Desk Mountain is essentially the most well-known metropolis’s attraction and a must-visit place in Cape City. The views from the highest are actually spectacular you’ll be able to see just about all the metropolis and a few of its environment. The best and quickest approach of attending to the highest is to take a cable automobile. Strolling up following one of many Desk Mountain climbing trails is a far difficult however far more rewarding experience. There are a number of routes going up in addition to a few stunning hikes on the highest of the mountain. Mountaineering Desk Mountain is among the most enjoyable things to do in Cape City.
Greatest time for climbing Desk Mountain
Within the scorching summer season months (November – March), early morning is the most effective time particularly in case you’re planning to stroll one of many trails which are uncovered to the solar resembling Platteklip or India Venster. Evenings are an excellent time as effectively simply ensure that to not stroll any of the routes at the hours of darkness in your personal security. For those who’re planning to make use of the cable automobile examine for the wind it typically will get very windy in summer season and it doesn’t function on very windy days.
In cooler months (April – October) you’ll be able to stroll just about any time simply be sure to gained’t get loads of rain. It’s not good to be up Desk Mountain within the pouring rain.
Clouds are one other factor to observe for. For those who see large clouds on the highest of the mountain postpone your go to you won’t have the ability to see something from the highest.
For those who’re going to spend a while within the metropolis ensure that to incorporate among the unbelievable day journeys from Cape City in your itinerary.
How a lot does it price to hike Desk Mountain?
Similar to climbing up Lion’s Head to stroll up Desk Mountain is free. There is no such thing as a admission payment for Desk Mountain besides in case you stroll up from Kirstenbosch (on the Skeleton Gorge path), then you pay ZAR 75/US$5 entrance payment to the Botanical backyard. For those who stroll on another path up and down (Platteklip Gorge, India Venster, or Kasteelspoort) you don’t must pay something. For those who resolve to take the cable automobile you’ll must pay in your ticket. You are able to do a guided hike up Desk Mountain on this case the value depends upon the chosen tour.
Learn how to get to Desk Mountain?
Renting a automobile is the simplest approach of transferring round Cape City. For those who’re a few folks sharing a smallish automobile it gained’t be costly to lease a automobile for a few days.
Utilizing a hop-on-hop-off bus is another choice for attending to Desk Mountain. There are 4 totally different sightseeing routes together with one which goes to the Decrease Cable Automobile Station (the crimson route) and one which goes to Kirstenbosch Botanical Backyard (the blue route). A 2-day ticket contains 2 strolling excursions, a seal & harbor boat cruise, and a sundown bus. For those who’re planning to go up or down with the cable automobile you should buy a mixed ticket that features the bus, the cable automobile, and a free metropolis strolling tour.
How tough are the climbing trails?
All routes up Desk Mountain are fairly difficult as a result of steep and lengthy ascent to the highest. General climbing trails up Desk Mountain are harder than Lion’s Head hike. Out of the 4 routes up Desk Mountain I describe on this put up the India Venster path is essentially the most difficult, it’s positively not for the faint-hearted. The path entails some scrambling and bouldering. The opposite three (Platteklip Gorge, Skeleton Gorge, and Diagonal/Kasteelspoort) are fairly powerful however manageable for a comparatively match individual. Hikes on the highest of Desk Mountain (Maclearn’s Beacon, Cable Automobile to Skeleton Gorge, and Cable Automobile to Kasteelspoort) are fairly simple and appropriate for vacationers with kids and aged folks.
Getting up or down with the cable automobile
You’ll be able to stroll up and down or in case you don’t really feel prefer it or don’t have sufficient time you can use the cable automobile a technique or return. Don’t fear about skipping the climbing half in case you take the cable automobile there are a few very good trails on the highest of the mountain. No matter which approach you select it’s best to positively embrace Desk Mountain in your Cape City itinerary.
The views from the cable automobile are superb, the ground rotates clockwise in the course of the journey you get 360° panoramic views of Cape City. The cable automobile operates every day from 8am (first automobile up) to 3pm (final automobile up)/4pm (final automobile down).
- To go a technique (up or down) prices ZAR 200/US$13 for adults and ZAR 100/US$6 for youngsters.
- For a return ticket, you pay ZAR 380/US$25 (morning time); ZAR 300/US$20 (after 1pm) for adults, and ZAR 180/US$12 (morning time), ZAR 150/US$10 (after 1pm) for youngsters.
- For those who’re planning to make use of the hop-on-hop-off bus you should buy a mixed ticket that features a return cable automobile journey. It’s the best choice in case you’re not going to lease a automobile.
What are you able to see from the highest?
The views from the highest of Desk Mountain are actually spectacular. For those who come up right here on a transparent day you gained’t be upset. Relying on what aspect of Desk Mountain you’re on from the highest you’ll be able to see just about every thing. From the cable automobile aspect, you’ll be able to see Cape City metropolis heart, Lion’s Head, Camps Bay, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Robben Island, Cape Level, Waterfront, Twelve Apostles mountain vary, and extra. From the Kirstenbosch aspect, you’ll be able to see Cape Flats, False Bay, Muizenberg, Strand, Gordons Bay, Rooi Els, Hout Bay (in case you stroll in direction of Maclear’s Beacon), and so on.
For the most effective view of Desk Mountain itself go to Blouberg Seashore, Massive Bay, or one of many Durbanville wine farms. From any of those locations, Desk Mountain does look as flat as a desk.
What’s on the highest of Desk Mountain?
For those who stroll up Desk Mountain following the Platteklip Gorge or India Venster trails you’ll find yourself about 700 m away from the Higher Cable Automobile Station. On the station, you’ll find bogs, a espresso store, a memento store, a number of look-out factors with benches, and a ingesting fountain (on the exit of the cable automobile).
For those who stroll up following the Diagonal or Kasteelspoort path you’ll find yourself on the opposite aspect of the mountain, about 5 km away from the Higher Cable Automobile Station which suggests there are just about no services close by. It’s essential to convey sufficient water and perhaps some snacks for this route. Each routes finish about 500 m away from the Diving board, a well-liked cliff for taking thrilling pictures.
Those that stroll up Desk Mountain from Kirstenbosch on the Skeleton Gorge path will find yourself about 5 km away from the cable automobile station at a giant water reservoir with a pleasant sandy seaside. You’ll be able to go for a fast refreshing swim or have a picnic on the seaside.
For those who’re in search of extra locations to hike in Cape City take a look at Cape Factors climbing trails – breathtaking surroundings and unimaginable climbing experience.
Completely different climbing trails up Desk Mountain
Platteklip Gorge path
- Distance – 5,5 km return
- Time – 2 hours return
- Whole elevation achieve/loss – 650 m
- Place to begin – Tafelberg Highway, about 1,5 km previous the Decrease Cable Automobile Station in direction of Satan’s Peak.
- Ending level (on the highest) – 700 m away from the cable automobile station.
- Problem – Three out of 5*
- Terrain – footpath, rocks, and boulders
- Parking – alongside Tafelberg street (on the left) previous the Decrease Cable Automobile station there’s a parking spot proper at the beginning of the path but it surely’s typically full.
*issue evaluating totally different Desk Mountain climbing trails with the 5 being essentially the most tough route up Desk Mountain.
- Good views of Cape City metropolis heart and its environment.
- The surroundings on the finish of the path.
- The steep ascent from the very begin of the path.
- The primary a part of the route is uncovered to the solar with no shade to cover.
- The second a part of the path entails a little bit of climbing over the rocks.
- From the top of the path on the highest, it’s one other 700 m to the cable automobile station.
- The route is fairly easy, there’s a signal at the beginning of the path.
- A rocky path climbs up the mountain from the beginning.
- A zigzagging footpath part within the center.
- A steeper and a bit harder climb within the second a part of the hike.
This route is the preferred path up Desk Mountain, most individuals select it to stroll up after which take the cable automobile down. We’ve achieved this path many instances, we used to come back right here as soon as every week to run up and down a few instances making ready for trekking in Nepal. Platteklip Gorge is the quickest path up Desk Mountain, it’s an excellent various to India Venster for taking place in case you don’t wish to pay ZAR 200/US$13 for a cable automobile journey. Regardless of being the preferred route the views on the Platteklip Gorge are the least spectacular out of the 4 totally different trails up Desk Mountain described on this put up. You are able to do the hike by yourself or be part of a guided tour that features return transportation out of your lodge in Cape City.
India Venster path
- Distance – 4,Three km to Higher Cable Automobile station, a technique
- Time – 2-Three hours from the begin to the cable automobile, a technique
- Whole elevation achieve – 722 m
- Place to begin – Decrease Cable Automobile Station
- Ending level (on the highest) – 700 m away from the Higher Cable Automobile station.
- Problem – 5 out of 5, it’s essentially the most difficult and harmful route up Desk Mountain, not appropriate for youngsters or aged folks.
- Terrain – rocks, boulders, occasional chains and ladders, footpath on the very finish of the path.
- Parking – alongside Tafelberg Highway earlier than or after Lowe Cable Automobile station.
- This route has the most effective views of Cape City, Lion’s Head, and Camps Bay, and lots of different metropolis points of interest.
- A few superb look-out factors
- Weird rock formations and cliffs
- A stupendous path alongside the cliff on the finish of the hike
- A steep and lengthy ascent.
- The path is uncovered to the solar for essentially the most a part of the day there is no such thing as a shade to cover.
- Many very steep climbs over rocks utilizing ladders and chains.
- Some elements of the route are fairly near the sting; typically it’s a bit scary if you must climb up.
*all path knowledge together with elevation profiles and maps for the put up we received from our Garmin Fenix GPS watch. We love utilizing our watches for climbing and coaching.
- The route begins with a gradual footpath that takes you from the Decrease Cable Automobile station to the Counter path, the simplest half.
- There you’ll see an indication indicating the India Venster path and the primary yellow footprints (behind the signal).
- From there the path begins climbing up over the rocks and boulders however nothing hectic but only a steep ascent.
- Someplace within the center once you attain the rocky partitions of Desk Mountain you begin scrambling over rocks and ladders.
- The final half across the mountain is fairly enjoyable on a footpath with one final climb.
- From the top of the path, it’s one other 700 m on the highest of Desk Mountain to the higher cable automobile station.
This path is the last word route for journey lovers and adrenaline seekers. I wouldn’t advocate it for inexperienced hikers, folks with a worry of heights, or not very match folks. The path follows the cable automobile line virtually from the beginning aside from the final bit the place it goes across the mountain earlier than ascending to the highest. Your complete path is marked with yellow footprints/arrows on rocks, it’s simple to observe. For those who’d like to do that route however don’t really feel assured sufficient to go by yourself you’ll be able to be part of a guided tour up Desk Mountain on the India Venster path.
Out of the 4 trails we’ve achieved this route has the most effective views of Lion’s Head (higher from Desk Mountain itself), Camps Bay, and Cape Peninsula, and the cable automobile. It’s the longest route as effectively for each distance and time it takes to finish. It’s essential to put on appropriate sneakers, a cap, and carry sufficient water (not less than 1L per individual) there is no such thing as a place to get water till you attain the highest. For my part, out of all routes up Desk Mountain, this one is the worst for taking place; moderately take the cable automobile or use the Platteklip Gorge path for descending.
Skeleton Gorge path
- Distance – 7 km return
- Time – 2,5-3,5 hours up and down, relying on how briskly you stroll
- Whole elevation achieve/loss – 600 m
- Place to begin – Kirstenbosch Botanical Backyard
- Ending level (on the highest) – 100 m away from Hely Hutchinson Reservoir.
- Problem – Three out of 5
- Terrain – footpath, stairs, rocks, and boulders (some fairly slippery), picket ladders.
- Parking – there are two fairly huge parking areas inside Kirstenbosch Backyard.
- Lovely Kirstenbosch Backyard; the sky bridge is to not miss right here.
- Gorgeous lush inexperienced forest.
- Breathtaking views over Cape City and False Bay.
- White-sand seaside and a dam with chilly water.
- A protracted and fairly steep ascent from the beginning.
- A few picket ladders to overcome.
- A slippery rocky path that could be a bit tough for strolling down.
- The path begins contained in the backyard and there are a number of indicators at totally different elements of Kirstenbosch indicating the best way to Skeleton Gorge.
- The ascent begins from the start first you go up picket stairs, then on a footpath with occasional rocky steps.
- The second half of the path is extra tough and entails climbing over the rocks and picket ladders.
- The final bit is on a footpath with stairs.
Skeleton Gorge might be essentially the most stunning path. Not like different trails, it begins on the “inexperienced aspect” of the mountain in Kirstenbosch Botanical Backyard. It’s the most effective path to stroll on a scorching summer season day. Skeleton Gorge is unquestionably the greenest path up Desk Mountain. From the start to the top you stroll by means of a moist evergreen forest with many small creeks and streams, large boulders, and thick tree trunks lined in moss. As soon as out of the forest you get an incredible view of Cape City and its environment. On a pleasant day, you’ll be able to see False Bay and the mountain vary alongside the coast.
On the highest don’t miss a water reservoir with an attractive white-sand seaside, it’s simply 50 m from the top of the path. The seaside is a pleasant spot for a picnic. You’ll be able to be part of a guided Skeleton Gorge hike from Kirstenbosch to Desk Mountain in case you don’t wish to stroll alone.
- Distance – 11,5 km loop together with distance to the diving board and again to the path.
- Time – 3h30min. loop
- Whole elevation achieve/loss – 680 m
- Place to begin – Kloof Nek parking on the turn-off to Tafelberg Highway
- Ending level (on the highest) – 200 m away from the Diving board
- Problem – Three out of 5
- Terrain – rocky/gravel footpath, rocks, and boulders, rocky stairs
- Parking – Kloof Nek parking if there is no such thing as a area search for a spot alongside Tafelberg Highway.
- Gorgeous views of Camps Bay and Lion’s Head from a look-out level on the Diagonal route.
- Lovely panorama and bizarre-shaped rocks on the highest of Desk Mountain.
- The diving board, a small rocky cliff hanging above the abbey that in form reminds a diving board. It’s an incredible photograph spot not for the faint-hearted.
- A steep climb over rocks and boulders on the Diagonal path.
- A steep descent right down to the Pipe Observe from the highest.
- It’s a loop path. The route begins throughout the street from Kloof Nek parking.
- The primary half is on the Pipe monitor, a very simple and flat stroll across the mountain with good views over Camps Bay and Lion’s Head.
- At 2,7 km there may be the primary break up, the left path (Diagonal) climbs up the mountain, the left continues on the Pipe monitor.
- The subsequent break up is at 4,5 km, the left route is the Diagonal path, the appropriate route is the Kasteelspoort path.
- For those who proceed on the Diagonal path you’ll attain the highest at about 5 km.
- From there proceed straight for about 400 m till you see the signal pointing to the Kasteelspoort path. Quickly after that, you’ll see one other break up the appropriate route goes down on the Kasteelspoort path.
- You can begin taking place however earlier than take a look at the Diving board, it’s about 400 m forward on the Outdated Cable Automobile station.
- The best way down is sort of simple; you simply observe the Kasteelspoort path all the best way to the Pipe monitor and from there proceed strolling again to Kloof Nek parking.
One other route that surprises you with unimaginable views of Cape City. On this path, you get among the greatest views of Lion’s Head, Camps Bay, and Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the scenic drives in Cape City. It’s a well-liked route and it will get fairly busy on weekends. One of many predominant causes many individuals stroll it’s the diving board, a well-known photograph spot on the highest of Desk Mountain.
This path will be walked as a loop beginning and ending on the Pipe Observe. Going up following the Diagonal route and down Kasteelspoort or the opposite approach round although Kasteelspoort is a nicer one for taking place. You can stroll it as a return hike as effectively. On this case, I’d advocate strolling up and down the Kasteelspoort path, it’s a gradient ascent to the highest with out an excessive amount of climbing over rocks. Whichever approach you select it’s an 11,5 km return hike.
As an simpler various, you’ll be able to stroll round Desk Mountain following the Pipe Observe with out climbing to the highest. This route is appropriate for households with kids and doesn’t contain any scrambling or climbing. You’ll be able to be part of a guided stroll on the Pipe Observe that return transportation out of your lodge in Cape City, a information, snacks and water.
Mountaineering trails on the highest of Desk Mountain
There are free guided walks on the highest of Desk Mountain that anyone can be part of. The assembly level is close to the exit from the espresso store. Excursions depart every day each hour from 9am to 3pm. These usually are not lengthy hikes totally on boardwalks close to the cable automobile station. Throughout the stroll, you study fascinating information about Desk Mountain and uncover the most effective photograph spots on the highest.
The floor of Desk Mountain is a large space with a few water reservoirs, in a single day huts, a number of climbing trails, and monuments. One can spend hours if not days strolling and exploring it. In a approach climbing on the highest of Desk Mountain jogs my memory of our Mount Roraima climbing experience in Venezuela.
Maclear’s Beacon path
- Distance – 5,Four km return
- Time – 1h30min. – 2 hours, return
- Whole elevation achieve/loss – 150 m
- Beginning/ending level – Higher Cable Automobile Station in direction of Platteklip Gorge
- Problem – 1 out of 5
- Terrain – footpath, boardwalks, boulders
- Parking – alongside Tafelberg Highway close to Decrease Cable Automobile Station
- Gorgeous views of Cape Level, Hout Bay, Muizenberg, Strand, Gordons Bay, and so on.
- Weird rock formations alongside the route.
- The gorgeous panorama on the highest of Desk Mountain
- The one problem is the warmth, it will get scorching in summer season, there is no such thing as a shade
It’s a simple stroll appropriate for vacationers with kids and aged folks. The route begins at Skeleton Gorge, about 700 m from Higher Desk Automobile Station. There’s a steel plank indicating the best way to Maclear’s Beacon. The path is marked with yellow footprints and arrows, it’s simple to observe. The route is flat with hardly any ascent or descent. It’s an amazing hike for individuals who don’t wish to endure one of many difficult routes up Desk Mountain however nonetheless wish to discover its prime and do a simple hike. The views of the best way and from the beacon are fairly spectacular. You get to see the surroundings on the opposite aspect of Desk Mountain that’s not seen from the cable automobile.
Higher Cable Automobile Station to Skeleton Gorge
- Distance – 4,Eight km
- Time – 1h20min. – 2 hours
- Whole elevation achieve – 66 m
- Whole elevation loss – 395 m
- Place to begin – Higher Cable Automobile station
- Ending level – the highest of Skeleton Gorge close to Hely Hutchinson Reservoir
- Problem – 1,5 out of 5
- Terrain – boulders, boardwalks
This route is an extension of the Maclear’s Beacon path. The beacon is about midway. It’s a pleasant route that gives very totally different from the cable automobile aspect views. The panorama alongside the path is sort of superb with wired rock formations, slender passages between two rocks, and so on. Proper after Maclear’s Beacon, it’s a regular downhill all the best way to Skeleton Gorge. Nothing very steep or scary I’d say the route is appropriate for anyone. You don’t must go all the best way to the gorge you’ll be able to simply stroll a bit bit and switch round. The stroll to Skeleton Gorge and again to the cable automobile is about 10 km. The stroll again is harder for extra particulars learn the outline under.
Skeleton Gorge to the Higher Cable Automobile station
- Distance – 4,Eight km
- Time – 1h30min. – 2 hours
- Whole elevation achieve – 395 m
- Whole elevation loss – 66 m
- Place to begin – the highest of Skeleton Gorge
- Ending level – Higher Cable Automobile station
- Problem – 2 out of 5
- Terrain – boardwalks, boulders, rocky elements
This route is the identical because the one above however in the other way. This manner it’s more difficult than the opposite approach round as a result of lengthy and typically steep ascent from Skeleton Gorge to Maclear’s Beacon. The elevation of various elements of Desk Mountain is just not the identical, the cable automobile aspect is considerably greater than the Constantia aspect, about 400 m distinction.
Learn how to mix climbing trails and the cable automobile?
You’ll be able to just about mix all Desk Mountain climbing trails with one another. All of it depends upon how far you wish to stroll and the way a lot time you may have. You’ll be able to as effectively stroll up and use the cable automobile for taking place as many individuals do. It’s a lot sooner than strolling down, a cable automobile journey takes about 5 minutes. You should purchase tickets on the higher cable automobile station on the highest.
Platteklip and India Venster are the greatest trails for taking the cable automobile down. Each routes end simply 700 m away from the higher cable automobile station. Happening you get just about to the identical place the place you begin the stroll. For those who stroll up the Skeleton Gorge or Kasteelspoort trails you’ll must stroll 5 km on the highest of Desk Mountain to get to the cable automobile station first.
- Platteklip Gorge up/cable automobile down – 3,5 km from the underside to the higher cable automobile station, elevation achieve 650 m, takes 1-1h30min. to get to the highest. You go right down to Tavelberg Highway again to your automobile.
- India Venster up/cable automobile down – 4,Three km from the underside to the cable automobile station, elevation achieve 722 m, takes 2-Three hours. Get right down to the decrease cable automobile station, the identical place the place the path begins.
- Skeleton Gorge up/cable automobile down – 8,5 km (3,5 km from Kirstenbosch to the highest, 5 km on the highest to the cable automobile station), elevation achieve 1000 m, takes 3-Four hours to get to the cable automobile. Be aware! For those who park your automobile at Kirstenbosch you’ll want a taxi or Uber to get again to it. The cable automobile descends on the opposite aspect of Desk Mountain. If you wish to use this feature it’s higher to make use of the hop-on-hop-off bus.
- Diagonal/Kasteelspoort up/cable automobile down – 11 km (5,5 km to the highest, 5 km on the highest to the cable automobile station, 500 m from the decrease cable automobile station to Kloof nook parking), elevation achieve 750 m, takes about Four hours.
You are able to do it one other approach round go up with the cable automobile and stroll down on one of many climbing trails. Happening is much less tiring however tougher in your knees.
Security suggestions for climbing Desk Mountain
- For those who observe one of many widespread routes or hike on the highest of Desk Mountain you ought to be fairly protected.
- Don’t hike at evening time or late within the night in winter.
- For those who select a lesser-used route, moderately go on the weekend when there are extra folks.
- It’s higher to be a few folks on the route particularly in case you hike on weekdays or low season.
- For those who don’t wish to hike alone you’ll be able to be part of a guided tour up Desk Mountain. There are a number of excursions that observe totally different trails.
- Convey sufficient water, not less than 1l per individual there aren’t any water sources on the mountain till you attain the highest. The Skeleton Gorge is the one route the place you will get water alongside the best way.