If you are a hiking enthusiast, a hike up Table Mountain is a must-do bucket list item. But don’t be fooled by the accessibility of the mountain, it is still a force to be reckoned with. Always tackle the mountain with a group of friends, and make sure you are prepared and you have done your research for the Table Mountain hiking routes you have chosen to explore. Read our post Top Five Hiking Groups in Cape Town with hiking tips at the end.
Ascending the Mighty Mountain
Another great option to consider, is only hiking one way, and using the cableway to complement your experience. Hike up and take the cableway down. Alternatively, take the cableway up and hike down again. This is a safer option if you are still building up your hiking fitness.
Please note: all hiking times are calculated one way and dependent on fitness level, break times, and length of route.
#1 The Pipe Track
This route is perfect for beginners or if you want a more relaxed outing. It doesn’t go up all the way, but circles around the mountain. The easier hike offers you magnificent views of both Lion’s Head and the Atlantic Ocean.
The starting point is from the lowest parking lot on Tafelberg Road. There are concrete stairs located to the right of the parking lot, towards the Twelve Apostles on Camps Bay side. You can turn back whenever you want, the route meanders to the Corridor Ravine for roughly 6 km.
Hiking time: 1.5 – 3 hours
#2 Platteklip Gorge
It’s one of the most popular routes up the mountain. The route starts out zig-zagging, in a stair-like manner. Get ready to take lots of epic pictures on the beautiful trail. This route is a good option for both beginner and more advanced hikers.
The starting point is on Tafelberg Road at the top, past the Cableway station. Keep driving until you spot the Platteklip sign with parking close by. Once you start hiking, keep to the left until you see the sign pointing to the Platteklip turnoff. The zig-zag route will take you up to the ravine. At the top you can continue on the route towards the right to reach the top of the mountain.
Hiking time: 1.5 – 3 hours
#3 Woodstock Caves
This large cave offers you a great view of Woodstock and the surrounding areas. It is a nice family-friendly hike, not too strenuous. Pack a nice picnic and stop to admire the view from the shady area next to the small waterfall.
The first starting point option is from Tafelberg Road. Continue driving past the Cableway station and look out for the Woodstock Cave route sign. There is parking close by, but sometimes this road is closed. The other starting point option is from the Rhodes Memorial, hiking up towards the King’s Blockhouse. As the Blockhouse road forks, keep to the left. The next fork to the right will take you towards the Cableway.
Hiking time: 1.5 – 2 hours starting from Tafelberg Road, 2 – 3 hours starting from Rhodes Memorial.
#4 Skeleton Gorge
This is another one of the most popular routes up the mountain. Start in a forest and end with epic panoramic views. Beware, even though it’s only 3km long, it’s a tough hike. But breaking a sweat will be worth it. Take snacks and stop at Breakfast Rock or chill on the “beach” at Hely-Hutchinson reservoir, with its reddish turf. Just resist the urge to swim in the reservoir.
The starting point is located in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (entrance fee required) You’ll be hiking over the back of Table Mountain. This route’s first part is shaded, for a moment you will feel like you’ve been transported to some distant jungle. Once you reach the top, breath-taking views will greet you. If your knees feel too wobbly for the climb down, follow the signs to Maclear’s Beacon towards the cableway. On your way you’ll past the highest point on Table Mountain, 1 086 metres above sea level. Circle back through Skeleton Gorge or Nursery Ravine to end in the botanical gardens again. Or alternatively take Platteklip Gorge down.
Hiking time: 2 – 4 hours
This is a great option if you want a calmer route, with less congestion. Take on the mighty mountain from the Camp’s Bay side. The route offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Admire the Twelve Apostles, Lion’s Head, and even on a clear day Robben Island. A morning climb is a great choice on a hot day, utilising the mountain shade. Look out for the “diving board”, on the summit to your right. Perfect spot for a memorable Cape Town Instagram pic. But don’t attempt it on a windy day.
Interesting titbit: look out for old cableway remnants. The route was used to carry supplies up for construction of dams in the 1800s.
There are two starting point options. If you start from the Pipe Track, it will add about an extra hour to your hike. Or park in Theresa Road to walk up the Jeep track towards the Pipe Track. Turn left on the Pipe Track to reach the Kasteelspoort turn-off. On top of the mountain you can hike for about an hour on your way to the Cableway for an alternative option down.
Hiking time: 2 – 4 hours
Remember to share your epic Instagram pics with us! Tag @secretcapetown or #secretcapetown to be featured with our #guesswherecapetown