There are three options to reach the summit of Masada. First, notice the zigzagging white line. Over 2,000 years ago, the Snake Path was the only way to access Masada. The narrow trail is strenuous. The ascent is about 1,100 feet over a half mile. By tradition, adventurous and physically fit visitors begin their climb an hour before dawn. One reason for the early start is to watch the sun rise over the desert. A more practical reason is the heat. Temperatures often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. So, park management frequently closes the Snake Path as early as 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. Your second choice is to walk up the much easier Roman Ramp Path on the west side of the flat-topped hill. Most tourists, however, opt for the cable car.