Hike up Chapmans Peak

Chapmans Peak is the mountain peak around which the famous and outstanding scenic drive Chapmans Peak drive is built.  It was named 1n 1607 after a certain John Chapman, a British sailor sent ashore to check for fresh water in what is now Hout Bay.


The village of Hout Bay

The picturesque village of Hout Bay


At first glance it might seem impossible to climb the peak. Although only at a height of 593 metres at its highest point the steep cliffs falling into the sea seem unassailable. However there are 2 routes to the peak. One from the Noordhoek side of the peak and one from the Hout Bay side.

Climb up Chapmans Peak from Hout Bay

The hike up Chapmans Peak from the Hout Bay side is a relatively quick and easy hike with wonderful views as reward. The return journey should take you about 3 hours and is a hike children and the relatively unfit can easily undertake.

You start on the final corner of Chapmans Peak drive before the view Point. (from the Hout Bay side) Here there is a big parking area. The path is found in the lower end of the parking area and leads steeply up hill for around 30 minutes. The path is clear and well maintained and leads you to a cross roads on the plateau between Noordhoek and Chapmans Peak.

The cross roads

At the shoulder between Noordhoek and Chapman Peak

Turn right here and follow the path around the shoulder of Lower Chapmans Peak. The path is slightly less steep here than the first section of the hike and leads through a garden of pincuishion proteas. The views of Hout Bay and the sentinal are fantastic.

The view over Hout Bay

The views of Hout Bay and the sentinal are terrific

After +/- 30 minutes you reach a small saddle that seperates lower and main Chapman Peak. The final scramble to the top of Chapmans Peak should take you a further 20 to 30 minutes. Now the views through to Fish Hoek and across the entire Noorhoek valley compete for attention with the views over Hout Bay.

Enjoying a well earned break at the top of Chapmans Peak

The top of Chapmans Peak

At the top there are plenty of large flat areas to rest and enjoy the magnificent views. I rate this hike along with Lions Head, as marvellous “value for energy”

Climb Chapmans Peak from Noordhoek Beach

The hike up Chapmans Peak from Noordhoek beach is far more challenging but an extremely rewarding hike. The route up to the peak is a much longer route with some minor scrambling. The return journey up this route will take you +/- 4 hours.

The path leads from the far right hand side of the beach (facing the mountain) and leads steeply up hill for 10 minutes to the road. Cross the road and the path continues up the slope of the mountain.

Overlooking Noordhoek Beach

The first section of the hike offers views of Noordhoek beach and Kommetjie

Initially the path is quite gentle but after 15 minutes taking you to the left it reaches a shoulder and starts to lead more steeply up hill. From now on the path is steep and zig zags its way up the mountain. It eventually leads you right around the back of the peak so you ascend from the Fish Hoek side. The path is relatively clear although a little loose underfoot.

Chapmans Peak drive far below

The path overlooks the famous road

Regular rests to enjoy the views are absolutely compulsory. In several places you appear to be right over the road and able to watch the steady stream of traffic winding their way around the peninsula.

The view of Fish Hoek and False Bay

Looking East over Fish Hoek and False Bay

For more information on this hike and other hikes in the Cape Peninsula contact Ridgway Ramblers.