No visit to Cape Town would be complete without going to Table Mountain National Park. It is the most visited national park in South Africa with 4.2 million annual visitors.

All of these guests are attracted by the beautiful fynbos and of course, the chance to conquer Cape Town’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain.

Table Mountain National Park is a hiker’s paradise with over 350 trails for hiking in Table Mountain.

With so many trails there is something for everyone from casual strolls to more adventurous hikes. 

This plethora of trails can make it difficult to decide which is the right one for you.

That is why we decided to put together this list of the different routes for hiking in Table Mountain Nature Reserve.

So that you can find the right trail for your level of fitness, experience, and available time. 

There are also many guided hikes available if you’re not comfortable charting your own course.

Additionally, for those that want to see the top of Table Mountain, but don’t like hiking there is always the Aerial Cableway that can take you to the top.

Hiking safety tips

Before we get to the trails, it is important to look at some safety tips for hiking in Table Mountain. The best safety tips for hiking are as follows:

Now that we have covered the safety tips you are ready to go hiking in Table Mountain. So let us take a look at the different routes to see which one is right for you and your friends or family.

The Pipe Track

The pipe track follows a water pipeline running below the Twelve Apostles. While this trail doesn’t go up Table Mountain it is still an enjoyable hike.

Offering spectacular views of the Atlantic and Lion’s Head, while surrounded by the beautiful fynbos.

Keep in mind this trail is exposed to a lot of sunlight, especially on summer afternoons.

Therefore it is best enjoyed early on summer mornings, or during winter. Many of the protea species are also in bloom during the winter.

The pipe track is 6km long one-way to Corridor Ravine, but you are free to turn around at any point.

It is rated as an easy hike up to Slangolie Ravine, and moderate for the full length to Corridor Ravine.

The trail takes an estimated 4-4.5 hours round trip, depending on fitness level, walking speed, and how far you decide to go. This trail is perfect for a bit of casual hiking in Table Mountain, which lets you enjoy the fynbos up close.

Woodstock Cave

This trail takes you to the Woodstock Cave, one of the largest caves on Table Mountain. It is formed by a large horizontal crack halfway up Devil’s Peak. The cave offers an ideal picnic spot with breathtaking views of the city, Lion’s Head, and Table Bay.

The Woodstock cave trail has two starting points one from Tafelberg road and the other from Rhodes Memorial. 

Either option is a fairly easy trail that is quite popular. It takes an estimated 1.5-2 hours one way to the cave from Tafelberg road, and 2-3 hours one way to the cave from Rhodes Memorial.

Times may vary depending on fitness level, and walking speed. The Woodstock Cave trail is a memorable way to see a wonderful cave while hiking in Table Mountain.


This trail is the most direct route to the top of Table Mountain, which is why it’s known as “the highway to the top.” This is also one of the most popular trails for reaching the top.

The trail takes you up Platteklip Gorge with a well-constructed path with stone steps and anti-erosion gabions. While the trail is not difficult to negotiate at any point it is steep, and best taken slowly.

The Platteklip trail is about 3km up, rated as a moderate-tough trail, depending on fitness and weather. The trail will take approximately 1 hour for the super fit, and 3 hours for those taking it slow, to the top.

This trail is perfect for those who want a bit of a challenge while hiking in Table Mountain. The effort is well worth it though as you will have bragging rights to say you conquered the mountain.

The Smuts Track

The Smuts track is also one of the more popular trails, especially in the summer as the start is in a shaded forest. Starting in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, you will have to pay a standard entry fee, it takes you through the Afromontane forest up Skeleton Gorge.

While the climb is steep there are wooden ladders, and rocky steps to ease the climb. This takes you to the top of Table Mountain, you then proceed to Maclear’s Beacon which is the highest point on the mountain, 1086m above sea level.

This trail offers beautiful scenery through the forest and gorge, and breathtaking views from the summit.

The Smuts track is approximately 4km long, one way to the Maclear’s Beacon. It is rated as a moderate-difficulty hike, taking between 2 and 4 hours one way depending on fitness and breaks.

The Smuts track is a great trail for experienced hikers who want to go hiking in Table Mountain. With varied scenery keeping the trail interesting, it’s an experience you won’t easily forget.

With so many great trails there really is something for everyone when it comes to hiking in Table Mountain. We hope this article helps you decide which trail you will enjoy the most.

Table Mountain National Park is a World Heritage Site and an ecologically sensitive area. So remember to be safe and responsible when you go hiking in Table Mountain.

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One Response

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