Hike Table Mountain

India venster

Table Mountain Guided Tours, specializing in main routes and the less walked Table Mountain hiking trails of Cape Town's famous massif. Get great city views from Devil's Peak; scramble India Venster, climb Skeleton Gorge and explore the beautiful Back Table.

For quick ascents take a route to the Upper Cable Station & ride down by cable car.

The most straightforward hike up is Platteklip Gorge.

View from Platteklip Gorg

  • Also on the front of the mountain is the more challenging India Venster (requires some scrambling.)
  • Both routes generally take up to 2 - 4 hours one way.
  • For more varied and longer approaches of differing lengths, then ascend via the Twelve Apostles.
  • Or spend longer exploring ...

view of Camps bay from Tranquility cracks

view from Tranquility Cracks

The various trails ...

~ Platteklip Gorge

Take the old stone path to the top.

The gain on this 2.5km hike is 650 meters or 2100 feet

old Platteklip Gorge stone carved sign

This classic way up is by far the most-used. It could be called the mountain's pilgrim route. It offers a stiff cardio workout, taking you over and next to the Platteklip stream as the trail zigzags up. Choice route for the less experienced. Catch the cable car or walk down. Take special care in wet weather. High usage means the rocks are smoother than on other paths.

  • The hike up takes a rough average 2.5 hours. Put aside 3 to 4 hours in total to include return by cable - weather permitimg. (A bit shorter at a push.)

Hikers climbing a section of India Venster

~ India Venster

Adds an adrenaline factor to the ascent. No previous technical experience required.

India Venster (a section of which is pictured above and below) is a challenging trek beneath the cable-way, before the trail traverses round to view more of the Atlantic Seaboard and mountain gorges.

  • You should be fit enough for some nimble maneuvering.
  • It includes some rock scrambling.
  • Catch the cable car or walk down.
  • You need to be in good shape and have a head for heights.
  • 2 - 4 hours one way. Most prefer to cable car down.
assists on India Venster, Table Mountain, Lions Head background

Chains and handles for safety on India Venster

Take one of the Atlantic Seaboard routes via the Twelve Apostles:

Hiking up Diagonal trail Table Mountain

The Pipe Track traverses the foot of the Twelve Apostles section of Table Mountain.

  • take quiet routes starting from various points along the Pipe Track.
  • views of the Atlantic.

These routes lead up to the 'Back Table' (pictured below), one of the mountain's most serene parts. Once there explore historic dams and hidden valleys that in season are home to the famous disas, and rare frogs which sun themselves in fern-lined streams.

Disa Stream feeds The Hely Hutchinson

Then hike back to end at your starting point; or branch off and trek up to the upper cable station to catch the cable car down; or journey across the Back Table and down the eastern flanks.

  • Hikes range from 4 - 8 hours (let me know your requirements and I will plot a route to suit)

Hike The Eastern flanks:

Skeleton Gorge Hike Table Mountain

~ Skeleton Gorge / Nursery Ravine

Two rite-of-passage Cape Town trails above the Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens.

Table Mountain from Kirstenbosch

These mostly shaded ways allow direct access to the 'Back Table'. Once up there explore its natural beauty; then:

  • descend via one of varied routes on the same side;
  • or head on up to the Upper Cable station to ride down;
  • make it a picnic hike
  • cross straight to the other side and take one the Twelve Apostles routes down.

Hiking above the east facing flanks of Table Mountain
  • Hikes range from 3 - 7 hours. (let me know your requirements and I will plot a route to suit)

Devil's Peak:

Devil's Peak from Platteklip Gorg

This massif jutting out of Table Mountain offers unique views of Cape Town from a thousand meters high.

Or, skip the final push to the very top, and reach its lovely contour paths, cross rocky streams and gorges high above the City Bowl where sugar-birds hang out in protea groves.


With Table Mountain as a dramatic backdrop take brief scrambles to historic vantage points, and caves still used for worship.

view over Table Bay Cape Town from Devil's Peak, Woodstock Cave

  • Hikes range from 2 - 6 hours.

Lion's Head & Signal Hill

If you'd like to hike up the restricted-entry Disa Gorge, please find more info here.

Or hike up to spend the night on the mountain.


  • All Table Mountain hikes start at various trail-heads within Table Mountain National Park. Courtesy rides can be arranged to where the hiking tour starts.
  • Hiking on Table Mountain means going into wilderness terrain. One needs to be well prepared. Please take note of what to bring.

For help planning your Cape Town mountain outing please contact me here. Thanks.

Nick Ashby Cape Trekking hiking guide

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Cape Trekker hiking guide