What to Expect When Climbing the Masada Snake Path

Climb the Masada Snake Path (rather than the Roman Path) for the sunset hike of a lifetime. We weigh up the scary factor, opening hours, and more.

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published December 29, 2021.

The legendary Masada Snake Path leads up from the Dead Sea to the summit of a formidable rock plateau, where a sacred site is situated - the Masada Fort. The fortress was constructed by King Herod, conquered by Jewish zealots, and then captured by Romans. However, the Jewish people preferred to take their own lives rather than submit to the Romans, and their courage is celebrated today.

Hiking up the Masada Snake Path is a popular tourist attraction today, and you can learn about the most important facts by reading on.

The Difficulty of the Masada Hike

While you don’t need a guide to climb the Snake Path, it is graveled, very steep, and sometimes laced with fog. Thus, it may not suit everyone, and good hiking shoes are recommended. That being said, there are steps and handrails in certain places, and so the hike itself is safe and not too difficult.

Different Possible Routes

Watching the sunrise from the fortress is spectacular. The Snake Path entrance can be accessed before the national park, allowing for a sunrise hike. If you go this route, you will pay your entrance fee of around $19/adult or $10/child to the park at the top.

The Roman Ramp offers another option. The trail itself is shorter, but visitors have to first walk to it from the main gate of the Masada National Park, making the overall time similar and meaning the sunrise option isn’t possible, as the park gate opens later than the Snake Path gate.

The cable car offers quick access to the summit, but costs around $25/adult and $15/child for a 2-way ticket.

Masada Snake Path Fast Facts:

  • Distance From Bottom to Top: 2km, gaining 980 feet (300 meters) in elevation
  • Average Time to Reach the Top: 1-1.5 hours up, and 20-45 minutes down
  • Other Options to Reach the Top: Roman Ramp, cable car, eastern side entrance

The fort ruins are captivating, overlooking the lunar-like Judaean Desert. The Snake Path provides an incredible sunrise experience while allowing hikers to pay homage to the people who lost their lives here. For more information on Masada, click here.