Saar Falls is one of the most beloved waterfalls in Israel. And that is because of its size, beauty, and accessibility. Let’s begin!
Saar Falls is located in the Golan Heights, near the intersection of roads #99 and #989. And to get there enter “Saar Falls” into the navigation app.
Map of the area:
There is free parking on road #99 near the waterfall. But if you visit on a Saturday when the water flow is especially impressive, all nearby parking will be taken. You will see people parking along roads #99 and #989. And walking to the viewpoint.
Always open, but there is no artificial light. Thus visit only during the day.
When To Visit
Saar Falls is impressive after the rains. But immediately after the showers, the trails can be slippery. Thus a day or two after rain from January till April would be perfect. Also, keep in mind that during Summer and Autumn, the river can dry up. Therefore I would suggest not to visit during these seasons.
Restaurants and Food Stalls
After heavy rains, the flow becomes powerful, and Saar Falls is especially striking. And during those weekends many people visit this waterfall.
Thus, beyond the restaurant on-site, you will see many food stalls. Most of the places are managed by Druze (probably from the nearby Ein Qiniyye) where they sell their produce.
Over the years, we visited Saar Falls many times and also purchased different goods. We bought honey, apples, olives, and many other things. And overall, the produce was of good quality. The only thing that I did not like was a cherry jam that we purchased once. And the reason I did not like it was because the cherries were cooked as is, i.e., with cherry stones. Anyway, if you are planning on purchasing something there, bring cash with you.
Saar River flows at the north of Golan Heights. It is best known for Saar Falls, which is near road #99 and is characterized by impressive flow after the rains.
The origin of the Saar river is near Majdal Shams. And Saar river is considered the geographical border between the Golan and Hermon.
There are two high waterfalls in this river: Resisim waterfall – about a kilometer east of the Friendship Bridge, and Saar Falls – west of the Saar Bridge adjacent to the 989 highway to Neve Ativ. The waterfalls are a result of a steep height drop (550 meters in 6 km).
Besides the two large waterfalls, there are several dozen more cascades and small waterfalls along the stream.
Naturally, the stream has a year-round water flow. But many years ago, the residents of the surrounding area started using the water. And since then, water has been flowing only when the flow rate exceeds the pumping rate (usually after heavy rain), or when water reservoirs are full, typically only in the second half of winter. At the peak of the rainy season, its flow may reach an impressive rate, and then many hikers visit the Saar Falls.
Source: translated from Wikipedia
There are several ways you can visit Saar Falls and Resisim waterfall. There is one trail that connects them, and we can divide it into three parts.
- Saar Falls round trail – this is a short and round path. It is an easy path that takes up to half an hour (depending on the number of photos you take 😉 ). Thus it is suitable for families. Also, part of this trail is accessible for wheelchairs. And for all the mentioned reasons, it is the most popular trail.
- From the Friendship bridge to Saar waterfall – you can continue driving to the Friendship bridge that is located above the Saar river on the access road to Ein Qiniyye. Park there and hike the trail along the stream till Saar waterfall. The length of this section is about three km, and it typically takes two and a half hours to pass it. This section is not hard, and it is suitable for families.
Note: this is not a cyclic trail. Thus you will need two cars, one at Saar falls, and the other near the Friendship bridge.
- From the Friendship bridge to Resisim waterfall – you can start at the Friendship bridge, but this time walk against the water flow. After about two km, you will reach the Resisim fall. Then you return to the car using the same trail. Keep in mind that this part of the path is the hardest among the three, and it is suitable for experienced hikers.
As you can see, you can combine all the three parts, hike from Friendship bridge to Saar falls, or visit each section separately. But since there is little shade along the trail, take plenty of water, hats, and sunscreen.
Note: I marked the Resisim waterfall and Friendship bridge on the map at the beginning of this post.
Saar Falls Round Trail
In this section, we will visit the most popular part of the mentioned trails, the Saar Falls round path.
From the parking on road #99, we will head to the viewpoint (take the left path).
You can see the waterfalls, and the cyclic path (there is a person at the top right part of the photo). The cyclic route leads you to a bridge above the upper waterfall (you can not see it in the picture above due to greenery). Then you climb up to the road and use the concrete bridge to return to parking. If you walk without stops, then it will take 10 – 15 minutes.
A little to the left of the waterfall, you can see Nimrod Fortress on top of a mountain.
Here is a closeup of Nimrod Fortress.
Saar Falls is part of the Hermon Nature Reserve. And you are probably familiar with this name. That is because the Saar river flows into the Hermon stream several kilometers down the stream. And Hermon stream nature reserve is widely known as Banias Nature Reserve.
And if you look back from the road, then you can see the pedestrian bridge and parts of the trail we used. Also, in the background, you can see the viewpoint where we started the Saar Falls Round Trail.
From the Friendship Bridge to Saar Waterfall
On our latest visit, we decided to make the hike a little longer. Thus after crossing the bridge above road #989, we did not return to the parking. Instead, we went to the other side of the road and followed the green trail for a while. Yes, we hiked in the opposite direction, but we did not plan on reaching the Friendship bridge. And that is because we reached Saar Falls in the second part of the day. In the morning, we saw Iyon, Tahana and
Tanur Waterfalls at Ayun Stream Nature Reserve.
Within less than ten minutes, we reached a big pool. And despite the sign, people were swimming in water. The water was clear, but I heard that sometimes nearby villages pour their sewage into the stream.
That is the end of our visit. But if you are like most people, and hiking along the Saar Falls Round Trail, then you can combine this visit with attractions.
Here are several nearby attractions that might interest you:
- Nimrod Fortress
- Banias Nature Reserve
- Mount Hermon
- Tel Dan Nature Reserve
- Ayun Stream Nature Reserve
- Agamon Hula
During the mentioned seasons, Saar Falls are quite impressive. And depending on the chosen trail, you can hike anywhere from ten minutes to half day. In any case, if you are in the area, I would suggest making a stop there.
Have you ever been to Saar Falls? 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.