Hiking Table Mountain in Cape Town
We have committed to taking advantage of Cape Town’s beautiful hiking trails. This was our first hike since being back in town. I had not previously done the Skeleton Gorge Route on Table Mountain, but it is Maxwell’s favourite!
Despite it’s name, this trail is anything but aggressive and barren. The start of the trail is most easily accessed from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens- which will get it’s own post soon because it is AMAZING. There is an entrance fee to get into the gardens and therefore on the trail, but it is well worth it.
The trail starts out almost completely covered by trees and other foliage. Though I knew we were headed in the ‘up’ direction, I had no idea where we were going to pop out because we couldn’t see a thing!
The trail itself is well groomed and obvious. Sometimes with hiking trails, there is question to what is actually the trail. The first half of the trail is at a decent incline, we could definitely feel it in our legs! About half way, there does come a section where an individual has to boulder up. This means that the incline is steep enough to where you need to use your hands as well as your feet to propel you. There are a few ladders to use along the way. There is a waterfall/river that most of the rocks you need to climb are in. Even though it might sound hard, just take your time and it is very fun!
Once we got out of the dense canopy, we got this magnificent view as pictured below!
Once we got to the top, there was a choice between going to the tallest point on Table Mountain or the large reservoir that is housed there. We chose the reservoir because it was only another 15 minute hike rather than the highest point which was another 2 hours up!
Table Mountain reservoir
The reservoir was something like I had never seen before. It was stained red from draining through the various plants- think rooibos tea! It was peaceful up there but you did not feel as if you were on top of a mountain at all. That 15 minute hike from the end of skeleton gorge trail to the reservoir was mostly sand. Between the sand and the lake (reservoir), Table Mountain was starting to feel like a beach!
This amount of sand coupled with many rock formations that looked like coral would further back up research stating that Table Mountain used to be under water!
Nursery Ravine trail
We took the Nursery Ravine back down the mountain because it was mostly stairs rather than bouldering in the wrong direction. I would highly recommend not going down Skeleton Gorge and taking the Nursery Ravine instead.
The lighting ended up being perfect on the way down the ravine. We were in awe of the natural beauty of Table Mountain! To be honest- it was my first time up Table Mountain. I had only previously done Lion’s Head. Now that we are living here- I had to do it immediately!
Ending in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Once we got back down to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, we took some time to walk around and take in scenery.
This picture was taken in the Gardens as we looked back at the mountain we just climbed.