Platteklip Gorge Hike
Hike Overview: Platteklip Gorge Hike
A beautiful (and STEEP) trail that leads directly to the top of the iconic Table Mountain.
Go Outside Rating: *****
Trail Type: Day Hike
Level: Difficult, steep climb
Distance: Roughly 3 km’s (one way)
Location: Cape Town, Table Mountain
Ablutions: Yes, at both Cable Car stations
Path Markings: Good, the route is clearly marked
Facilities: Restaurant, Bar, Shop and Cable Car
Access Road: Paved, great condition and easy to find
Parking: Yes, uncovered
Cell Reception: Yes
Bookings: No booking required
Price: Free (Excluding price for Cable Car which is optional)
More Trails in Cape Town:
Platteklip Gorge is the most direct hiking trail to the top of Table Mountain – and also one of the toughest! The hike is only about 3 kilometres but the relentlessly steep path leads straight for the summit and is nothing but up, up, up! But the climb is well worth it and the encouraging thought of the Bar at the top (and the unbeatable panoramic views of the beautiful city of Cape Town) are usually enough to get tired legs up the last few rocky stairs. We recommend hiking up Platteklip Gorge, spending some time at the top of Table Mountain and then taking the Cable Car down. You can of course skip the Cable Car and hike back down but we recommend taking some money for the Cable Car just in case (the beers at the mountain-top bar are always cold!)
The best time to hike up Plattekilp Gorge is the early morning or late afternoon, to avoid the midday sun – and the crowds! It is imperative that you check the weather before hand, especially if you are intending to take the Cable Car down. Cape Town weather is temperamental (I am allowed to say that because I used to live there) so be prepared for changing conditions.
The start of the hike is well marked, and is found along Tafelberg Road, about 1km beyond the lower Cable Car station. Your best option is to park close to the lower station and then walk along the road to the start of the hike. This way your car is nice and close when you take the Cable Car down the Mountain at the end of the hike. It is a bit of a walk from the lower cable car station to the start of the hike, but your legs will thank you later.
Fit hikers will take around an hour and a half to reach the top of Table Mountain. Less experienced hikers may take significantly longer but a steady pace will get everyone to the top eventually. Take some time to marvel at the beautiful coastal views, including Robben Island on your way up.
The path is well marked, and it is a safe and popular option. Be sure to follow the ‘Platteklip’ signs, and not the ‘Cable Car’ signs, to stay on the correct path to the top of the Mountain. The end of trail takes you up some final stone steps and between two cliffs before you finally reach the top of the Mountain. You then walk to the right, along Table Mountain to the Upper Cable Car station. Here you will find a shop, restaurant and bar as well as a huge amount of tourists who took the easy way up.
One-way Cable Car tickets can be purchase at the shop on the top of the Mountain, and then all that is left to do is enjoy the quick ride down.
Video Date: 5 April 2016
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If it is your Birthday (and you can prove it with an ID/Drivers license) you can get a free Cable Car ride down!