The lake parking lot, also known as the disappearing lake, is a popular picnic spot on Carmel. It is also a starting point for many trails.
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The lake parking lot is in Mount Carmel National Park and Nature Reserve, near Beit Oren. The easiest way to reach it is by entering its name into Waze.
Directions for drivers: Link to Waze and Link to Google Maps
Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit
Interactive map of the area:
- Hotels, hostels, and apartments in this area:
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Picnic and Barbeque
The lake parking lot is a popular place for having picnics and barbeques. I held a barbeque several times, and this place has all the needed facilities. There are restrooms, water taps, shaded picnic tables, nearby trails, and the disappearing lake.
The Disappearing Lake
As mentioned above, the lake parking lot is also known as the disappearing lake. Oren Stream passes near this parking lot. And after the rains, an artificial pond built by the Nature and Parks Authority becomes full. This seasonal lake can be seen in winter and spring. Hence it was called the disappearing lake.
Cell Phone Reception
Before going over tracks, I want to mention that we did not have cell phone reception during our visits. As a result, digital hiking maps were useless. Thus bring hiking paper maps.
For additional info about hiking maps, see Overview of Israel Hiking Maps.
There are various trails by Oren Stream and the lake parking lot. Let’s go over the most popular routes.
Here is an interactive map from israelhiking.osm.org.il, where the trails are marked:
And here are the details of the most popular trails:
|#||Name||Color of the Trail on the Map above||Description||Distance (km)||Total climb and descent (meters)||Notes|
|1||Take the red trail to the ruins of Horvat Rakit. Continue with the red path till Mount Shokef. Then use the blue track to reach Alon Spring. And using the green and red trails, return to the lake parking lot.||Green||Take the red trail from the lake parking lot. Then switch to the green path and return using the blue and black trails.||2.4||134||You can make this trail a little longer by visiting Kdumim Quarries and Carmel fire monument.|
|2||The lake parking lot and Carmel fire monument||Blue||Start with the red trail and then switch to the green and black paths to visit Kdumim Quarries and Carmel fire monument.||1.6||98||It is a one-way track suitable if you have more than one car (or will be hitchhiking).|
|3||Long loop trail||Red||Take the red trail to the ruins of Horvat Rakit. Continue with the red path till Mount Shokef. Then use the blue track to reach Alon spring. And using the green and red trails, return to the lake parking lot.||7.36||523||It is an example of a loop trail. Since there are many paths, you can create your track.|
- “flooding is a danger in winter, spring, and fall. Follow weather reports and do not walk in streambeds or cross them in cloudy weather. On rainy days be careful of slipping.”
- As mentioned, we did not have cell phone reception during our visits. Thus bring hiking paper maps.
Since we mentioned the Oren River, the loop Finger Cave Trail is another popular option. And you can find additional trail options at Little Switzerland.
The Red Trail
This section will describe a short hike we did during the Passover vacation. We took the red path from the lake parking lot and headed towards Alon Spring.
You can walk as much as you want or till your kids complain and return to the starting point.
Another plus of a short trail is combining it with a picnic.
At the end of March, the lake was almost dry. You can see part of the disappearing lake in the background of the next photo.
The red path crosses the stream and continues on the other side.
It took us about ten minutes to reach the lake.
Though there is little water, the vegetation is still green and lush. Thus Passover suits for hiking.
Here are several additional photos from that hike:
Completing this part of the trail took us less than an hour.
The lake parking lot offers facilities for barbeques and various lovely trails. Therefore, it is one of the popular spots at Carmel Nature Reserve.
Have you ever visited the lake parking lot? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.