Hiking Lion’s Head in Cape Town
Cape Town has a pretty epic skyline. It is not a skyline of tall man made buildings, but a line of distinct mountains. Table Mountain is the famous, flat centrepiece. To the left, there is Devil’s Peak (don’t let the name fool you, it is amazing). And to the right, there is Lion’s Head, which is significantly lower than the previous two peaks.
Because it is much shorter, that means that the Lion’s Head hike is a short and sweet one! We time ourselves each time we climb Lion’s Head to the summit and it ranges anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours. Hiking is never a race, so take your time!
The hike up Lion’s Head
The beginning 25% of the mountain is a steep path that circles the bottom portion. The trail is never super steep as this hike is essentially a corkscrew around the mountain. The path turns into wide stairs built out of boulders, which eventually turns into just boulders that mimic steps.
There is a point just over the halfway mark that splits into two trails. The trail on the right will entail some bouldering and actual climbing. There are handles that replicate a ladder to aide you. But if you are afraid of heights or climbing, do not take this route. The route to the left is a bit longer, but much less bouldering.
**On the way down, I would only recommend the NON bouldering way. It is safer and helps with traffic flow on the sensitive parts of the trail.**
The last part of the trail is for both of the routes. There are ladders and makeshift rock steps. But honestly if you made it this far in the trek up, you will push through and get to the top!
The views are worth every step 🙂
Also watch for Dassies/Rock Hyraxs while on top- they are a large fluffy rodent and so cuddly cute!
Whenever we do a hike, I always think I kick ass on the way up. Then I realise on the way down that my legs are more used than I originally thought. (Inca Trail flashbacks!)Though my body is more fatigued, the way down goes faster; 45 minutes to 1 hour. This makes the total time (assuming you do not spend any large amount of time at the top) only 2-2.5 hours. That quick time frame to climb a mountain is why we love this one so much!
Stay hydrated and be safe on your hikes!
Bonus: Us on Christmas Day 2013!