Crepuscular rays shine over Mount Carmel's breathtaking vista
From atop the Mount Carmel range, grassy hills stretch as far as the eye can see.
A relatively small range (it's no wider than 5 miles, and no taller than about 1,800 feet high) Mount Carmel is long on beauty. Its evergreen slopes play host to hundreds of species of plants. The lush vegetation thrives thanks to the humidity that in part comes from the range's location on the Mediterranean coast. It is the site of ardent nature conservation with nature preserves and even a national park. A zoological wildlife preserve called Hai-Bar fosters the breeding of endangered animals, from goats and deer to oryx and vultures, ultimately releasing them back into their natural environment.
Made of limestone, flint, and various igneous and sedimentary rocks, the mountain range offers much in terms of geological history. Caves within the range have yielded evidence that Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens once inhabited the area. The 130-acre Nahal Mearot Nature Reserve on the mountain guards not just plants and animals, but history as well — it is the site of half a million years of human evolution.
In addition to seeing plants, animals and artifacts, visitors to Mount Carmel have plenty of hikes to choose from and opportunities for camping for a night in the wilderness. In close proximity to the city of Haifa, it's certainly worth the excursion.
MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE: