Cradock Peak at 1578m above sea level, is the highest peak in the Outeniqua Mountain range. The hike is a strenuous out & back trail that starts and finishes at the Cape Nature Witfontein forestry station.
The route first follows forest roads through the pine plantations to the base of the Outeniqua Mountains. From here you take a footpath down across a stream and then you start climbing up the foothills, across the railway line and up. Be sure to take enough water, the stream you crossed is the only one and in the first, third of the route. On the ridge (the Saddle) you will encounter a T-junction, right for George Peak and left for Cradock Peak about two kilometers away. Close to the small weather station at the top an rocky scramble awaits that is sometimes slippery and not for the feint hearted.
Incredible views of the Garden Route landscape and Swarberge awaits on a clear day.
Weather changes quickly in the mountains so plan your hike carefully, always take warm and 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|
|Start/Finish||Outeniqua Nature Reserve, Witfontein Forest Station|
|Distance||± 18.0 km (out & back)|
|Elevation Gain||± 1,578 m|
|Perceived Exertion||Very Hard|
|GPX Map||Download GPX file for self-navigation on your GPS device or smart phone.|
|Trail Running||± 3 h 30 m — 5 h|
|Hiking||± 6 h — 9 h|
FACILITIES AT THE START