Between Jerusalem and Jericho, there is a beautiful hike that anyone that loves nature should do. I am mean Hiking Wadi Qelt. So Wadi Qelt or in Hebrew Nahal Prat is a stream that runs through the Judea Desert; originating near Jerusalem and running into the Jordan River near Jericho, shortly before it flows into the Dead Sea. Wadi Qelt is home to a unique variety of flora and fauna. St. George’s Monastery and the royal winter palace complex built by the Hasmoneans and Herod the Great are located in the Wadi, which has been identified with the biblical Perath mentioned in Jeremiah 13:5.
All this and the natural freshwater springs that you can find along the hike make this trek one of the nicest hikes you can do in the Holy Land. Your starting point should En Prat Nature Reserve there you should park your car and start your hike. Now bear in mind that a full day hike takes the entire day and you would need water and supply for such a long hike.
Hiking Wadi Qelt: Ein Prat Spring
Ein Prat (Farah) is a stratum spring; the source of which is the result of the river’s subsidence in the hard limestone layers of the Judaean Desert. The flow of the spring is constant and the effect of the seasons is very small. The perennial daily capacity is about 1,500 cubic meters per day on average. Concentrating on this high amount of water has made the spring a unique habitat that centers on a variety of plant and animal species.
Above the spring is the Monastery of Faran; an ancient monastery built at the end of the fourth century by the monk Khariton; who according to tradition is buried in the monastery. In fact, the monastery was rebuilt in the late nineteenth century by the Russian Pervoslav Church. Around the monastery are cisterns, orchards, and agricultural terraces, the remains of a hostel for pilgrims, and other buildings that testify to its past as a sought-after pilgrimage site. This is one of the last active monasteries in the Judean Desert.