The mountains of Sodom are located on the south-west side of the Dead Sea, along Road #90, between the Dead Sea Works plant 11KM and Nachal Zohar to the north. Mount Sodom is 226 meters above the Dead Sea and 170 meters below sea level, 2-3 kilometers wide and eleven kilometers long. Interestingly enough, it continues to grow taller at a rate of 3.5 millimetres (0.14 in) a year. The mountain is a block of salt made up almost entirely of halite or rock salt. Mount Sodom is part of the Judean Desert Nature Reserve.
Because of weathering, some portions have separated. One of these pillars is known as “Lot’s wife”, in reference to the Biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Lot and his family fled the doomed city of Sodom. His wife ignored the instructions became petrified (Genesis 19 26).
“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Until the 2000’s a number of spectacular caves were open to the public, such as ‘The Colonel’s Cave’ and ‘The Flour Cave’ but the salt is quick and easy to collapse, such that following a few minor events of rock collapse, the caves were closed to visitors for safety reasons. You can safely hike the mountain. If you have the time trek the The Fish Trail which gets its name from fossilized skeletons of fish can be found within schist layers, a proof that the Dead Sea area was once alive.
This cave, or others around it, may have been the hiding place of Lot and his two daughters. Inside the cave, are great formations created by the layers of the salt. (Genesis 19 30):
“And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.”.
Salt Cave Colonel
Spelunking in the Dead Sea’s remarkable Colonel Salt Cave inside Sodom Mountain.