Table Mountain's Woody Ravine route re-opens

Posted by Fiona Mcintosh on 10 April 2013

Hiking up the Camps Bay side of Table Mountain offers glorious views and exquisite fynbos, but unless you go in the early morning the sun will be on your back. So the upgrading and re-opening of one of the few partially shaded routes,Woody Ravine, in the second half of 2012 was great news. Woody Ravine was closed for three years following a major rockfall in 2009, but the path has been repaired and now makes a good, steep and direct route to the top.

Descending by nearby Kasteelspoort is a quick circular option or extend the trail to take in the reservoirs, upper cable station and Maclear’s Beacon.

Unlike the crowded Platteklip Gorge, the major routes up to the back table (Kasteelspoort, Woody Ravine, Three Firs, Corridor Ravine and Oudekraal Ravine) see little traffic.

A 40-minute hike along the Pipe Track from Kloof Nek takes you to the foot of Woody Ravine, but the quickest and easiest access is from the gate at the top of Theresa Avenue. Follow the cement road steeply uphill for about 20 minutes, ignoring other roads coming in from the left.

Soon after the cement gives way to gravel, the Pipe Track comes in from the left at a ground-level signboard. Continue along this track on fairly flat ground towards some huge stone pines. The road ends just beyond this point and the track ascends a moderately steep, rocky slope to an ornate stone break-pressure tank.

Continue for about 400 metres, past the next signboard indicating the start of Woody Buttress, to the base of Woody Ravine. Initially the path hugs the left of the ravine as it climbs steeply through the trees then, as the ravine narrows, zigzags under the vast grey walls of Spring Buttress before bringing you out onto the plateau.

Turn left at the top and follow the Twelve Apostles Spine Route until you reach the top of Kasteelspoort, an easy and scenic descent. As you crest the rise before descending to the start of this route, you’ll see a sign to a spectacular viewpoint at the old cableway and is a wonderful short detour.

The lookout point at the base of the poort – originally the middle station for the cableway that carried materials up for the construction of the reservoirs – also makes a great halfway sundowner spot, leaving you enough time to get down the well-trodden path to the road before dark. But play it safe and take along a head torch just in case.

The six-kilometre round trip from the gate on Theresa Avenue will take about three hours. This is an open-access hike.

More details on other hiking options on Table Mountain can be found at

Photograph by Shaen Adey.

Related: Secret Cape Town: Hiking to Tranqulity

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