Top 10 Table Mountain hiking location # 9: Orange Ridge – 21 January 2014

An aerial view of Table Mountain along with a little imagination will show it to resemble a molar tooth in shape. Orange Ridge is located at the base of the tooth between the two roots, overlooking a pristine forested valley known as Orange Kloof. Despite its accessibility, the area is seldom visited, no doubt because of its nondescript appearance from the main trail leading up that corner of the mountain; and also because no well-defined paths traverse the ridge. But it’s gems like these that add zest to a Table Mountain hike.

Orange Ridge’s tame appearance belies its complex topography. The area is honeycombed with caves and dissected with fissures, scattered with sculpted rock-formations fit for an art gallery and containing wooded hollows where the silence rings in your ears. Poking up from this jumbled terrain are a few rocky mounds, the highest one, closest to the edge of Orange Kloof, offering some of the finest views on the Table Mountain massif: south into Orange Kloof and across Hout Bay towards Chapman’s Peak; and north across the Back Table  / lower plateau with Table Mountain’s tabletop skylined in the distance. Approaching this isolated and almost sacred spot via an unconventional route (off the beaten track) – as opposed to trudging up the rather tedious Bridle Path – makes for one of the best Table Mountain hikes.

Gain a fresh perspective on Table Mountain’s iconic profile by hiking Table Mountain to include Orange Ridge. Take the road less traveled and step off the beaten track, indulge in desultory exploration and connect with the essence of Table Mountain.

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