Lion’s Head closed until March 2019 – here are 12 alternative trails to explore


Cover image | Ken Treloar on Unsplash

Lion’s Head’s popular trail and surroundings have been closed to the public since the 7th of January. Table Mountain National Park closed the spiral trail for much-needed maintenance after a busy festive season. However, the reopening of the trail that was scheduled for this month has been delayed due to the major fire that blazed across Lion’s Head last week, erasing all progress made up until then.

Infrastructure and pathways on Lion’s Head have sustained significant damage from the recent fires and as a result, an extended closure period has been implemented to address both safety and eco-integrity of the affected area. The new scheduled date for reopening is now Friday the 1st of March.

We’ve listed some alternative routes to explore for avid hikers who frequent the beautiful and convenient Lion’s Head. While our beautiful mountain is receiving the much-need care it requires, consider the below options for your early morning, afternoon and weekend outdoor activity.

Please note, that hiking on any trail comes with various safety risks. Always venture out in pairs/groups and take emergency supplies along.

Related | The Top Lush Swimming Hotspots To Cool Off This Summer In Cape Town

1 Pipe Track | Easy to moderate

The Pipe Track follows a pipe that passes along the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Once you are parallel with the Twelve Apostles Hotel, the otherwise mostly horizontal route then loops upwards towards the top of Table Mountain. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic, waterfalls and caves that make for great photo opportunities and picnic spots along the way.

2 Woodstock Cave | Moderate

You can reach Woodstock Cave from either Rhodes Memorial or from Tafelberg Road; both routes offer expansive views of the city below. Read more about Woodstock Cave.

3 Deer Park | Easy to moderate

This small reserve on the lowest slopes of Table Mountain is perfect for a slow strolls and taking the dogs for a walk. Atop the gorgeous forested area, you’ll have a clear view of the mountain right ahead of where you can choose to continue up a longer hike. Read more about Deer Park.

4 Bridle Path and Nursery Ravine | Moderate to difficult

This trail above Cecilia Forest takes you all the way to the top of the back end of Table Mountain which is quieter than the front side plus beautiful water reservoirs. There are various routes to the top, but they all require endurance. Read more about Bridle Path and Nursery Ravine.

5 At Knife’s Edge | Moderate to difficult

Start at Rhodes Memorial and follow the signs to the Kings Block House. From here climb up Mowbray Ridge before moving along Knife’s Edge. Keep going to the minor summit of Devils Peak. This route is steep and can be dangerous for unseasoned climbers.

6 Devil’s Peak |  Moderate to difficult

This path goes up from Tafelberg Road and then takes a steep route up to the peak. Enjoy amazing views of Table Mountain and the city below once you reach the top. Read more about Devil’s Peak.

7 Kasteel Poort | Moderate to difficult

The climb up Kasteel Poort is not for rookies! From the top, you can see all the way across the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Read more about Kasteel Poort.

8 Kloof Corner Climb | Moderate to difficult

Follow the winding Tafelberg Road up to the cable car until you find Kloof Corner parking on the last bend before reaching the cableway. From here, stairs take you up to a path up the hillside. Look for a chain on your right-hand side right for a chain hanging down the cliff -this is where you start your climb up the chains and through a narrow chimney until you find a ledge where you can chill with stunning views of Camps Bay.

9 Tranquillity Cracks |  Moderate

The safest and easiest route is via Corridor Ravine. Start at the Theresa Avenue entrance to the Pipe Track and head to the single track. After the entrance to Slangolie Ravine around the corner from the cave, in the next ravine is the steep Corridor Ravine. When you get to the top, turn left onto the hidden path at the large pile of rocks. Head along the narrow and bushy path until you can turn left into another overgrown path leading to the caves where you can explore.

10 Skeletons Gorge’s Beach | Moderate

This hike begins from Kirstenbosch Gardens and can get quite strenuous. Enjoy the white-sand beach on top at the far end of the Hely-Hutchinson Dam. The water is a bright, clear orange colour thanks to tannins that leach into the water from the fynbos.

11 Newlands Forest | Easy to moderate

The lush and shady Newlands forest is perfect for everyone. The ideal spot is great for children and to walk your dogs. Read more about Newlands Forest.

12 Elephant’s Eye | Easy to moderate

Elephant’s Eye is a large cave in the Silvermine Nature Reserve and has great picnic spots next to the reservoir where you can have a braai. Read more about Elephant’s Eye.


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