Moderate – High
Moderate – High
Kloof Nek via the Pipe Track / Top of Theresa Avenue in Camps Bay
Upper Table Mountain Cableway Station
2 – 4 hours (depending on your fitness and experience level)
As with all hikes on the Twelve Apostles side of Table Mountain, you have two options for getting to the start of the Woody Ravine hiking trail:
- Kloof Nek via the Pipe Track: Start at Kloof Nek and walk along the Pipe Track for about 40 minutes. Although this is a slower option, it’s a great choice for admiring and soaking up all the spectacular views along the way. It will also allow you to get a really good pre-hiking warm-up in.
- Top of Theresa Avenue in Camps Bay: Follow the fairly steep jeep track for about 20 minutes – this will lead you onto the Pipe Track. Make sure to stick right. Once you reach the Pipe Track, continue heading right past the old stone water pump house, until you reach the start of Woody Ravine. You will see a sign indicating the start of the trail.
Woody Ravine in one of the few official SANParks hiking trails up Table Mountain from the Camps Bay (Atlantic) side. This top Cape Town hiking trail is located on the Twelve Apostles side of Table Mountain and offers hikers a quitter and more tranquil hiking experience – making it perfect for avid hikers looking to steer away from the large hiking crowds. Woody Ravine is snuggled between the more popular Kasteelspoort hiking trail and Slangholie Ravine. Woody Ravine is far more stable than Corridor Ravine and a whole lot less crowded than Kasteelspoort or Lion’s Head.
The Woody Ravine Table Mountain hiking trail has become a popular pick among keen local and international hikers as it offers just the right amount of challenge and thrill, plenty of shade and hidden gems to explore along the way and stunning surrounding scenery, diverse fauna and flora, unique rock formations and unbeatable views – Woody Ravine might just have it all!
Although Woody Ravine is not considered the most difficult hike on the Table Mountain chain, its fierce and fiery nature is not to be underestimated. It requires a fair level of fitness to make it to the summit.
You will start your Woody Ravine hiking adventure at an old iron signpost located just inside the boom across the Fire Fighting access track. If you are starting your hike from Kloof Nek then add at least another 30-45 minutes hiking time each way. Woody Ravine starts off steep, and for the most part stays that way (hence why it should only be attempted by hikers with a moderate to high level of fitness and experience).
When hiking Woody Ravine, you will embark on a lush and tree-gnarled climb that ascends quickly to the top of Table Mountain. You will encounter several rocks, branches, and tree roots on your way up that you can grab onto at any given time – use it whenever needed as it will help make your uphill climb slightly easier, and definitely a whole lot more fun! Be extra careful when navigating your way through this part of the trail – this section of the Woody Ravine route can be incredibly challenging as it received a battering from a large rockfall some years back.
As you continue your hike, the path sticks to the left of the ravine which forms part of an ancient forest. This will require you to make your way through dense trees and over rocks. After some good winter rainfall it will feel like you’ve escaped to some far away tropical jungle.
The conditions of the path can vary substantially depending on various factors. Some sections consist of well-maintained steps while other sections include challenging steep climbs and require rock scrambling and the use of your hands to hoist you up the vertical bits. Eventually the path levels out as you emerge from the trees and into the fynbos area.
At this point you will be more in the centre of the ravine with impressive cliffs towering over you on both sides – It truly is a spectacular sight! The top section of the hike passes the spectacular Wood-Spring Traverse ledge, and the sheer wall of the side of Spring Buttress, making a Poort with a great view back down to the coastline.
After just a short distance you will find yourself on the Twelve Apostles path on top of Table Mountain where you will be well rewarded with amazing views over the beautiful Mother City, Atlantic Ocean and beyond.
Once you’re at the top: Once you reach the top of Table Mountain there are plenty of options for relaxation and exploration. If you’re in the mood to sit back, relax and admire the magnificent views, there are plenty of rocks scattered about to do just that. If your inner adventurer is keen to explore some more, you can turn left towards Kasteelspoort and follow the trail that goes past the old cable car station and onto the Table Mountain Reservoirs and the Water Works Museum. On the flip side, you can opt to turn right when you summit Woody Ravine (heading in the direction of Hout Bay) and try to hunt down the famous Tranquillity Cracks. When you’re done exploring to your heart’s content, we recommend following the 12 Apostle path towards the front of the mountain and heading down via the Kasteelspoort hiking trail.
TIPS FOR HIKING WOODY RAVINE
- It is important to be fully prepared for your hike. Wear good hiking shoes and proper hiking attire as well as take plenty of water, sunblock, a hat, and something warm along. Cape Town is notorious for its unpredictable weather – even if it looks like a sunny day, take that jacket with you anyway.
- While Woody Ravine offers hikers an epic climb and a spectacular view, hikers should always take extra care when navigating the route.
- As the Woody Ravine hiking trail requires you to make your way through a dense forest, the path can become very wet and slippery at times, especially after heavy rainfall. Great care should be taken when navigating this route and it is paramount that hiking shoes with good grip be worn whenever attempting the Woody Ravine trail.
- If you are planning on taking a cable car down Table Mountain after your ascending hike, it is vital that you plan and time your hike appropriately / properly to avoid missing the last cable car – Ultimately leaving you stranded.
- While Woody Ravine is certainly a challenging hiking trail, requiring a great deal of stamina and focus to reach the summit, be sure to take a moment (or a few) to enjoy and revel in the sheer excitement and beyond incredible nature of the experience as well as admire the untamed natural beauty and abundance of indigenous flora you’ll find along your route – You are hiking in the glorious Table Mountain National Park after all!
- Besides being one of Table Mountain National Park’s less crowded hikes, it also provides hikers with tons of shade. This is a wonderful change of pace to most Table Mountain hiking trails and makes it a great route to enjoy anytime of the year.
KNOW WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY
In the event of an injury, threatening weather conditions or an emergency, stay in one place and find a spot that offers some form of shelter. In the case of an injury, do not move the injured person unless they are in a dangerous position. Don’t leave the injured person alone or unattended. If possible, send two people for help (depending on the number of people you’re hiking with), while someone remains behind to supervise. When you do go looking for emergency help or assistance, make sure you take detailed notes of where the injured person is, as well as look out for landmarks to navigate your way back to the spot.
In the case of a snakebite (Table Mountain National Park is home to prolific wildlife and reptile species), immobilise the person immediately and lay them flat on their back. Do not give them any food or water. Get help and most important keep the victim as calm as possible – one of the top factors in the progression of snakebite symptoms is shock and adrenaline.
In the event of contact with the blister bush (a plant resembling common celery) cover the area from sunlight. This will avoid skin irritations and the eruption of blisters.
If you get lost anywhere along your hiking route, stop, and retrace your steps. If you can’t find your original path, move down broad, open slopes. If conditions become more threatening as you go, revert to taking shelter and seeking help.
IMPORTANT EMERGENY NUMBERS
Visitors are urged to take all the necessary safety precautions when hiking or exploring secluded areas. Your safety should always be top priority. Those venturing into the Table Mountain National Park should have the following emergency numbers on hand:
- Emergencies: 021 480 7700
- Table Mountain National Park: 021 957 4700
- Wilderness Search and Rescue: 021 937 0300
@safetymountain is also an incredibly useful resource for hikers. This free safety tracking service allows you to notify local trackers of your contact details, intended route and travel time via WhatsApp. You are also able to provide hourly updates on your progress as well as notify trackers when you are safely off the mountain.