Hiking on Table Mountain in the summer
The summers in Cape Town are perfect for exploring Table Mountain on foot. Its the dry season and although warm there is usually a cool breeze on top. So with an early start and a good hat, get out there and enjoy.
There are several routes to choose from, all outstanding in their own way. You will also be amazed at how much variety there is between the different routes over a relatively small area. (Table Mountain has a surface area of 56lm sq) You really could hike everyday for a week and feel you were in a different area every day.
But which is the best hiking trail on Table Mountain?
There are so many routes to choose from that it would be impossible to describe them all here but here are the most popular.
Platteklip Gorge:- This is the most popular and quickest route up onto the plateau. It is very steep and cardiovascular and as it faces North East can get very hot by mid morning. However the views are outstanding and you can be at the cable car station in under 2 hours.
India Venster:– Also a quick route up Table Mountain, the India Venster trail is more off the beaten track, and has some easy climbing along the way so is not good if you are afraid of heights.. Again the views are wonderful. This route takes a little longer than the Platteklip Gorge trail. (+/- 3 hours)
Skeleton Gorge:- A great favourite with locals the Skeleton Gorge takes you from Kirstenbosch Gardens up onto the back of Table Mountain. Being on the wetter side of the mountain the path takes you up through thick indigenous forest. Once on the back table you still have a further 300m to ascend but over a few km. Thus this is a much more varied hike in terms of both scenery and terrain. Taking you past the highest point on the mountain it should take you about 5 hours to reach the cable car station.
Kasteelspoort:- On the opposite side of the mountain to Skeleton Gorge you will find Kasteelspoort. Here once again you ascend onto the back of Table Mountain first and then past the resevoirs to the plateau and cablecar station. Totally different scenery awaits you on this side of the mountain. No trees but stunning cliffs towering above the sea below. This route should also take about 5 hours to reach the plateau.
Contact Ridgway Ramblers for further information on any of the trails of Table Mountain.