A classic Table Mountain Hike
One of the most classic and well known of the Table Mountain hikes is Smuts Track. This is the trail that takes you from Skeleton Gorge in Kirstenbosch Gardens to the cableway station, via Maclears Beacon. It is a wonderful route for so many reasons but one of the most important is that it gives you the chance to experience the difference between the Eastern wetter slopes of the mountain, the back table, the Plateau and the drier and more dramatic Western and North facing slopes.
Beginning with the beautiful Kirstenbosch Garden the trail takes you steeply up hill through the indigenous “Afro motane” forest. Once out of the gardens the path narrows and continues up hill along side a tumbling stream until becoming too steep for steps you are required to climb 5 easy ladders. After the ladders you walk in the middle of the stream for 500m. In the winter you may get wet feet but for most of the year you can avoid the pools and move easily from rock to rock. There is some very easy scrambling in this section but really no more than a couple of large rocks to climb up.