I’m still learning nearby hiking trails on Table Mountain. When it’s not raining, winter is a great time for hiking the mountain – especially exposed areas that are hot in the summer sun. Hiking guides are available at around $75 for a short hike of about 4 hours or $100+ for longer, steeper hikes. Guides are often booked weeks in advance. Below are descriptions of trails I hope to learn.
Platteklip (Flat Stone) Gorge is the “nick” in the profile of Table Mountain. It’s the best known route up the mountain. To get there you go up the front face that overlooks Cape Town. From Platteklip Gorge you can follow the cliffs above the city to Maclears Beacon which is the highest point on the mountain. If you’re tired when you reach the top you can ride the cableway down. Currently, the cableway is closed for maintenance but it opens again on August 1st.
Kasteelspoort (Castle’s Gateway) is a beautiful gorge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean side of Table Mountain. There are alternative routes down the gorge, including exploring reservoirs and the waterworks museum, following the 12 Apostles, or walking back to the cableway.
Skeleton Gorge climbs Table Mountain on the back side above Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Unlike Kasteelspoort, Skeleton Gorge is thick with greenery. Once you get to the top there are several options for climbing back down.
Hiking Clubs and Trailheads
There are many hiking clubs in Cape Town and various definitions of a moderate hike. There aren’t many flat hikes in the Western Cape, unless you choose the beach. I’m hoping to get over the Table Mountain orientation hump soon so I can get up in the morning, put on my hiking boots, and take off. Right now, it’s a matter of logistics and getting to the trailhead at the right time. Some trailheads are out-of-the-way and difficult to find. Of course the ideal is meeting hiking companions who know Table Mountain. There will be less hiking time when I begin volunteering at Shine Literacy.