Lion’s Head Hike
Lion’s Head is a free-standing peak located next to Table Mountain and about two-thirds its height.
This insular peak offers exciting hiking with sensational views. Available as a sunrise or sunset hike – a truly memorable experience. Also serves as a great alternative for when Table Mountain is covered in cloud. Hike Table Mountain offers a secret, more adventurous route option off the beaten track, ideal for days when the main route is crowded and the scrambles congested.
The ascent involves scrambling and exposure to heights – nothing extreme, but you need a decent sense of balance and head for heights. If you suffer from fear of heights, the route is not recommended. If only nervous or wary of heights, you need to be up for a challenge / adventure and prepared to step outside your comfort zone. Some find the compulsory descent (no cable car option) more challenging than the ascent.
Lion’s Head’s hiking trail follows a well-defined trail that involves big rock steps in places as well as scrambling.
Information & Prices
- Grade: A+ (with a B option)
- Duration: 3.5 hours (up and down)
- Distance: 5 km / 3 miles (up and down)
- Elevation gain: 390 meters / 1300 feet
- Cost: R1300 per person
The trail winds around the peak, offering ever-changing views.
- Less elevation gain than Table Mountain
- 360 degree views
- Classic view of Table Mountain
- Sunrise / sunset option
- Not very strenuous
- Crowded most weekends and holidays
- Compulsory descent
- Little in the way of nature (peace and quiet)
- Best elevated view of Table Mountain
- Panoramic views
- Exciting hiking
- Airy summit
Who should consider Lion’s Head?
- Hikers keen to see elevated sunrise or sunset views of Table Mountain
- Hikers looking for a second hike after having hiked up Table Mountain
- On days when the cableway is closed due to strong wind: hikers not fit enough to hike up and down Table Mountain
Who should avoid Lion’s Head?
- Anyone with fear of heights
- Hikers with knee injuries
- Hikers suffering from impaired balance or excessive clumsiness
How fit should I be to enjoy the route?
Below average to average. As with all routes, the less fitness you bring to the hike, the more determination, motivation and grit you need.
How does Lion’s Head compare to India Venster?
- Lion’s Head involves 45% less uphill, but with a compulsory descent
- Views are different but equally stunning
- Lion’s Head is less technical on the ascent
- Lion’s Head involves less exposure
- If you’re very bad going downhill, Lion’s Head might be the more challenging of the two
How does Lion’s Head compare to Platteklip Gorge?
- Lion’s Head involves 40% less uphill, but with a compulsory descent
- Lion’s Head offers better views
- Lion’s Head is more technical and involves more exposure to heights
Lion’s Head or Table Mountain?
It depends on your fitness, abilities and preferences. Lion’s Head is better as a sunrise or sunset hike, or on days when the cableway is closed due to strong wind (which necessitates a hike-down, tough and unpleasant). Table Mountain is more strenuous but offers a more rewarding experience. More sense of achievement. Views on all Table Mountain routes except Platteklip Gorge are on par with Lion’s Head. CONTACT US for a detailed discussion on which hike would be best for you.