You'll need a car (or an organized tour from Eilat) to get around this vast park, but if you're driving to or from Eilat, it's a very worthwhile stop. At the entrance gate, you'll receive a road map with your admission fee. Not only is the landscape at Timna breathtaking (and not visible from Hwy. 90), but it's also historic. As you drive the byways of Timna, you can explore ancient Egyptian copper mines with sandstone arches, underground mining shafts, and galleries; about 3km (2 miles) from the mines, along a side road, is a parking area from which you make a short walk to see a cliff wall carved with figures in chariots, believed to be from Egyptian times. All these twists and turns are marked clearly by signs.

Along the roads you'll notice "the Mushroom," a curious rock formation with a huge boulder resting on a column of sandstone, the result of erosion. But the most striking formation in the preserve is undoubtedly Solomon's Pillars, a series of vast sandstone fins jutting out of a rock face (and at times, the exotic background for wonderful outdoor moonlight concerts and dance performances in summer). Climb into the fins along a path with steps to see some Egyptian rock carvings, and then down the steps on the other side to the remains of a small temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Hathor.

The spare, clean air of the desert, the hot sun, and the quiet of the preserve are sure to make a lasting impression. You can get information on hiking trails from the staff at the main gate or at the visitor center. The development of Timna Valley National Park has become a major project of the Jewish National Fund of America. An artificial recreational lake and architecturally stunning visitor center have been built in the Nechushtan Recreation Area not far from Solomon's Pillars and the Sphinx. An outdoor Bedouin restaurant/cafe serves refreshments and simple meals (especially nice in the quiet of a hot summer night). The visitor center pavilion includes a cafeteria, a shop for traveling supplies, and a slide/video show on the history of Timna.