Tel Dan National Park – תל דן is located between Kiryat Shmona and the Golan Heights. At Tel Dan you get two attractions for the price of one. First of all Tel Dan is an archeological site where the remnants of the Bronze-Canaanite Era Laish or Leshem can be found. The city was later renamed renamed Dan by the tribe of the same name. The Canaanite Gate, discovered by Avraham Biran, has a mud brick arch built hundreds of years before the earliest know arches of the Romans. This gate was eventually closed and buried which saved the mud brick arch (red and tan strips of brick layers from different kinds of mud) to be found by modern archaeologists. The Israelite Gate is composed of three different gates for maximum protection. Outside the external gate, dated to Yerovam ben Navat, the first king of the Kingdom of Israel, were found the remains of a commercial center and platform for idol worship. Here archaeologists discovered the earliest mention of a king of the House of David. This was a revolutionary discovery for both the Christian and the Jewish world. There is a good copy of the inscription near the middle gate. Next to the internal gate archaeologistד uncovered a Mycenaean grave with a great variety of household items, which are now in the Beit Ussishkin Museum in Kibbutz Dan. The altar at Dan continued to be a religious center until its destruction by Tiglat Pilesar.
Near the site, there is the Dan River, one of the three sources of the Jordan River together with the Hatzbani (Nachal Snir) and Banias (Nachal Hermon). Its water coming from the snowmelt of nearby Mount HermonVisitors can opt for one of the three hiking trails Tel Dan has to offer. Each route is different based on characteristics including length and sites along the trail. Not to miss on the trails are the high tree canopies that offer shade, as well as ancient mills and city gates. Some trails pass by small pools of water where visitors can break for a quick dip in the sparkling water. A wading pool offers a refreshing break.
Tel Dan National Park combines a lush nature reserve with a biblical archaeological experience with three easy hiking routes and a short wheelchair-accessible trail. When you visit be sure to learn to identify at least two trees: the laurel tree and sycamores (plane trees).
At the heart of the park is Tel Dan, the capital of the ancient northern kingdom, where you can see a High Place ancient city gates and other finds.
The park is off of road 99 north of Kiryat Shemonah. Lift up your eyes and you can easily see Mount Hermon, Qala’at Namrud and Har Dov.
When driving up to Tel Dan you may want to stop at the combined bus station and mall in Hatzor Haglilit. You know, “Go when you can not when you must.” Just remember I told you so:-