Gilbon, or Jelabun, is a nature reserve on the western slopes of the Gloan Plateau. Two streams, Gilbon and Eitan, flow on its territory. Gilbon Creek flows into the Jordan River south of the Pkak Bridge, near Highway 918. The entire walking route of the reserve runs from the Dvora Falls parking lot to the Pkak Bridge. There are two waterfalls on the territory of the reserve. The upper waterfall is called Dvora waterfall and is 10 meters high. The lower waterfall is called Gilbon Falls; its height is 42 meters. Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of the ancient Dvor settlement near the waterfall. This settlement belongs to the period of the Mishnah and the Talmud. Gilbon Falls has deep, swimmable pools. At Gilbon Falls, you can end your walk and climb up the blue path. You should plan your route. A country road leads to the beginning of the hike, suitable for all types of vehicles. The road passes through the territory of a reasonably large former Syrian military base. Damaged concrete buildings are visible along the road. The road will have a fork, indicating the start of the Jelabun Creek and Dvora Falls hiking trail (red marking). Traditionally, the route starts from the Dvora waterfall and ends at the Jelabun (Gilbon) waterfall. The length of this route is about four hours. You should leave one of the cars in the parking lot at the Gilbon waterfall and use the other one to return to the parking lot at the beginning of the route - the Dvora waterfall. The entire way involves the passage from the parking lot of the Gilbon waterfall to the Gesher Pkak bridge. This route will take 6-8 hours.
At the parking lot, old buildings are visible - these are the remains of a Syrian military base. Usually, there is a lot of shade and coolness near such buildings. It is created by large crowns of eucalyptus trees that the Syrians planted near their military bases. Remarkable, these same eucalyptus groves were targets for Israeli combat pilots during the Six-Day War.
On the opposite slope, you can see the remains of ancient structures. These are the city's ruins of the times of the Mishnah and the Talmud. It was called Dvora.
The trail is marked red. Here the stream can be crossed over pebbles, but soon, having passed through a narrow canyon, the stream will gain strength and become mighty. Soon it will be possible to climb the steep slope along the black marking trail. It leads to the ancient city of Dvora (Daburia), but you can skip this challenging climb and go further along the blue marking path, which still will be pretty challenging with staples and blocks to climb around the basalt cliff and go down to the riverbed.
Dvora is a town from the time of the Mishnah and the Talmud. The archaeological name is Hurvat Dvora. The ruins of the settlement were discovered at the end of the nineteenth century by Gottlieb Schumacher during an archaeological survey of the Golan Heights. Many historians believe this place is the ruins of the ancient city of Slukia, mentioned during the Jewish War. However, Dvora or Daburia, was most likely one of the ancient settlements of the Issachar tribe in the Bashan area. In 1969, primary excavations were carried out on the site of the city, during which an inscription was found: "This is the beit midrash of Rabbi Elazar haKappar." This is one of the few Hebrew inscriptions found on the Golan Heights and the first evidence of the existence of the concept and name "Beit Midrash" during the period of the Mishna and the Talmud. In addition, before the discovery of this stone, there were no archaeological references to the sage Elazar haKappar. The settlement was quite large, and during the excavations, oil presses, and public and private buildings were found. Excavations carried out by the "Department for the Preservation of Historical Antiquities" - Reshut ha'atikot in 2002 unearthed a manger for feeding cattle, which was nothing more than a later use of burial systems from the time of the Mishnah and Talmud. The houses of the ancient city were built from raw basalt stones or from stones that had been processed only on the front side. There was a constant human presence on the site of the ancient settlement of Dvora, and the last inhabitants of the city were Bedouins from the tribe known today in settlement of Tuba Zangaria.
The basalt cliff hanging over the stream has become a kind of art - chewing gum is glued on it. After climbing the ridge on steel brackets, a view of the Dvora waterfall opens up. It is located in the upper reaches of Gilbon Creek. Its height is 22 meters in two cascades. The waterfall carved its way into the basalt rock and supplied drinking water for the ancient settlement of Dvora. At the foot of the waterfall, there is a small, rather deep pool, but the descent to it is not safe, and those wishing to swim should wait for the Jelabun waterfall.
From here, you can go down to the waterfall. Here, a little to the side, the ascent begins upward to the exit from the gorge. The main red-marked trail descends to the waterfall, and a blue trail leads to the exit from the route. The climb on the blue trail is very steep, leads on an open slope and is especially difficult between 12:00 and 16:00. Climbing up the blue trail, you will complete your walk along Gilbon Creek. From here, you will need to return to the parking lot of the Dvora waterfall or use a pre-parked car.
The Gilbon Falls, or Jelaboon, is one of the tallest waterfalls in Golan Heights. Its height is 42 meters. Approach to the waterfall is possible along the marked blue or red trail of the Jelabun reserve. The water falls from a basalt rock break in the stream bed. This breakdown is a consequence of geological faults of the basalt "cap" of the Golan Heights in their western extremity. Due to the significant height difference and the vast "floodplain" of the waterfall, it has a conical structure and, expanding towards the foot, breaks on numerous basalt ledges. This creates a constant drip stream rising from the gorge. It provides endless rainbows, cool breezes, and drip irrigation to the lush vegetation around the falls. Oleander (reaching three meters in height), wild plum, sugar cane, and raspberries grow around here. At the foot of the waterfall is a large deep swimming pool. There are fish and crabs in the pool. The approach to the swimming pool is complex and passes through sharp basalt rocks. You should not enter the water barefoot.
The Gilbon Spring, or Brehat HaKtsinim is known as one of the most abundant springs in the Hula Valley. It springs from the bottom layer of the basalt base of the Golan Heights and has been used since ancient times as the primary water source for the region's settlements. In addition, its waters were used to turn the millstones of the Jalabina mill. The border between Israel and Syria before the Six-Day War ran along the Jordan River and, at this point, was located one kilometre east of the Pkak Bridge. The Syrians used the spring waters to build a pool with cool and clean water for the Syrian officers. All approaches to the region were mined; to this day, there are marked minefields fenced with barbed wire. The spring and the pool can be reached via the marked route of the Jelabun nature reserve or along the former patrol road from Dardara (green marking).
Jelabina Mill is one of the most scenic spots on the eastern end of the Hula Valley. Here, the cold waters of the Jelabun spring once rotated the millstones of the mill. Gardens were fragrant all around: figs, pomegranates, raspberries, mulberries. The mill used the stream's water and directed it through a small aqueduct into a "pipe", where the water, gaining power, brought down all its strength on the blades of a wooden flywheel, setting in motion a sizeable round basalt stone of millstones. Peasants from all over the area came here. Over the entrance to the mill, on the white stone of the arch, skillfully bordering the basalt alcove, was depicted as "hamsa" - a sign of happiness and good luck. Unfortunately, the Syrian authorities, who chose the Golan Heights as a spot for provocations against Israel, initiated constant clashes along the border. Among them are the Tel Mutila incident, the Hamat Gader incident, the Susita incident, and many others. As a result, the mill stopped grinding flour; the inhabitants were relocated to the depths of the Golan Heights; these places were mined, and ancient springs began to supply military bases and fill pools for Syrian officers. Even the name of the spring Jelabun was abandoned. It's better known as the Officer's Pool. You can get to these places by leaving the car on a country road near the almond tree plantations east of road No. 918, 200 meters north of Shan Bridge. Then walk along the country road. The journey will take about fifteen minutes. At the end of the field, where the country road ends, the red marking of the trail will begin. Here is the end point of the route of the Jelabun reserve (red marking). Cold fresh water, like a waterfall, making its way from the aqueduct, fig trees, and thickets of raspberries and old mulberries, create a unique beauty of this place and is the perfect end to the seven-hour route through the Jelabun reserve.