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Hiking Up Lion’s Head

Hiking Up Lion’s Head
Lion's Head Hike Duration


1 – 2 hours

Lion's Head Hike Difficulty


Easy – Moderate

Lion's Head Hike Trail Type

Trail Type

Out & Back

Lion's Head Hike Distance


4.5 km

Lion’s Head is possibly the most popular hike in Cape Town. People love it so much because it is short, relatively easy and offers some of the best views of Cape Town, Table Mountain and The Twelve Apostles. You don’t get much better really!

Starting at the parking lot below the peak you can expect the hike to take approximately 1-2 hours depending on how fit you are and how busy it is. I would suggest a sunrise hike. There will probably be quite a few folk with the same idea but it’s considerably less busy than at other times, and you get to start your day watching the sun rise over the city – an experience guaranteed to put a smile on your face. If you really want to be the only one up Lion’s Head then I suggest taking a torch, a stick and head up at about 3am.

The View over Signal Hill and the City Centre

Getting Started on the Lion’s Head Hike

Follow the dirt road from the main parking area which winds its way around the left side of the peak – doing a full spiral. You’ll find yourself wanting to start off strong but beware – the path is actually fairly steep. After about 15 minutes the path levels out and becomes a single track. You will pass the Paragliding launch pad on your left.

From here the path levels out a bit making its way around the back end above Camps Bay and Clifton. As the path winds round you will encounter another steepish section of steps. Another 10 minutes along and you will find yourself having done a full 360°, looking over the city and down at your car.

Sunrise from the top of Lion's Head

From this point the path takes a steep climb up the rock face. Don’t worry, there will be ladders and chains to help you up. This section will probably shake your nerves a bit if you are a bit wary of that sort of thing (especially if it’s windy), but don’t let it put you off. It’s only a short section of the hike and once you’re committed you will find that it’s actually rather fun. If you are heading up at a busy time it can be a little frustrating having to wait for the groups of people who are wanting to come down. Patience is the name of the game here.

The Final Stretch

Once up past the obstacles, the path heads to the left for a bit before turning right and following the ridge all the way to the top. The exact path can be a bit difficult to follow here but with your destination in sight it’s easy to know where to go. You can also test your rock hopping skills if you like. Do be careful though, it’s quite a long fall!

Once at the top of Lion’s Head, you can find yourself a perch to admire the mind blowing 360° views, take a few selfies and tell everyone that you made it up one of Cape Town’s most popular hikes! Congratulations! If the hike proved to be too easy for you then I suggest checking out Myburgh’s Waterfall Ravine or Skeleton Gorge.

Looking out towards Camps Bay and The Twelve Apostles

About The Author

Jason Crowther

Founder of The Hiking Chronicles, I grew up in the small town of Rosh Pinah in the South of Namibia. Exploring the surrounding veld bare foot and camping along the Orange River were just a few of my favourite past times. Having worked in the creative field for most of my young adult life, studying photography, film making and design, I found myself working as a front-end web developer / designer. I soon found that my lust for adventure and keen interest in hiking overpowered the hustle & bustle of the 9-5.

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