River Gorge and Crystal Pools hiking trail closed this hiking season

Views from the famous hiking trail Crystal Pools. Picture: INSTAGRAM/Dominic Hike

Views from the famous hiking trail Crystal Pools. Picture: INSTAGRAM/Dominic Hike

Published Oct 17, 2023


In the aftermath of recent severe storms that wreaked havoc across multiple areas, Cape Town residents and visitors have received some disheartening news.

The well-known Steenbras River Gorge and Crystal Pools hiking trail, a beloved hiking destination for locals, has been temporarily closed for the current hiking season.

As reported by Tourism Update, the closure has been necessitated by the extensive flooding of the Steenbras Nature Reserve and Clarence Drive, located near Gordon's Bay.

These unprecedented flooding events have, in turn, caused substantial harm to various sections of the Steenbras River Gorge and Crystal Pools hiking trail, leading to portions of it being washed away.

As a result intensive repair work is now required to restore the iconic trail to its former glory.

The Steenbras River Gorge and Crystal Pools hiking trail's popularity can be attributed to its breathtaking natural beauty, serene ambiance, and refreshing swimming spots along the way.

Hikers are drawn to this trail for its majestic waterfalls and crystal-clear pools that are perfect for a dip after hiking in the scorching South African sun.

SA People quoted a statement from Eddie Andrews, the City of Cape Town’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, saying: “We normally open bookings for the Steenbras Gorge on 1 October annually. Unfortunately, given the feedback from reserve staff, we have decided to accept no bookings for this hiking season.

“This is due to flooding and damage to the hiking trail. It will take considerable time to do the necessary repairs. We will keep the public informed, and apologise in advance for the disappointment.“

Here are some options to consider around the area this hiking season:

Jonkershoek Nature Reserve

Located near Stellenbosch, the Jonkershoek Panorama Trail and Swartboskloof Trail are popular options, both offering scenic beauty and an opportunity to explore diverse terrain.

Helderberg Nature Reserve

Despite being affected by fires in recent years, this area allows adventurers to witness nature’s comeback.

It is conveniently accessible via a brief drive from Gordon's Bay, featuring two enticing hikes within Helderberg Nature Reserve: the Helderberg Nature Reserve Hike and the West Peak Hike.

These trails offer hikers the chance to soak in breathtaking vistas of False Bay and the surroundings.