Awash is a market town in central Ethiopia. Located in Administrative Zone 3 of the Afar Region, above a gorgeon the Awash River, after which the town is named, the town lies on the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway, which crosses the gorge by a bridge there. It is the largest settlement in Awash Fentale woreda.
Awash lies outside the Awash National Park, which is known for its wildlife, for the Mount Fentale caldera and for the Filwoha Hot Springs. Its market is held on Mondays, where Afar and Kereyu crafts can be found.
An iron bridge over the Awash had been built at the present location of Awash by Emperor Menelik II's favorite, Alfred Ilg, around 1890; this bridge replaced an earlier wooden one. The construction had to face the great difficulty of transporting the girders from Djibouti, but once the material had arrived, the structure had been finished in ten days; however Emperor Menelik had used for other purposes the cement imported from Europe to build the bridge with. When Count Gleichen encountered the bridge in 1897, during his mission to Emperor Menelik, he found "the bridge would be too weak to stand anything but ordinary pack-animal traffic. For nine months in the year it is blocked at each end by a broad abattis of thorn-bush, - to prevent people from using it when the river is fordable, - but during the rains it is left open.''