Cave Peak and Spes Bona Forest

Cave Peak and Spes Bona Forest
  • 6.5 km loop
  • Some water
  • Shade in forest areas
  • Little water
  • Dog friendly (sort of)*

This 6.5 km loop is a great hike when you’re in the mood for something a little more adventurous. Cave peak offers a number  of caves to go and explore. The descent meanders through the beautiful Spes Bona Forest. I would make sure you have a decent general knowledge of the area or bring someone with you who does as the path can get a little confusing at times. Although a great hike all year round, the contrasting colours of the blossomed fynbos flowers in spring is particularly spectacular alongside the unbeatable views of False Bay.

The hike starts at the entrance to Echo Valley off of Boyes Drive. If you are lucky with your timing, there is parking directly opposite the entrance. When you begin the hike, you immediately start climbing some rocky stairs. After about 400 m of climbing there is a slight deviation in the route, stay on the more obvious route. A little further up at 750 m, is Weary Willy’s with built up stone and metal signage. Follow the route to Amphitheater and Echo Valley Forest (on the left). Don’t forget to look behind every now and then during your ascent to appreciate the view of Kalk Bay.

Continue up the path through the fynbos until you reach a number of large boulders on your right. This area is called Hungry Harry’s. Here, approximately, 1.2 km into your hike take a turn to your left. From this turn, until the summit of Cave Peak, directions can get a little confusing. The paths aren’t always very obvious. When in doubt look out for cairns which will help you find your way up. The path should aim towards just left of the bottom of a small rock overhang. Admittedly, we got lost and went of track a bit, but reached the overhang at about 1.45 km. Continue heading up until you reach a large tunnel structure formed by rocks. Enjoy the view on the other side of the tunnel where you can see up until Simon’s Town. To continue on your route, walk through the tunnel staying slightly to the left. The path will head downhill again before heading up again. Ahead of you will be two options to scramble your way to the top, we suggest the option to the right for slightly easier scrambling.

At the top, you are treated to come stunning views all the way over to Noordhoek. We did a bit of exploring at the top to find the perfect spot to have a snack and take in the scenery. From where you reach the top, continue hiking along the path to your left. This route takes you alongside numerous cave entrances to go and explore. Please make sure you are fully geared before exploring any of the caves. At approximately 2.4 km into your hike, the path takes you through a small yellowwood forest, with another cave entrance. Continue to walk alongside the rock on your right. The path will lead you to some built up stone with directions on top, follow the directions to the amphitheater.

This path will take you along side an old fence, on your right at about 3.4 km, with a beautiful view of the valley. The path will lead you to the beautiful amphitheater, a large clearing in your walk. You will find another set of built up stones here, with a detailed map of the different hiking routes the area has to offer. From here, continue towards the Spes Bona Forest. The hike will take you along the top of the mountain until 4 km where the descend towards the forest begins. A couple of hundred meters further, the will reach Spes Bona Forest. For many, this is the highlight of the hike. The boardwalks lead you through the beautiful milkwood and yellowwood forest for another few hundred meters. Along this section of the hike, watch your head, there are some low lying branches that need ducking under.

On the other side of the forest, the descend continues through fynbos, with more amazing views of the ocean ahead. At about 5.7 km, you reach another set of directions on the built up stones. Follow the route back towards Weary Willy’s. This path will continue back toward the original entrance, watch your step on your way down. Some fun pictures have been carved into some of the rocks. At Weary Willy’s, take the exit back to Boyes Drive. The route returns to the start of the hike and parking area.

*This route is technically classified as dog friendly, but the scrambling may be difficult to do with your pooch. I would recommend finding an easier alternative route to find your way up to Cave Peak.

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