Lion’s Head is among the must-visit points of interest in Cape City. Mountaineering up the mountain is usually a bit difficult however the views from the highest are effectively definitely worth the effort. From Lion’s Head, you get a few of the finest views of the town and its environment. Even in case you don’t climb all the way in which you continue to get unbelievable views alongside the path.
Finest time for climbing Lion’s Head
For me, the views from Lion’s Head at sundown are probably the most spectacular. You possibly can see the solar slowly descending into the Atlantic Ocean portray the ocean and the coast into golden coloration, the very best gentle for pictures. Simply make sure that it’s not overcast or too cloudy earlier than you go. For apparent causes sundown is the preferred time to climb Lion’s Head you must be at the start line a few hours earlier than to discover a parking spot, to make it to the highest (there may be normally a queue on the rope and ladder a part of the climb) and discover a good place for taking pictures.
Dawn is one other good time to hike up Lion’s Head. A benefit of it’s that there are normally fewer folks going up at dawn than at sundown. It’ll be sooner to get to the highest. However in summer season you’ll need to stand up actually early to make it in time for the dawn. Verify sundown/dawn time in Cape City earlier than heading to Lion’s Head.
Full Moon is a very fashionable time for climbing up Lion’s Head. On clear nights tons of of individuals head to the highest to look at the total Moon and to benefit from the views of the evening metropolis. Verify Moon phases and discover the very best time to see the total moon.
Within the afternoon the sunshine shouldn’t be the very best for taking pictures however the views from the highest are nonetheless spectacular.
How troublesome is the hike?
Relying on the route you select. If you happen to simply stroll across the mountain it’s not too troublesome or hectic. If you happen to climb to the highest some a part of the path may be fairly difficult. General it’s fairly a troublesome route because of the steep incline from the beginning. The final kilometer is probably the most tiring half with climbing up over the rocks or metallic ladders and chains. For a match particular person, it received’t be an issue, however in case you’re not in good condition, it may be exhausting. If you happen to’re frightened of heights I’d recommend doing a round route with out going to the very high of Lion’s Head. Climbing down may be a bit scary for you.
How a lot does it value?
The excellent news, the hike is free! You don’t pay any admission charges. Parking at Lion’s Head is free as effectively. Your solely expense is transportation to Lion’s Head and again.
What are you able to see from Lion’s Head?
Lion’s Head is the very best place in Cape City to return for the panoramic views of the town, it’s positively a must-include in your Cape City itinerary. From the highest of the mountain and alongside the path, you may see just about the whole Cape City and its environment. The principle highlights are Desk Mountain, Twelve Apostles, Camps Bay, Clifton Seashores, Metropolis Bowl, V&A Waterfront, Sea Level, Robben Island, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Peninsula, Blouberg Seashore, seaport, and plenty of different metropolis points of interest.
How one can get to Lion’s Head?
By public transport
You should use one in every of MyCity buses to get to Lion’s Head; routes 106 and 107 go there. Get off at Kloof Nec cease, it’s on the backside of Lion’s Head from there it’s about 600 m to the trailhead. To make use of MyCity buses you must purchase a MyConnect card, it prices ZAR 35/US$2 and might be bought at any MyCiTi station kiosk and cargo some cash on it. A median journey inside the metropolis will value you lower than US$1.
Sadly, the Cape City Sightseeing bus doesn’t cease at Lion’s Head. The closest cease is Desk Mountain Cable Automobile station, which is about 2 km away from the Lion’s Head trailhead. Utilizing the hop-on-hop-off bus to discover Cape City remains to be a superb possibility for you in case you’re not planning to lease a automobile. You will get a 1 or 2-day cross and tour across the metropolis getting off at any attraction. With one cross you get entry to 4 totally different routes. The two-day ticket consists of the sundown bus, the boat cruise, and a pair of strolling excursions as effectively.
Renting a automobile
Renting a automobile is one of the best ways to discover Cape City. If you happen to lease a small automobile it received’t be costly particularly in case you’re a few folks sharing it. On weekdays searching for a parking spot within the metropolis middle may be a bit difficult although, and also you’ll need to pay for it however not for parking on Lion’s Head these are free.
If you happen to’re not a really assured driver (particularly contemplating that we drive on the left facet of the street) you may use Uber, many locals and vacationers use it each day together with us. It really works good however generally in peak hours, you might need to attend for a journey.
Becoming a member of a tour
It may be the best choice for solo vacationers particularly in case you select a climbing tour that features transportation. You get picked up and dropped off at your lodge in Cape City, stroll with an skilled information that may present you the very best picture spots on Lion’s Head, and benefit from the good firm.
The place to park your automobile?
Parking close to the trailhead may be tough particularly in prime instances such because the sundown or Full Moon.
- The perfect and the closest possibility is Lion’s Head Hike Parking which is correct the place the path begins.
- If there isn’t any area on the parking, search for spots alongside Sign Hill Street right here, and there you may see gravel sidewalks the place you may park.
- There may be “a secret spot” on Sign Hill Street between Lion’s Head and Sign Hill, a proper flip to the gravel street, about 2 km away from the trailhead.
- We regularly park our automobile at Kloof Nek Parking, it’s a devoted parking space simply on the appropriate from Lion’s Head on the way in which to Desk Mountain. There are at all times locations accessible and it’s not far to stroll to the trailhead, about 700 m.
- There’s a parking spot on the highest of Sign Hill, which is about 2,6 km from Lion’s Head hike trailhead. Sadly, this parking space is usually full.
Completely different climbing trails up Lion’s Head
There are two climbing routes to Lion’s Head each begin on the parking spot on Sign Hill Street; the primary one (footpath) goes proper in the direction of Sign Hill, the second (gravel street) goes left. Each routes merge 1 km earlier than the height. There may be one other cut up simply earlier than reaching the highest; one route is tougher however shorter, it entails chains and ladders, the opposite route (the advisable path) is longer with going up over the rocks. You possibly can mix each routes; go up utilizing ladders and down over the rocks. All routes and splits are well-maintained and marked.
The return hike
- Distance – 5,3 km return
- Strolling time – 1h30min. up and down, plus 30min.-1h. for taking pictures, watching the sundown, and many others. The stroll would possibly take longer if there are a lot of folks.
- Whole ascent/descent – 387 m
- Terrain – gravel street, wood stairs, rocks, ladders, and chains.
The most well-liked route up Lion’s Head. It begins on the parking spot on Sign Hill Street is the primary route up the mountain. Most individuals use it to hike up and down. It’s a steep gravel path with a big incline proper from the beginning. The route goes across the mountain providing nice views of Cape City and the shoreline. This route has the very best views of Desk Mountain, Twelve Apostles, and Camps Bay. It begins on the gravel street continues up the steps and finishes with a rocky path and ladders. The final half entails a little bit of climbing no matter which route you select.
The round path
- Distance – 6 km
- Strolling time – 2 hours up and down
- Whole ascent/descent – 400 m
- Terrain – footpath, gravel street, huge rocks, ladders, chains
That is our favourite route as you get to stroll up and down a unique means and get the last word 360° panoramic views of Cape City and the Cape Peninsula. The path begins at Lion’s Head parking. It may be executed clock or counterclockwise. We favor a counter-clock, the gravel street is simpler for happening than the rocky path. The identical with climbing to the highest, it’s simpler to go up utilizing ladders and chains and go down over the rocks. This route has the very best views of Lion’s Head peak, Sign Hill, and Sea Level. You possibly can go up and down the identical means with out going across the mountain.
The round path with out climbing to the highest (a better possibility)
- Distance – 4 km
- Strolling time – 1 hour
- Whole ascent/descent – 280 m
- Terrain – footpath, gravel street
It’s a better various for individuals who don’t wish to climb over the rocks or ladders all the way in which to the highest. It’s an acceptable possibility for hikers with kids or canines. The route offers you a chance to look at Cape City and its environment, take pleasure in a pleasant stroll and take some nice pictures with out sweating and panting. It’s just about the identical route because the round hike the one distinction is that you just stroll round Lion’s Head with out going to the highest. The hike might be walked both means clockwise or counterclockwise.
Lion’s Head to Sign Hill hike
- Distance – 5,4 km return
- Strolling time – 1 hour
- Whole ascent/descent – 50 m
- Terrain – footpath
The best hike on Lion’s Head with hardly any ups or downs. You can begin at Lion’s Head parking and stroll to the highest of Sign Hill or one other means spherical. Although you don’t go up the mountain you continue to get unbelievable views of Cape City, Desk Mountain, Robben Island, Waterfront, Sea Level, and Lion’s Head.
There was one other route previous Wally’s Cave however it’s presently closed as a result of present process terrain rehabilitation. Sadly, it’s unattainable to entry Wally’s Cave.
Sign Hill, a better various to Lion’s Head
If climbing and climbing sound an excessive amount of of a mission for you there may be a better various. You possibly can benefit from the metropolis views and watch the sundown from the highest of Sign Hill. It’s a close-by hill that could be very simple to entry by automobile. You possibly can drive all the way in which to the view-point, no strolling or climbing concerned. The views from Sign Hill are similar to these from Lion’s Head.
The drive to Sign Hill is similar means as to Lion’s Head however as a substitute of parking your automobile on the head of the climbing path, you retain driving. There’s a parking spot on the highest for Sign Hill however it’s usually very full you might need to show round and park your automobile alongside the street. On the highest, you’ll discover a huge yellow body for taking pictures with Desk Mountain within the background, bathroom services, and a espresso truck.
If you happen to benefit from the open air and nature you would possibly take pleasure in climbing at Cape Level Nationwide Park, there are a number of day trails that provide breathtaking views and alternatives to identify some animals.
Security ideas for climbing
General it’s not harmful to hike Lion’s Head until you do it at evening time.
In summer season it will get scorching scorching there isn’t any shade alongside the path and no place to get water when you begin climbing. All the time deliver sufficient water with you, a minimum of 1L per particular person, use solar safety, and put on a hat or a cap.
If you happen to hike in the course of the day, you may select any route in case you hike after sundown hours, stick with the primary gravel route up Lion’s Head.
Don’t go climbing at evening time until it’s the total moon evening when there will likely be lots of people on the mountain.
If you happen to go alone relatively use the primary hottest path. If you happen to’re not very comfy with doing a sundown or dawn hike by yourself you may at all times be a part of a guided tour.
Paragliding from Lion’s Head or Sign Hill
Paragliding is feasible from each Lion’s Head and Sign Hill. It’s a unbelievable expertise to glide slowly above Cape City having fun with the gorgeous views and touchdown on the seaside at Sea Level. Don’t fear in case you park your automobile at Lion’s Head the return switch is included. Sundown is once more the very best time for paragliding. It’s extremely advisable to guide paragliding prematurely.
What to tackle the hike?
- A small backpack to place water, digicam, snacks, and many others.
- Trainers/sneakers, you don’t want climbing footwear for Lion’s Head however strolling in flip-flops received’t work both.
- Jacket/hoodie if coming for sundown/dawn it will get chilly and windy up there.
- Water bottle, make sure that to deliver sufficient water with you there isn’t any place to get water alongside the hike.
- Hat/cap, there isn’t any shade on the mountain in case you hike within the afternoon it will get very popular.
- Sun shades.
- Sunscreen – African solar could be very robust, make sure that to guard your pores and skin.
- GoPro HERO9, video footage, and a few wide-angle panoramic pictures on this put up have been taken with our GoPro.
Close by sights to mix with the hike
Many different Cape City highlights are located round Lion’s Head together with Desk Mountain probably the most well-known metropolis attraction. Out of many issues to do in Cape City visiting these two is a should. If you happen to don’t have a automobile you may simply stroll from Lion’s Head to Desk Mountain. It takes about 20 minutes to get from the Decrease Cable automobile station on Desk Mountain to Lion’s Head parking.
We regularly mix climbing up Desk Mountain with climbing Lion’s Head. It’s fairly powerful particularly in case you hike each methods up and down Desk Mountain with out utilizing the cable automobile. If you happen to resolve to do it this manner be sure you have sufficient time to stroll up Desk Mountain takes between 60 and 90 minutes. To stroll down is one other 30-40 minutes, the cable automobile descent takes solely 5 minutes.
The colourful Bo Kaap neighborhood is one other well-known Cape City attraction that’s near Lion’s Head. You’ll want not more than 1 hour to stroll by means of its brilliant streets and take pictures. You possibly can cease on the Bo Kaap first, then go up Desk Mountain and end watching the sundown from Lion’s Head. If you happen to take a cable automobile each methods you’ll want 3-4 hours to go to all 3 sights. If you happen to resolve to stroll up Desk Mountain – 4-5 hours relying on how briskly you stroll.
You possibly can mix climbing up Lion’s Head with one of many scenic drives round Cape City. Begin your day driving across the beautiful coast and end it watching the sundown from Lion’s Head. As an possibility after the sundown, you may head to Camps Bay for a sundowner drink or romantic dinner.
If you happen to want some concepts for planning your go to to Cape City we now have a put up with the very best day journey concepts from climbing and wildlife to winetasting and road-tripping.
Lodging close to Lion’s Head
Finest locations to cease for espresso or lunch earlier than/after the hike
Driving Kloof Road you’ll see many espresso retailers and eating places. It’s top-of-the-line streets close to Lion’s Head to return for espresso, breakfast, or lunch.
Bootlegger Espresso Firm at Kloof Road
It’s an ideal place a few kilometers earlier than Lion’s Head. They roast and grind their very own beans so espresso right here is superb. Many espresso retailers in Cape City serve their espresso. We love stopping right here for breakfast or brunch on the way in which to or from Lion’s Head. They’ve normal eggs, bacon, and avo breakfasts, pancakes, and scrumptious bagels. The trout bagel is our favourite right here.
Nourish’d Café & Juicery
A small cozy place on the nook of Kloof Road and Hof Road with good espresso (together with decaf), wholesome smoothies, recent juices, sandwiches, and a vegan-friendly menu. It’s a cool place to satisfy up with mates. On weekends it will get fairly busy.
In contrast to two earlier locations, this one is extra of a restaurant sort than a espresso store, a little bit of an higher class. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you wish to come on Saturday or Sunday I’d advocate making a reservation it’s fairly a preferred place.
Bombay Bicycle membership
One other excellent place at Kloof Road however not like the earlier locations this one is extra of a celebration vibe. It’s an ideal place to return within the night after watching the sundown from Lion’s Head. It’s not the very best place for a romantic dinner however the appropriate place for hanging out with mates.
There may be a espresso truck Vida e Caffee at the beginning of the Lion’s Head hike the place you should purchase espresso and snacks.