Table Mountain National Park
Hike Overview: Table Mountain National Park (via Woody Ravine)
Woody Ravine is a beautiful, uncrowded and direct route to the top of Table Mountain. It is a fantastic option for those wanting to explore some of Table Mountain National Parks unique attractions, such as the Table Mountain Reservoirs, the Old Cable Car Station and the Water-Works Museum.
Go Outside Rating: *****
Trail Type: Day Hike
Level: Difficult, steep climb
Total Distance: 8-16 km’s
Location: Cape Town, Table Mountain
Path Markings: Good, the route is clearly marked
Path Conditions: Sections of the Woody Ravine trail have deteriorated, care should be taken in these areas
Parking: Yes, uncovered
Cell Reception: Yes
Bookings: Not required
Price: Free. (Excluding price for Cable Car which is optional)
Access Road: Paved, great condition and easy to find
More Table Mountain Trails:
TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK (via WOODY RAVINE)
For many Capetonians, Table Mountain is a magnificent playground where mornings are spent jogging or hiking with friends and pets and evenings are enjoyed picnicking or cycling on the mountain with the spectacular views of Cape Town as a backdrop…
For this (former) Capetonian however, Table Mountain was more readily associated with crowds, tourists, long lines and no parking. But this changed when I started exploring some of the alternative trails and routes that make up the Table Mountain National Park. These lesser-known routes are the secret to the locals love of Table Mountain, and Woody Ravine is one of them.
We stumbled upon the Woody Ravine trail one morning after taking a wrong turn from the Table Mountain National Park Parking in Camps Bay. We had set out early that day with the intention of hiking the Kasteels Poort Trail to the top of Table Mountain, spending some time exploring the paths on the plateau and then catching the cable car down the mountain. Instead we took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on the beautifully isolated Woody Ravine trail.
Woody Ravine is an uncrowded and direct route to the top of Table Mountain. The hike is similar to the Platteklip Gorge hike in its unrelenting ascent – but it offers many unique positives.
To access Woody Ravine, you can park at Teresa Avenue in Camps Bay. There is a large, uncovered parking area designated to the Table Mountain National Park. You hike from the parking area, following a paved road which heads up the back of Table Mountain. This road meets up with the Pipe Track Hiking Trail, which you then follow until you reach the start of Woody Ravine. (All of these routes are well sign posted).
The Pipe Track is a great trail in itself (coming soon on Go Outside) and is well showcased on the short stretch which you follow to get to the start of Woody Ravine. You pass the large-break pressure tank and some lovely view points before the turn off to the start of Woody Ravine.
As soon as you turn off onto The Woody Ravine Trail you start a steep climb towards the summit of the mountain. The path leads through a dense forest, offering shade which is a wonderful change to most of the Table Mountain Trails, but it is still a strenuous hike.
Your last stop should be the Water Works Museum which is found next to Hely Hutchinson Dam wall. This small building showcases some of the history of the mountain – and the dams which are still an important source of fresh water for the city of cape town.
To get back down the mountain we prefer walking all the way accross the mountain to the cable car. This adds some serious distance to the trail – but it offers the opportunity for a cold beer or snack while you wait for the cable car. Alternatively you can follow the Kasteels Poort route down or head directly back via Woody Ravine. There are information boards pointing to all the major routes and attractions dotted around the mountain. These also indicate the estimated time and distance for the different routes so that you can select what best works for you.
Coordinating walking up Woody Ravine and then coming down on the Cable Car is actually quite easy. We park at the lower cable car station and then Uber to the start at Teresa Avenue Parking. There are always loads of Uber drivers around and that way your car is waiting for you when you get to the bottom – so you can head straight to lunch!
Video Date: 23 December 2016
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All the different Table Mountain National Park trails may seem a bit confusing, so here is what we recommend: From Terrsa Avenue hike up to the Pipe Track which meets up with Woody Ravine. At the top of Woody Ravine, follow Kasteelpoort trail past the old cable car station. From there go and explore the dams and then the Water Works museum. And then choose any path that leads to the cable car station to catch a ride down the mountain.
This whole route will take 4-5 hours. It involves some tough climbs and some magical views. The signage for all the different options and distances and estimated times will lead you easily along the top of the mountain to any attractions you may be interested in. For me, it has all the ingredients for a perfect day on top of Cape Towns favourite mountain.