Since moving to Hout Bay, we’ve been itching to climb the back table of Table Mountain. The last of the peaks making up the long line of the Twelve Apostles is called Judas Peak, naturally.
Starting beside the Suikerbossie Restaurant, we climb up a very steep trail and some scrambles until we reach what’s known as Hout Bay Corner.
From there, you can see into Hout Bay and beyond to Chapman’s Peak, the blue waters of Llandudno Beach with Little Lion’s Head above it, and even—just barely—the BOS 400 shipwreck at Oude Skip.
The trail winds around this corner of Table Mountain until you’re facing the Atlantic Seaboard. From here, there are some pretty intense scrambles—hands and knees and lots of pretty hefty climbing—until you reach the top of the table. It’s a challenge, but doable.
Once at the top of Table Mountain, there are plenty of trails that take you across the table to meet up with Kasteelpoort or the Eastern trails. You could walk all the way across the top to the front side of the table and the cable car if you had the time.
We, of course, take the trail a little too far and get lost. The views while we’re lost are pretty unbeatable—Lion’s Head and the Atlantic Seaboard, the Twelve Apostles, the table cloth just starting to roll in.
We reach a part of the path that’s impassable—we’ve had a lot of rain, and the path is flooded. After going the long way, we run into another pair of hikers—the first we’ve seen all day. They point back to the direction we’ve come from, above the trail to a small hill. Judas Peak.
The brush is pretty overgrown around the base of Judas Peak. It takes us a while to find a path up to the rocks to the peak, and once we’re there, the rocks themselves are difficult to traverse.
But, just as expected, the view waiting for us at the top is pretty incredible.
It’s so fun to see this side of Table Mountain and the view of Hout Bay, where we’ll be staying until the end of January. A perk of doing it from this side is that the trails are less trafficked than the more popular trails around the front of the table and Lion’s Head.
It’s also quite odd to be on such an empty trail. Sure, it’s the middle of winter here, which makes for wet, cold and often unpredictable weather. But the hike up and down are clear, warm and beautiful.
I’m including a short video of our hike down. It doesn’t do it justice, but the steep trail running between the peaks overlooking the coast below is one of the major reasons this trail, and hiking in Cape Town generally, is so much fun.