Cape Town is home to so many incredible hiking trails. Ranging from beginner to advanced there is a hiking trail for every hiker in Cape Town. It is simply a great hiking destination. If you are looking for beautiful views, stunning scenery, thrilling climbing, or a leisure walk you will find it in Cape Town. Hiking some of the many trails is one of the things you must do in Cape Town. We have made this ultimate list of hiking trails in Cape Town – so get ready for some incredible hiking!
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
Starting point: The intersections of Tafelberg Road and Kloof Nek
Hiking the Pipe Track trail in Cape Town was one of our favorite things to do in Cape Town. This is one of the better hikes if you are looking for a leisure walk where you don’t need to break a sweat. Making it perfect for beginners! With its location on the western slopes of Table Mountain you will be rewarded with some stunning views overlooking Camps Bay, the Clifton beaches, the stunning Twelve Apostles, as well as Lion’s Head. If you want to know more about this great hike, we have gathered everything you need to know about hiking the Pipe Track right here.
Duration: 3 hours
Starting point: The car park on Signal Hill
Lion’s Head is probably the most popular of hikes in Cape Town. And we definitely understand why. With its elevation of 669 meters, you will be rewarded with some stunning views overlooking Cape Town. Especially around sunrise and sunset, you can get some magical views of the 12 Apostles, Camps Bay, the Clifton beaches, as well as Sea Point. We have categorized this hike as moderate due to its elevation. Most parts of the trail are on the side of the mountain, which you spiral around to the top. However, you must climb a few ladders and boulders to reach the summit. But it is definitely worth it once you reach the top. We have covered everything you need to know in this ultimate guide to climbing Lion’s Head.
Duration: 1 – 1,5 hours
Starting point: Kloof Corner parking lot
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Another popular hiking trail in Cape Town is Kloof Corner. This is especially one of the best places to watch the sunrise or sunset in Cape Town. Overall Kloof Corner is one of the easier trails in Cape Town. It is well-marked, and you do not have to spend too many hours tackling this hike. However, it is worth mentioning that there are a lot of steps to Kloof Corner. It can be a bit strenuous for some people, but with breaks and a lot of water, it can be done. Once you reach the corner, you will be rewarded with some stunning views – and a nice shade from the cliffs. To learn more, you can read our Kloof Corner hiking guide right here.
Duration: 3 – 4 hours (one way)
Starting point: Tafelberg Road – after the lower cableway
The easiest hike to the top of Table Mountain is through the famous Platteklip Gorge. But do not be fooled by the word “easy”. The Platteklip Gorge is definitely not an easy hike. It is a very straightforward and well-marked hike making it easy to navigate. But the route is very steep with stairs all the way to the top. This will definitely leave you with sore legs. But once you reach the top of Table Mountain all the muscle aches will be well worth it. To prepare you for what this hike entails, we have gathered everything you will need to know about hiking Platteklip Gorge right here.
Duration: From minutes to hours – depending on which trail inside the forest you choose
Starting point: Newlands Forest
Difficulty: One for every difficulty
Newlands Forest is part of Table Mountain National Park. Therefore, you can find a lot of hiking trails within the forest. There is something for almost everyone – whether you are looking for an hour-long hike or just a leisurely walk in the shade. Newlands Forest has a hike for everyone. Once you arrive in the forest you are able to explore this family-friendly area while escaping the bustling city life.
Cape Town hiking tips
When you are hiking in Cape Town there are a few things you must have in mind. We hope that you are responsible hikers who take these points seriously doing your amazing hikes in Cape Town.
Leave no trace – Please don’t leave trash behind.
Safety – Even though we did not experience anything during our months in Cape Town the city has a bit of a bad reputation. Therefore, it is a good idea to leave your valuables at home before going on a hike. That being said, we brought our camera with us on every hike and did not feel unsafe at any point.
Stay on the trail – The hiking trails in Cape Town are well-marked. You must stay on the trail. If you wander off into the bush, you are damaging the indigenous fynbos and the natural environment. So be responsible and stay on the hiking trail.
What to bring for your Cape Town hikes
Going on a hike in Cape Town is one of the best things to do in the city. As with so many other activities, there are a few things you might find useful to bring along for your hike.
- A lot of water – You must stay hydrated during your hikes in Cape Town. Especially doing the summer months when the sun can be scorching hot.
- A good pair of shoes – Whether you are going on a short hike or one of the more demanding ones, a good pair of shoes is always nice. A good grip is essential for you to have a great hiking experience in Cape Town.
- Headlamp – It is always a good idea to bring along a lamp for your hikes. If you are going on one of the famous sunrise or sunset hikes, it is especially a good idea to bring a lamp. It would be too dangerous to walk around in the dark without a light.
- Sunscreen – There is almost no shade along the trails in Cape Town. Sunscreen is therefore a must to avoid sunburn.
- Snacks – A hike is never complete without snacks. You need something to celebrate when you are done!
Best time to hike in Cape Town
The best time to go hiking in Cape Town is definitely in the morning hours. Whether you are going on a small hike or climbing to the top of Table Mountain it is always a good idea to get a good head start. By starting early in the day, you will not have to worry about getting back before it gets dark, and you are also able to avoid some of the heat from the sun. However, if you are looking for some incredible views a sunset hike is never a bad idea in Cape Town.