Cradock pass hiking trail, Outeniqua mountains

Cradock Pass

Following the tracks that the settler ox-wagons created as they traversed the treacherous Cradock Pass from the coast to the little Karoo, this hike takes you along a historical journey, across the slopes of George Peak. Travelers on this pass use to describe it as “only fit for baboons”, so if you are keen for a day of strenuous exercise, this route is ideal. Steep scrambles uphill and rough terrain will ensure a proper workout along this old ox wagon route with impressive scenery of the Outeniqua Mountains.

The Cradock Pass runs from the Cape Nature Witfontein forestry station to the north side of Montagu Pass where you can arrange to be picked up or complete a circular route down the historical Montagu Pass past the old Toll House, as is indicated here.

Weather changes quickly in the mountains so plan your hike carefully, always take enough water and warm/wind resistant clothing along, even if the forecast is sunny. Hiking sticks/trekking poles are often welcome companions on the steep decent down.

Permits: Self-issue permits are free and can be obtained from the foyer of the office at the start of the trails. Alternatively a permit will be issued by Cape Nature at the main gate during office hours. Please adhere to the rules of the reserve at all times and respect others and nature.

How to get there

The route starts at the Witfontein forestry station at Cape Nature’s Outeniqua Nature Reserve

Take the N12 to Oudtshoorn (towards the Outeniqua Pass). Just outside George (800m from the traffic circle at the Engen Eco Stop) turn right at the Montagu Pass / Outeniqua sign. Shortly after turning here turn right again into the Witfontein Forestry plantation. Sign in at the boom gate. Entry is free.

Cape Nature Contact Centre: 087 087 8250

Outeniqua Nature Reserve General information

Office hours: 07:30–16:00

Tel: 087 087 4151

Start Coordinates: (DD)-33.935678 ; 22.426987
Distance± 25.0 km
Elevation Gain± 846 m
Perceived ExertionHard
Trail SystemOuteniqua
SurfaceDistrict Gravel Road
Hiking trail
Jeep Track
Route MarkersSome
GPX MapDownload GPX file for self-navigation on your GPS device or smart phone.


Trail Running± 2 h 30 m — 4 h
Hiking± 6 h — 9 h


  • Parking 
  • Restroom 
  • Water