Mount Hermon the highest mountain in Israel
Mount Hermon

Mount Hermon (or “sacred mountain”) is the highest mountain in ancient Israel and also the highest point in the East of the Mediterranean Sea, with spectacular snowcapped summits towering about 9,000 feet above sea level. The mountain is known as The Snowy Mountain, The Grey-Haired Mountain, Mount Sirion/Senir In Deuteronomy 3:8 (NKJV),  and the Sidonians referred to Mount Hermon as Mount Sirion and the Amorites as Mount Senir. • Jabal al-shaykh (Arabic)

Mount Hermon is a majestic mountain located on the border between Syria and Lebanon, with a small portion extending into Israel. It is the highest peak in the region, reaching an elevation of 9,232 feet (2,814 meters). Mount Hermon is known for its snow-capped summit during the winter months, making it a popular destination for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

The mountain holds great significance both historically and culturally. In ancient times, Mount Hermon was considered a sacred place, often associated with divine beings and mythological stories. It is mentioned in various religious texts and is believed to be the site of significant events.

From a geographical perspective, Mount Hermon is part of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Its slopes are covered with lush green vegetation, including forests and alpine meadows, creating a picturesque setting for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Mount Hermon also serves as an important water source, providing freshwater to the surrounding areas. The melting snow on its peaks feeds several rivers and streams that contribute to the region’s ecosystems and agricultural activities.

In addition to its natural beauty, Mount Hermon has become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from both local and international locations. The mountain offers various recreational activities throughout the year, including hiking, camping, and cable car rides that provide stunning views of the surrounding terrain.

Overall, Mount Hermon stands as a prominent landmark in the region, combining natural splendor, historical significance, and recreational opportunities, making it a captivating destination for travelers and adventurers alike.

Where is Mount Hermon Located?

Mount Hermon is located on the border between Syria and Lebanon, with a small portion extending into Israel. It is part of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range and is situated in the southwestern corner of Syria, the northeastern part of Lebanon, and the northern tip of Israel’s Golan Heights.

How was it formed?

The formation of Mount Hermon dates back millions of years to the geological processes that shaped the region. It was formed through the collision of tectonic plates, specifically the Arabian Plate and the African Plate. The convergence of these plates resulted in the uplift and folding of the Earth’s crust, leading to the formation of the mountain range.

To reach Mount Hermon, there are different access points depending on which country you are traveling from:

  1. From Syria: Given the current political situation, it is advised to check travel advisories and restrictions before considering travel to Syria.
  2. From Lebanon: The most common route is through the town of Bcharre in northern Lebanon. From there, you can hire a local guide or join a guided tour to reach the mountain. The journey usually involves a combination of hiking and transportation by 4×4 vehicles to reach the summit.
  3. From Israel: The Israeli side of Mount Hermon is accessible from the Golan Heights. There are designated roads and hiking trails that lead to the mountain. It is recommended to have a private vehicle or join a guided tour for transportation and navigation purposes.

It is important to note that the accessibility and safety of Mount Hermon may vary depending on the political situation and local conditions. It is advisable to stay updated with the latest travel advisories and seek guidance from local authorities or tour operators before planning a visit to Mount Hermon.

Mount Hermon is a religious site

Mount Hermon holds significant religious and historical importance, particularly in the context of the Bible and various religious traditions. Here are some key points regarding Mount Hermon’s significance:

  1. Biblical References: Mount Hermon is mentioned in several passages of the Bible. In the Old Testament, it is often associated with the northernmost boundary of the Promised Land and is referred to as the “Sidon” or “Lebanon” mountain range. For example, in the book of Deuteronomy, Mount Hermon is mentioned as the northern border landmark of Israel (Deuteronomy 3:8-9).
  2. Transfiguration of Jesus: Mount Hermon is traditionally believed to be the location of the Transfiguration of Jesus as described in the New Testament. According to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a high mountain, where his appearance was transfigured, and he conversed with Moses and Elijah. While the exact location is not specified in the Bible, Mount Hermon is considered a possible site based on historical and geographical factors.
  3. Spiritual Symbolism: Mount Hermon’s lofty height and majestic presence have symbolized spiritual significance in various religious and cultural contexts. It is often associated with divine revelation, spiritual ascent, and encounters with the divine. Its towering peaks and snow-capped summit have inspired awe and reverence among believers throughout history.
  4. Historical and Cultural Context: Mount Hermon has been a site of worship and religious activity since ancient times. In the past, pagan deities were believed to reside on its slopes, and it served as a sacred mountain in Canaanite, Phoenician, and Greco-Roman mythologies. Over the centuries, the mountain’s religious significance has evolved, influenced by different faith traditions and their interpretations.
  5. Pilgrimage and Spiritual Reflection: Mount Hermon continues to attract pilgrims, hikers, and spiritual seekers who are drawn to its natural beauty and historical associations. Many visitors ascend the mountain to connect with the spiritual energy of the place, reflect on biblical narratives, or seek moments of solitude and contemplation.

It’s important to note that the religious significance of Mount Hermon may vary among different faith traditions and interpretations. The mountain’s rich history and diverse spiritual associations contribute to its enduring allure for those seeking a deeper connection to their faith and spirituality.

Significance of Mount Hermon in the bible

Mount Hermon was perhaps the location of Jesus Christ’s transfiguration.

Mount Hermon’s three different summits, known now as Jabal el-Shaiykh, meaning “snowy mountain,” are covered with snow for the most of the year. Mount Hermon was also known as Sirion by the Sidonians and Senir by the Amorites in the Bible (Deuteronomy 3:9; Psalm 29:6). These two names signify “breastplate,” most likely alluding to the mountain’s gleaming, circular, snow-topped crests.

The mountain range is over 30 miles long and 15 miles wide, and it can be seen from a long distance.

Mount Hermon is located on Israel’s northeastern frontier, on the border between Syria and Lebanon. Along with melting snow and plentiful rainfall atop Mount Hermon, enormous springs at the mountain’s base produce the Jordan River’s major headwaters.

Mount Hermon was important in the Bible for several reasons. Mount Hermon marked the northern boundary of the Promised Land, which Joshua captured (Deuteronomy 3:8; Joshua 11:17; 12:1; 13:5). Mount Hermon also served as the northern frontier of the half-tribe of Manasseh’s inherited land, as well as the northern border of Israel in general (1 Chronicles 5:23).

Mount Hermon has traditionally been revered as a holy mountain. Worshippers have been drawn to its isolated heights since the beginning of time.

Several ancient sanctuaries’ remains have been discovered on Mount Hermon’s summits, slopes, and base. Judges 3:3 refers to the mountain as Baal Hermon, which translates as “Lord of Hermon” (see also 1 Chronicles 5:23). Psalm 42:6 and 89:11-12 both extol Mount Hermon for its loftiness and grandeur.

Psalm 133:1-3 compares God’s people living in harmony to the dew of Mount Hermon falling on Mount Zion. This picture is appropriate since the slopes of Mount Hermon in the north get copious amounts of dew. Mount Zion is significantly drier towards the south. David equated Hermon’s refreshing dew to Israel’s benefits of unity from north to south.

Harmony among God’s people is a source of life. Mount Hermon is also mentioned in the Bible for its animals (Song of Solomon 4:8).

According to some scholars, Mount Hermon was the scene of Jesus’ transfiguration, a miraculous occurrence in which Christ revealed in His real glory as the Son of God, revealing His identity as Messiah and fulfilling the law and the prophets (Matthew 17:1-8; also see 2 Peter 1:16-18). Peter, James, and John—members of Jesus’ inner circle—were eyewitnesses to the Lord’s preexistent splendour at the transfiguration.

According to both Matthew and Mark’s versions, Jesus accompanied Peter, James, and John up a “high mountain.” Mount Tabor is the traditional location for the Mount of Transfiguration.

However, Matthew’s gospel places the events before the transfiguration in the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi, making Mount Hermon the more accessible location. According to the historian Josephus, the peak of Mount Tabor was also occupied and protected by a wall during the time. Mount Hermon, on the other hand, provided quiet and isolation “where they were all alone” (Mark 9:2).

Climbing Mount Hermon

Climbing Mount Hermon can be an exciting and adventurous experience for outdoor enthusiasts. Here is some information about climbing Mount Hermon:

  1. Location: Mount Hermon is located on the border between Syria and Lebanon, making it a popular destination for climbers from both countries. Its highest peak, known as Qurnat as-Sawda, stands at an elevation of approximately 9,232 feet (2,814 meters).
  2. Accessibility: Climbing Mount Hermon requires careful planning and consideration due to its location in a politically sensitive region. It is important to stay informed about the current safety and security situation in the area and follow any travel advisories or restrictions that may be in place.
  3. Routes and Difficulty: Mount Hermon offers a variety of climbing routes catering to different skill levels and preferences. The routes can vary in difficulty, from relatively easy to more challenging. It is recommended to choose a route that aligns with your climbing experience and fitness level. Hiring a local guide or joining an organized climbing group can enhance safety and provide valuable assistance in navigating the mountain.
  4. Weather Conditions: Mount Hermon experiences diverse weather conditions throughout the year. It is known for its cold winters, with heavy snowfall and icy conditions, making climbing during winter months more challenging and requiring specialized equipment. Spring and autumn are generally considered the best seasons for climbing, offering more moderate temperatures and stable weather.
  5. Equipment and Preparation: Proper equipment and preparation are crucial when climbing Mount Hermon. Essential gear includes sturdy hiking boots, warm clothing, layers for temperature fluctuations, waterproof outerwear, gloves, hat, sunglasses, and sunblock. It is also important to carry sufficient water, snacks, navigation tools, a first aid kit, and emergency equipment such as a headlamp and a communication device.
  6. Safety Considerations: Climbing any mountain comes with inherent risks, and Mount Hermon is no exception. It is essential to prioritize safety by adhering to climbing regulations, respecting the local environment, and being aware of potential hazards. It is advisable to climb with a partner or in a group, inform someone about your climbing plans, and heed any guidance or warnings from local authorities.

Remember that climbing Mount Hermon may require permits or permissions depending on the current situation and regulations. It is crucial to stay informed, seek advice from reliable sources, and prioritize safety when planning your ascent.

Mount Hermon Trekking Itinerary & Pilgrimage Tour

Embarking on a pilgrimage tour to Mount Hermon is a remarkable journey that combines spirituality, natural beauty, and historical significance. Located in the northern part of Israel, Mount Hermon holds great importance in religious and cultural contexts, making it a popular destination for pilgrims from around the world.

A pilgrimage tour to Mount Hermon allows visitors to explore the sacred sites and immerse themselves in the rich history and spiritual traditions associated with the mountain. The tour typically includes visits to various points of interest, such as:

  1. The Summit: Standing at the summit of Mount Hermon is an awe-inspiring experience. Pilgrims can take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, marvel at the snow-capped peaks, and feel a sense of reverence in the presence of this sacred mountain.
  2. Ancient Sites: The tour may include visits to ancient sites that hold historical and biblical significance. These sites might include ruins, archaeological remains, or sacred structures associated with biblical events or figures.
  3. Religious Ceremonies: Depending on the timing of the pilgrimage tour, participants may have the opportunity to take part in religious ceremonies or rituals conducted by local religious leaders or spiritual guides. These ceremonies can provide a deeply meaningful and transformative experience for pilgrims.
  4. Meditation and Reflection: Mount Hermon’s serene and tranquil environment offers a conducive atmosphere for meditation and reflection. Pilgrims can find solace in their peaceful surroundings, engage in personal prayer or meditation, and seek spiritual insights and guidance.
  5. Cultural Interactions: Pilgrimage tours often include opportunities to engage with local communities, learn about their traditions and customs, and gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of Mount Hermon in their lives.

To join a Mount Hermon pilgrimage tour, it is advisable to book through reputable tour operators or religious organizations that specialize in organizing such journeys. These tours typically provide knowledgeable guides who offer insights into the historical and religious significance of the sites visited.

When planning a pilgrimage tour to Mount Hermon, it is important to consider the best time to visit, which is typically during the milder seasons when weather conditions are favorable for outdoor activities and exploration. It is also important to make necessary preparations such as obtaining appropriate travel documents, considering accommodation options, and ensuring physical fitness to fully enjoy the pilgrimage experience.

A Mount Hermon pilgrimage tour is not only a physical journey but also a spiritual one, offering pilgrims the opportunity to connect with ancient traditions, deepen their faith, and experience the transformative power of this sacred mountain.

Day 1:

  • Arrive at the base camp near Mount Hermon.
  • Settle into your accommodation and meet your climbing guide.
  • Attend a briefing session to go over the climbing route, safety procedures, and equipment.

Day 2:

  • Start early in the morning for the ascent of Mount Hermon.
  • Begin the climb, following the designated trail and markers.
  • Enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape as you ascend.
  • Take breaks as needed and stay hydrated throughout the climb.
  • Reach a designated campsite or accommodation near the summit.
  • Rest and prepare for the next day’s ascent.

Day 3:

  • Resume the climb towards the summit of Mount Hermon.
  • Navigate through any challenging sections with the guidance of your climbing guide.
  • Take in the panoramic views from the summit and celebrate your achievement.
  • Spend some time at the summit to rest, take photos, and soak in the experience.
  • Descend back to the designated campsite or accommodation for the night.

Day 4:

  • Begin the descent from Mount Hermon, retracing your steps along the trail.
  • Take your time to descend safely, being cautious of any slippery or steep sections.
  • Enjoy the scenic surroundings as you make your way down.
  • Reach the base camp in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Celebrate the completion of your climb with a group dinner or gathering.

Day 5:

  • Depart from the base camp and head back to your onward destination.
  • Reflect on your Mount Hermon climbing experience and cherish the memories.

Note: This itinerary is a general outline and can be customized based on your preferences, climbing abilities, and the specific arrangements made with your climbing guide or tour operator. It is important to be flexible and adaptable to weather conditions and any unexpected circumstances that may arise during the climb. Safety should always be the top priority, and it is recommended to climb with experienced guides and follow their instructions throughout the journey.

Skiing and Snowboarding on Mount Hermon

Mount Hermon offers excellent opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Located in the northern part of Israel, Mount Hermon stands as the country’s highest peak and receives sufficient snowfall during the winter months to create ideal conditions for skiing and snowboarding activities.

The slopes of Mount Hermon feature various trails and slopes suitable for different skill levels, ranging from beginners to advanced riders. There are designated areas for skiing and snowboarding, as well as facilities for rentals and equipment services, ensuring that visitors have everything they need for a thrilling and enjoyable experience on the mountain.

The ski season on Mount Hermon typically runs from December to March, with the best snow conditions occurring in January and February. During this time, the mountain is transformed into a winter wonderland, with glistening white slopes and breathtaking panoramic views.

Whether you are a seasoned skier or a beginner eager to learn, Mount Hermon offers a range of options. Ski schools and instructors are available to provide lessons and guidance for those new to the sports, helping them gain confidence and improve their skills on the slopes. Advanced riders can explore the challenging trails and enjoy the thrill of carving through the fresh powder.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Mount Hermon also offers other winter activities such as snowshoeing and sledding, providing options for everyone to enjoy the snowy landscape. The mountain’s picturesque scenery, combined with the adrenaline rush of skiing or snowboarding, creates an unforgettable experience for visitors.

To reach Mount Hermon, various transportation options are available, including private vehicles, buses, and organized tours. The mountain is easily accessible from nearby cities, and there are parking facilities available for those driving to the site.

Whether you are a local resident or a visitor to Israel, skiing and snowboarding on Mount Hermon provide a unique opportunity to enjoy winter sports in the Middle East. With its stunning natural beauty and thrilling slopes, Mount Hermon promises an exhilarating adventure for snow sports enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.


About Author



Leave a Reply