One of the coolest hikes in Cape Town is Skeleton Gorge, and I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds. It’s actually incredibly beautiful! It’s definitely a strenuous and long hike, but the peak is worth the push.
The trail starts off in the Kirstenbosch Gardens and leads you up through the woods. The path you start on is constructed with steps and ladders to climb up. After a good deal of running out of breath and thinking, “Um, maybe this was a mistake,” you reach relief – a set of large rocks with a stream of cool, fresh water flowing down it. We were already low on water, so we filled our bottles up. The thirst was real.
This was the only hike I’ve ever been on that made me feel like I was in a jungle. We rested on the rocks, shaded by a bungalow of trees, as exotic birds and animals scurried around us. The scent of rainwater, soil, and leaves left you completely replenished.
After resting and climbing up those rocks, we marched onward to our next stop, the reservoir. It sat halfway up the mountain and because we were in the summer months it was completely dried up. The only thing left behind was blinding white sand and weird rocks. If you’re looking for a place to be abducted by aliens, this may be the spot.
After breaking there, we set out on the last stretch to the top. This is where things got steep. We really had to push ourselves to the finish line. Then suddenly, as we were climbing and pushing ourselves up over rocks, something really interesting happened. I noticed it started to get much cooler and I could no longer see my surroundings. We were being consumed by clouds. It was the craziest thing and as we reached the top, the highest point of Table Mountain, we actually made it above them. It was literally one of the highest points of my life.
Our legs were like gelatin, and because we didn’t have the luxury of just calling an “Uber Copter” to pick us up (which is apparently a thing in Cape Town), we got ourselves up and headed back down the mountain. It took forever and when we reached the bottom our legs felt like they might fall off. Although the hike was worth it, we all were walking a bit weird for the next 24 hours. Luckily, we decided to go lay on the beach the next day.