We did this walk on Thursday 27 March 2008 from Kloof Nek around to Rhodes Memorial. We started with a steep walk up to the 500m contour and from then it was a beautiful walk all around Devil's Peak to King's Blockhouse and then down to Rhode's Memorial. See the track on Google Maps at maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&l.... Download the Google Earth KMZ file at dvdmerwe.googlepages.com/TableMountainContourPath.kmz or GPX track at www.gpxchange.com/fileinfo/index.asp?fid=106132&retur....
The Pipe Track is one of the best-known hikes in Cape Town and probably one of the oldest as it was built in 1887 to bring water down from the reservoirs on top of the mountain down to Kloof Nek. The trail is relatively flat with only the very last bit at Slangolie Ravine climbing quite steeply with some rather narrow parts... but this is worth it to enjoy the great views from the rock overhangs on the other side of the ravine! It is about 1,5 hours hike each way.
We originally intended to visit the Limietberg / Tweede Tol Nature Reserve but their quota of 120 people was already full and we could not enter, so we went a way downstream in the Wit River and spent some time hunting for frogs and other wildlife.
We originally planned to make this our annual New Years hike on the 1st January but the veining before was a bit too happy, and the weather was drizzly on this Monday, so we finally made it to Crystal Pools only on 5 January. As usual an enjoyable and not too strenuous hike. We made it to the first pool in a record 35 minutes so and had to overtake three other groups to ensure getting our favourite spot under the tree. We spent about 4 hours at the pools relaxing, reading, and getting frog photos before returning to the car....by then 34 degrees but luckily a slight breeze was blowing.
We took the brief sunshine gap to do a quick hike up to Crystal Pools. We had the pools completely to ourselves as no-one else seemed to have had the same idea. It was good to see most of the vegetation has recovered since the last fire.
We hiked up Skeleton Gorge from Kirstenbosch Gardens (after being delayed by road closures for the Two Oceans Marathon) and made it to the top at a sedate pace. Some of the group did not want to descend via the steep ladders and boulders, so we took plan B's 4.6km route to the Upper Cable Car station, only to find on arrival a howling gale force wind and the cable car was closed. So we had to descend via Platteklip Gorge which was very slow going for us as three of us had quite sore knees by then. The end point was only reached a good 30 minutes after it had got dark (we did have torches with us).
All the years I've been in Cape Town and hiked all over the place, this was my first time up Lion's Head. It was not a difficult hike as about three quarters of the way is a walking path, and only the second third has chains where it is nearly vertical (there is an alternative route that actually avoids the chains) and many families were also on the route. The idea is to go up before sunset on a day around Full Moon time, enjoy the sunset, and then come down. But it is very busy which makes it a bit slower, but also has a great atmosphere and is a lot safer. There were also a lot of tourists who came to do the hike... including some Dutch guys who are carrying a garden gnome everywhere with them. Allow about an hour and a half to get to the top at a relaxed pace. I mainly used my Galaxy S4 for the photos as well as it capturing the route using the MyTracks app. I used my GoPro action cam for the video shots, and the Google helped out with auto-awesome panoramas and auto-awesome motion shots for the twinkling lights.