The Nabatean Spice Road followed the water sources through the Negev. This spring is one of the stations. It is named after the Saharon plant (Cocculus pendulus) which grows abundantly in the Negev. This is the deepest point in the Ramon Crater which also contains the makhtesh’s only natural, all-season water source.
The Spice Road carried the hugely profitable trade in frankincense and myrrh from south Arabia to the Mediterranean, during the 3rd century BC until the 2nd century AD. From this station the Nabateans continued to Shivta, Avdat and Nitzana. An addition Spice Road route went by way of Mamashit. Saharonim Spring is only 100 meters from the Saharonim Fortress or Khan.
It is obvious that the Metzad (Saharonim Fortress) was built next to the only available water source in the area – the spring with the same name. The fortress, on the eastern edge of the Ramon Crater, is also called Khan (Saharonim Caravanserai), used by merchants on the camel caravans along the Nabatean Spice Road (Incense Route), from Petra to Gaza. The size of the fort/khan was 42 X 42 meters. Hikers are permitted to camp out near the Khan. If you like to hike park your car for the day at Metzad Saharonim and leave the car. There is a lovely circular 5-km route [3.1 miles] for 3 walking hours to Parsat Nekarot and Nahal Nekarot,.