Circular Table Mountain hikes

Enjoy the best Table Mountain hikes on a guided walk with Ridgway Ramblers

One of my favourite circular hikes on Table Mountain begins and ends at the car park at the top of Kloof Nek. This route offers you the choice of descending by the cable car or via Platteklip Gorge. If you choose the cableway you can expect a walk of 4 to 5 hours. Hiking down Platteklip will add on around 2 hours.

From the car park at the top of Kllof Nek, cross the road and follow the path that leads around the side of Table Mountain above Camps Bay. Almost immediately you are met with some amazing views. This path follows the original pipeline that was layed down in  the early 1900’s in order to transport water from the reservoirs on top of the mountain to Cape Town. The first hour of your hike along this route is relatively flat and serves as a good warm up.

The Pipe Track leads around the mountain above Camps Bay

The Kasteelspoort path up the mountain is well marked. It is a great path which should take you to the top of the backtable in about 1 to 1.5 hours. It starts off with a gentle incline which takes you on a diagonal route around Kasteels buttress. In places you need to use your hands to climb up and over some rocky areas, but in general this is a very straight forward route. After about 40 mins you come to a wide slab. A small rusty hook marks the place where the old winch was used to haul things up this route during the dam construction. This is a perfect place for a rest and to enjoy the view.

The bridge at the top of the gorge

After a break the path leads straight up the side of the gorge. The sheer cliffs of the mountain on your right are impressive. This second half of the gorge, although steeper are easier and after another 40 mins the path takes a right hand turn to cross a small wooden bridge. This is the top of the gorge. A further 5 minutes takes you to a junction with the 12 Apostles path.

Turn left here and follow the path. It leads gradually up. After 20 minutes the path veers to the right and begins a steeper climb. This takes you and over into the valley of isolation. Before dropping into the valley look at the view behind you. You can see almost the entire 12 Apostles path leading to Grootkop. Once you drop into the valley peace and quiet envelope you. Here you really cannot believe you are in the middle of a large cosmopolitan  city. I often see the shy klipspringer here. But only for a second before they bound off over the rocks.

The path leading to the valley of isolation

Through the valley the path leads you up again. Behind you the views just get better. Hout Bay and False Bay both come into view. At last at the top you can see the cable way station. However now you need to drop 200m into Echo valley before the final climb up. The last climb is broken by a series of ladders, with amazing views down Blinkwater ravine to Camps Bay.

The cable way station in the distance

At last the path takes a right hand turn and before you know it you are at the top of Platteklip Gorge. Now is decision time……. The gorge or the cable car.

The view over False Bay from the final climb