Platteklip Gorge, Cape Town

Photo Caption: #guesswhere this is in Cape Town. It is one of the most popular routes up but from a unique angle.

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Photo by @justinhawthorne

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The top of Table Mountain offers an astonishing view of Cape Town. Since it is the major tourist attraction of the city, there are thousands of people, both locals and tourists, that visit the flat-topped mountain every year. Although the Table Mountain cable way offers an easy and wonderful ride up and down the mountain, hiking up the magnificent mountain is an ultimate goal for many. Among the routes up the mountain is the oldest, quickest, easiest and most direct hiking route called the Platteklip Gorge. Click here to read more about the top 5 hiking routes up Table Mountain.

Platteklip Gorge means flat rock gorge in Afrikaans. The names describes the large, flat rocks and impressive sandstone cliffs of the mountain. This route was first ascended in 1503 by the mountain’s first ascensionists. Today, it is one of the most popular routes, especially in high season (December to February).

Platteklip Gorge is also sometimes called the N1 highway to the top. It’s less scenic than the other routes, but offers a good view of the city, Table Bay and Devils Peak. It is also covered in fynbos and a variety of other flora as well. The route starts with well-constructed trail and features imposing cliffs in its upper reaches. Even if Platteklip Gorge is considered the easiest route, a good fitness level is still required to hike up to the summit. It does not involve technical sections or overwhelming heights, but the hike can be tedious because of the big rock steps. In the summer, Platteklip Gorge is best hiked early in the morning as it receives direct sunlight most of the day.

When the cable way is closed due to strong winds, Platteklip Gorge is the the safest way off Table Mountain.