View from the plateau of Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles

Link to detailed route page and map click on route title. 

Lions Head

  • Distance 5.63 km
  • Time 1 h 24 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 291 m
  • Peak 575 m
  • Climb 290 m
  • Descent 0 m
December 1, 2019
Time taken with stops 5 hours at a very slow pace. I have password protected this route. Please contact me if you would like me to share it with you

The only time I had previously hiked up Lions Head was many years ago via the tourist track. So when the MCSA offered a hike up a less well travelled route I jumped at the opportunity.

The plan was for Mike and I to go down the night before, have a nice night out in Cape Town and miss the rush hour traffic to get to the hike. Unfortunately he pulled a calf muscle whilst out for his first jog in 30 years and so had to call off. We had been out reccing a new route for the Val de Vie run/walk group and I stopped unexpectedly, damage done…

Am really glad I did not bail out, one of my abiding memories will be of the flanks of Lions Head covered in pink Watsonias, it looked from afar like purple heather covering a Scottish mountain. Outstanding.

The trail was as promised. The first half was fairly easy. We were on good trails, crossing the main path occasionally, made our way through some interesting ledges at the bottom of the rock bands scrambling easily from one level to the next. We popped out onto the main trail just before the chains and ladder section. We took the easy route round up to a flat plateau at the base of the steep cliffs up to the summit. Here we popped under a wire fence and took an indirect route round the base of the cliffs, climbing up via a little used path to about 50m below the summit.

Fantastic to have been shown this route up and it was a totally different experience from just being part of a stream of other hikers climbing the peak on a well trodden trail. We came back down the easy route but if I had time I would go back the way I came to avoid the crowds

A word of caution, there is some exposure on the trail and so for those with a fear of heights I would not recommend it. For my part however, I found the trail safe but one needed to keep an eye on it to ensure we did not go off trail and get lost on the cliffs, which could be dangerous. See below for a compilation of my photos from the day