Hiking Chapman's Peak, How To Get There
As we are hiking Chapman’s Peak today we need to get to the launch spot for this hike. You will need to drive up Chapman’s Peak drive from the Hout Bay side. Hout Bay is a twenty minute drive from Cape Town depending on the traffic. Once you get the the toll booth, ask for a day pass. DO NOT PAY. Although this is a toll road you are eligible for a free pass to go hiking.
Once you have your day pass continue up Chapman’s Peak Drive. Many would consider this route one of the most scenic drives in the world. The drive offers stunning views of Hout Bay along the way even if you are not hiking. You do need to pay if you are only intending to drive this toll road all the way to Noordhoek.
When you are almost at the top you will get to a manned check point. The staff at the checkpoint will want to check your day pass and you then need to turn left into the car park where the hike starts from. Book your registered hiking guide to accompany you on your hike here.
When To Hike Chapman's Peak?
This hike can be done throughout the year. Spring, the August, September months are a great time when the fynbos is at its best. Fynbos is the indigenous vegetation that you will find through the Cape Peninsula. After the great fire of March 2015 the fynbos has regenerated in this area and is looking really good at the moment.
I like to hike early in the morning before it gets too warm but some hikers enjoy hiking in the late afternoon and watching the sunset over Hout Bay and walking down under full moon.
During the summer months the wind tends to get stronger throughout the day and you can lose visibility later in the day. The weather plays a very important role when you are hiking Chapman’s Peak due to the actual peak often being covered completely with cloud. When this happens there is no visibility from the top of Chapman’s Peak.
Is Chapman's Peak Open?
Before hiking Chapman’s Peak you need to check the weather and if the actual road is open. Chapman’s Peak drive is sometimes closed due to maintenance or due to rockfalls. To find out if Chapman’s Peak drive is open, please click HERE for latest road conditions and weather.
Hiking Chapman's Peak
The hike to the top of Chapman’s Peak will take about 90 minutes one way. To get a really good idea of what to expect when you are hiking Chapman’s Peak, watch my YouTube video that gives you a real idea of the terrain and views that you will encounter on your hike.
The Route To Chapman's Peak
Park your car in the designated parking area and do not leave valuables laying in sight in your car. As you start your hike you enter the Table Mountain National park. This is a nature reserve, so please respect your environment.
The start of the hike is mostly a section of rocky steps that will get your heart pumping as you set out and is quite steep. The entire hike offers no shade and there is little access to water on route. After about 30 minutes as you climb higher the path bends to your right and you start to get spectacular views overlooking Hout Bay. The uphill climb also becomes less steep now.
Once you get to the only junction or crossroads on the hike, you will need to turn right and continue around the lower peak on your way to Chapman’s Peak. Going straight will take you to Noordhoek and if you turn left you will head off to Blackburn Ravine. This part has a few steeper sections and once again rocky steps. Stop as much as possible to just take in the breath taking views from the trail.
As you get closer to the summit you begin to see Noordhoek and the Fish Hoek valley below you. Keep going as you need to reach the very summit and not lower Chapman’s Peak that you will encounter first. You will also encounter abundant fynbos on this hike, lizards on the rocks and if you are really lucky, black eagles can be spotted surfing the air currents.
The last part of the climb requires some scrambling to get to the beacon at the top of Chapman’s Peak. From the summit at 593 Metres above sea level you can see Chapman’s Peak drive below you. Looking South towards Cape Point you will see the brilliant white sands of Noordhoek beach and Slangkop lighthouse in the distance. Hout Bay presents itself in all its glory as you look North with superb views of the Sentinal Mountain guarding Hout Bay.
This hike offers some of the best views on the peninsular in my opinion. At the summit it’s time to relax, enjoy your drinks and snacks and take it all in. The summit can be quite windy and you may need a jacket as you take in the panoramic views. Once you have taken in the sights, you can retrace your steps back to the car park. The hike will take around 3 hours depending on your fitness levels. The actual distance for the entire hike is around 5KM return.
If you have enjoyed this hike I would suggest hiking to the old Manganese mine above Hout Bay. To learn more about this hike please click HERE to visit the old manganese mine above Hout Bay.
- Don’t hike alone; four is the ideal number.
- Choose your route carefully and stick to it. Allow yourself enough time – start early. Inform someone of your route and what time you’re expected back.
- Choose a hike leader and walk at the pace of the slowest member.
- If lost – don’t split up. Rather try to retrace your steps. Remember that climbing down is more difficult than climbing up.
- Always take waterproof clothing, even in mid-summer, and wear walking shoes or hiking boots. Wear a hat or cap and sun block in summer. Weather changes rapidly.
- If lost or forced to stop because of bad weather, stay together and remain in one place. Find the closest shelter from wind and rain.
- In case of injury, take time to assess the situation. Then send two people for help and let the third remain with the injured person. If possible, mark the position on a map and send it with those going for help.
- Stick to well-used paths, which will be indicated on the Park’s hiking map and read the warnings on this map. Don’t take shortcuts and especially don’t wander into ravines.
- Always take enough water, especially in summer, and food in case of a delay. Watch the weather and time, and turn back before you start running late or if bad weather threatens.
- Take a fully-charged cellphone. Some parts of the Park do not have cell phone reception, but you will always be able to reach a place where you can use a cell phone more quickly than you’ll get to a landline.
- As Table Mountain is an urban park, please exercise the same common sense and security precautions that you would anywhere else in the world.
- Do not attract unwanted attention by openly displaying cash, cameras or other valuables.
- If you are confronted by a criminal, don’t resist. Handover your goods as resistance might incite a mugger to violence.
- Program emergency numbers in your cellphone before your hike.
These mountain safety tips are provided courtesy of SAN Parks. The numbers below are important and can be used to report suspicious behaviour or any incidents occurring on the mountain during your hike. Program them into your mobile phone before departing on any of your hikes on the Cape Peninsula.