Platteklip Gorge

Platteklip Gorge Hike

Platteklip Gorge hike is the quickest, easiest and most direct route to the summit of Table Mountain and therefore also the most popular.

The route follows a well-constructed trail up a deep ravine on the iconic front face of the mountain. You reach the summit a mere 10-minute walk from the upper cable station. Extension: from the ravine head, traverse the length of the famous table top summit to the highest point on the mountain for more great views, an extra 1.5 hours and R400 pp.

Difficulty

No scrambling or exposure to heights (narrow ledges). Even as the least strenuous route up Table Mountain, it should not be underestimated. The hiking is monotonous, accentuating the physicality.

Terrain

The route follows a well-defined trail, ascending via big rock steps. Minimal loose rock. The trail zigzags up the bed of the gorge, lessening the gradient through repeated switchbacks.

Information & Prices

  • Grade: A
  • Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
  • Distance: About 2.5 km / 1.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 680 meters / 2230 feet
  • Cost: R1300 per person / R1200 pp if others join

Scenery

The lower section leads up beside a stream, reduced to a trickle in summer (November to February), but gushing in winter (June to August). Further up, the gorge narrows between imposing cliffs. The setting gets more dramatic as the sidewalls close in, almost converging at the top and barely allowing access to the summit through a two-meter-wide corridor. The route offers city and harbour views, restricted in the upper section by the sidewalls. Vegetation is fynbos (endemic shrub) with a patch of indigenous Afro-montane forest about a quarter of the way up.

Pros

  • Quickest, easiest and shortest route to the summit
  • Safe and manageable in bad weather
  • Convenient descent route

Cons

  • Least scenic and exciting route up Table Mountain (but still beautiful)
  • Monotonous hiking
  • Can get crowded
  • Narrow field of view
  • Little diversity

Main attractions

  • Stream in winter
  • Sidewalls and rock-formations on the upper section

Who should consider Platteklip Gorge?

  • Below average fitness
  • Regards hiking Table Mountain merely as a bucket-list item
  • Time constraints
  • No sense of adventure
  • Little to no interest in nature
  • Suffers from severe fear of heights

Who should avoid Platteklip Gorge?

  • Adventurous hikers
  • Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with a good fitness level
  • Anyone seeking an authentic and more in-depth experience of the mountain

How fit should I be to enjoy the route?

Average. As with all routes, the less fitness you bring to the hike, the more determination, motivation and grit you need.

Compared to Kasteelspoort, Platteklip Gorge …

  • Is about 30% less strenuous than the Kasteelspoort Route
  • Offers less nature (peace and quiet)
  • Offers less diversity (vegetation and views)
  • Involves less scrambling
  • Offers less views
  • Is more crowded

Compared to India Venster, Platteklip Gorge …

  • Is about 10% less strenuous
  • Offers less nature (peace and quiet)
  • Offers less diversity (vegetation and views)
  • Is less adventurous
  • Offers less views
  • Is more crowded

Compared to Skeleton Gorge, Platteklip Gorge …

  • Is about 35% less strenuous
  • Offers less nature (peace and quiet)
  • Offers less diversity (vegetation and views)
  • Involves less scrambling
  • Offers less views
  • Is more crowded
We also offer other hikes on Table Mountain such as India Venster, Kasteelspoort and Skeleton Gorge, to name a few. Take a look at the other routes we offer here.

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