The travel track on Mount Amir in Eilat mountains is a circular route, which is rich in colors and shapes climbing an old mountain which traveled all the way here from far away, hundreds of millions of years ago. The wind and water have sculpted the sand like an artist’s hand and sealed the holes, gullies and deep channels and various minerals which were painted it in shades of green, red and yellow. At the end of the track, we will face Amram’s Pillars, a pair of high, decorated sand columns.
We start the route from the parking lot which is marked in green (the markings are climbing the mountain). The mountain is made of sand that came from the Iraqi desert about 200-500 million years ago. The grains of sand, made of granite weathering, moved with the rivers and wind and have accumulated a thick layer of multi colors which geologists call “Nubian sandstone”.
Hundreds of millions years later, the ancient Tethys Sea flooded the area and stuffed the sand with it’s weight, until it made it a rock. As we climb uphill, it becomes a steeper climb rich with sandstone and dry waterfalls. The weathering process created plenty of forms in the sandstone.
At the head of our climb, which we will reach after half an hour of climbing at a slow speed, we will find some shallow pits. These are remnants of copper mining pits from 2000 years ago. If you look carefully in the sandstone, we’ll also found tiny green copper balls. Copper was previously made from sandstone in some difficult processes of quarrying depth and refining furnaces. A modern attempt to produce commercial quantities of copper here was unsuccessful.
We will go down about 100 meters from the head up into a narrow stream and turn right at the split of the paths, which are marked in red and move forward towards a group of large red boulders spited by narrow ravines. We’ll move left to the red rocks and go down with the path downhill on the side of Mount Amir between broken rocks and colored stones. The red and yellow colors originate from iron oxides, the greens comes from the copper.
The winding path goes down and reaches the parking lot of Amram’s Pillars. From here we walk to the left, to a route several hundred meters long which is marked in black, and at the end of it we’ll get to Amram’s Pillars. The way to Pillars goes through a canyon with black-red granite walls. These rocks were melted in the thick, deep underground and resurfaced back on earth. These rocks are the igneous rocks of the sandstones. After 300 meters, we will see two impressive high sandstone pillars that look like entrance pillars to a temple.
From here we will return to the parking lot of the Amram’s Pillars and continue from there about 400 meters to the parking lot below the Giva’t Yocheved where we started our track.