Hike the whole of Table Mountain

Sometimes it is nice to take the cable car up Table Mountain and hike the length of the mountain to Constantia Nek. Although it is a bit of a cheat to take the cable car up this is still not an easy hike. The distance is +/- 16km over some fairly uneven and tricky ground so be prepared for a long but supremely enjoyable day.

Although there are lots of routes you could take, I recommend a visit to Maclears Beacon as a first stage of your hike. To get there you follow a fairly flat path for about 45 minutes across the top of Table Mountain. Maclears Beacon is the highest point of the mountain (1086m) and offers some truly spectacular views of the back table, Table Bay and the city, False Bay and the Hottentot Holland Mountain.

Maclears Beacon

Enjoying the view from Maclears Beacon

From here you begin to head South down the East side of Table Mountain. Initially there are a couple of small scrambles  before you get onto a clear path which leads you past “dog head rock” and Echo Valley. At Echo Valley be careful not to take the clear path into Echo Valley that turns right off your path. This is an easy mistake to make as your path is not clear as it now drops down a very easy scramble and continues South.

Dog Head Rock on Table Mountain

“Dog head rock” – Table Mountain

The path now continues to lead you gradually down hill, past the Aquaduct and another small scramble to Window Gorge. Here you cross the stream that tumbles down Window gorge. At certain times of year this little river is filled with the beautiful red disa’s.


The view from Smuts Track

Hiking along Table Mountain

From Window Gorge the path climbs slightly before dropping quite steeply to the top of Skeleton Gorge. Pass straight on over the stream and past the patch of indigenous forest up and over a small climb and then another drop down to the top of Nursery Ravine. From here the view down the steep gorge and into Kirstenbosch Gardens is worth a break.


Nursery Ravine. Table Mountain

The view of the Southern suburbs is well worth a break to admire

From here the path continues to a junction. Turn left. After 5 minutes the path again begins to head South and after a further 15 minutes the overseers cottage comes into view.


Table Mountain hikes

The Overseers cottage. Table Mountain

The path you are on takes you onto the concrete rd. Turn left onto it and follow it as it takes you gently down towards Constantia Nek and the end of your hike.  Although you can follow the road the entire way down. I prefer to turn off the road after about 20 minutes just after a sweeping turn to the left. Here there is a path that takes you a much more direct route down than the road which takes a number of huge switchback turns.. It rejoins the road after about half an hour. You follow the road to less than 20m around a corner and then take another small path directly down to Constantia Nek. For more details on this hike and other hikes on Table Mountain contact Ridgway Ramblers