The Human Condition

Dead Sea

Atop a bluff overlooking the Dead Sea Works stands this modern sculpture, a rusted-steel column with old steel railway ties striving to climb it like desperate worms.

Next to the sculpture, a viewpoint looks out over a crazy juxtaposition of smoke-spewing heavy industry, electric-blue evaporation pools, green farm fields (over in Jordan) and the wild, tawny beauty of the desert. Views are best in the late afternoon, when the setting sun turns Jordan's Moab Mountains a reddish gold.

The 600m-long access road intersects Rte 90 250m north of the main entrance to the Dead Sea Works. Turn off at the white-on-brown sign reading 'Plant Viewing Point' (ignore the yellow ‘no trespassing’ sign, which refers to off-road areas) and follow the green signs marked (in Hebrew) 'LaMitzpeh' ('to the scenic lookout'). Beyond the sculpture, a 4WD road continues to the Amiaz Plateau.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dead Sea attractions

1. Lot’s Wife

3.05 MILES

About 11km south of the southern end of Ein Bokek, high above the west side of Rte 90, a column of salt-rich rock leans precariously away from the rest of…

2. Lowest Point on Earth Museum

10.13 MILES

Near the start of the climb up to Lot's Cave is the literally titled Lowest Point on Earth Museum. Shaped like a giant stone comma, it contains…

3. Lot’s Cave

10.28 MILES

Lot's Cave, a stiff 10-minute climb up a steep flight of steps, is surrounded by the ruins of a small Byzantine church (5th to 8th centuries), a reservoir…

4. Ein Bokek Beach

10.33 MILES

Running the length of Ein Bokek's hotel zone, this broad, clean beach – refurbished as a free, fully public amenity – is gloriously sandy. Arguably, the…

5. Mamshit National Park

17.93 MILES

The smallest but best-preserved Nabataean city in Israel, Mamshit was established in the 1st century BCE; in the 4th century, it became the only fully…

6. Masada Museum

18.24 MILES

An outstanding and remarkably vivid introduction to Masada’s archaeology and history, this museum combines 500 evocative artefacts unearthed by…

7. Masada National Park

18.54 MILES

The plateau atop Masada, which measures about 550m by 270m, is some 60m above sea level – that is, about 490m above the surface of the Dead Sea. The…

8. Khirbet Tannour Temple

20.84 MILES

The neglected ruins of the 2000-year-old Nabataean temple of Khirbet Tannour are worth the hike up the hill for the view, if nothing else. A famous statue…