Platteklip Gorge is one of the most popular hiking trails in Cape Town. It is also considered one of the busiest Table Mountain hiking routes, which takes you all the way to the top of the mountain. Although this may seem like the fastest route up the mountain, a moderately good level of fitness is vital for this trail.
The trail is steep and stair like. It’s not very technical, ideal for those who are scared of heights and would prefer a safer route to the top of Table Mountain. The hike starts off at the lower cable car station and then meanders up the mountain’s northern slopes to the Contour Path. This path is leveled and runs across the front of the mountain. This gives you enough time to take in the scenery and appreciate your surroundings before the path is intersected with a steep ascent.
On your way up the steep path, you will encounter large flat rocks and stone cliffs. You will also pass a river covered in Fynbos, and a wide variety of flora and fauna along the way. At the midway point views include the City Bowl, Devil’s Peak and Table Bay. On a clear sunny day, you can enjoy the view of the city below you and spot Robben Island across the bay.. At the top, you will find the upper cable car station, which you can take down if you had enough climbing for one day.
Best Time of the Day to Hike
Platteklip Gorge receives direct sunlight throughout the day. It only starts to get a bit shady late afternoon when the western part of the slopes block out the sun. Ideally, the best time to hike this trail is early in the morning during the summer.
Most people like to start their hikes early in the morning around 6:30 to 7:30 am. The starting time will depend on the time of year, as the sun only starts rising around 7:30 am during the winter months. The hike takes less than 3 hours to complete. The time you spend at the top of the mountain will be entirely up to you. After you’ve explored the top, you can take the cable car down and watch the scenery as you descend.
What to bring:
- Comfortable shoes
- Warm clothes (unpredictable weather and high altitude)
- Sandals or slippers
What to know before you go on this hike:
- All hikes are subject to weather conditions.
- The hike is not suitable for children younger than 10 years old.
- It is not suitable for people with heart ailments
- It is not suitable for people with respiratory issues
Platteklip Gorge is truly a magnificent trail that you can enjoy with your friends and family. The natural beauty of the great outdoors and the view of the city are breathtaking. You will probably want to go again! After you finish this hike, you can mark it off your bucket list as one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Cape Town.