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Makhtesh Ramon, Ramon Crater

Largest Natural Crater in the World

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The Makhtesh Ramon, at 40 km long, 8 km wide and 300m deep is claimed, by Israelis, to be the largest crater in the world. Geologists think that it may have been formed about half a million year ago by the erosion of an island which was originally surrounded by a salty sea. When the sea retreated for the final time, it left a valley surrounded by steep walls and drained by a wadi which is still prone to flash floods after a heavy rain.

The crater is home to over 1200 species of vegetation. Animal life includes ibex, gazelles, wolves, foxes, snakes and of course myriad insect species. Raomon's rock strata reveal geological history dating back to the Mesozoic Era, the age of dinosaurs.

The crater is on the secondary highway from Beersheva to Eilat, Route 40. Not only do you miss most of the traffic, but the drive is much more interesting. The road snakes down the cliff face and across the bowl of the crater, a fascinating drive. The visitors centre at the edge of the town of Mitzpe Ramon offers an excellent overview of the crater and interpretation of is goeology, flora and fauna. There is also an overpriced and extremely mediocre cafe, if you are in dire need. The toilet facilities were always clean when we visited.

The Ramon Crater.

Click with the right mouse button to see the full size photo.

Ramon crater

The Ramon crater from the top.

Ramon crater

The Ramon crater from the top.

Ramon crater

Wayne gazing out over the crater.

Ramon crater

The Ramon crater from the top.

Ramon crater

The Ramon crater from the top.

Ramon crater

The Ramon crater from the top.

Ramon crater

View from the top of the crater.

Ramon crater

The wadi snaking across the crater floor.

Ramon crater

The Ramon crater from the top.

Settlers

Settlers.

cliff

Grafitti on the cliff face.

cliff

Looking up at the cliff looming over our heads.

highway

The highway down the side of the crater.

driving down

Driving down to the floor of the crater.

crater floor

Looking back from the crater floor.

Ramon crater

Driving along the floor of the crater.

Ramon crater

Driving along the floor of the crater.

name in pumice

Our friend's little boy wrote his name on the crater floor.

Links to the rest of the Israel section of this website:

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Patti

This page was updated on 19 December 2007.

Contact me at: patti.primeau@sympatico.ca

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