anyone knows more about it, I’ll be happy to hear in the comments.  

One thing is for certain – this wall is very photogenic. We spent long minutes taking photos of it and also of us with it as our background. So, if you like taking photos – it’s a good place to go.

After photographing the wall from all directions, we retraced our steps back to HaMinsara and our car.

“The Prism Wall”. Photo credit: Cristian Cucinschi

Conclusion:

The trail from HaMinsara to “the Prism Wall” is a less beaten path in the Ramon Crater. The hike itself is easy and not too long, but most of it is, at least in my opinion, quite dull. The highlight of the trail is HaMinsara at its beginning and “the Prism Wall” at its end. If you like to go on unbeaten trails, this is a nice one that doesn’t require too much effort.   

More trails in the Ramon Crater:

The Nekarot Horseshoe: One of the Most Popular Hikes

A Circular Hike to Shen Ramon


Hiked this trail in January 2022.

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Yours,

Lior.

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