- 7 km round trip
- Easy to moderate terrain
- Little shade
- Little water
- Pet friendly
The “Pipe Track – Diagonal Cave” hike is a beautiful hike ending at one of the more popular Table Mountain caves. The hike, there and back, is just over 7 km and should take 2.5 hours walking at a leisurely pace. The terrain is moderately difficult, the pipe track itself is easy terrain but from the turn towards Diagonal Cave the gradient increases with large rocky steps and one small section of scrambling taking you towards the cave. The trail takes you through the fynbos with remarkable views along the whole route.The parking area for this hike is at first parking lot to your left as you turn onto Tafelberg road from Kloof Nek road. From here, you walk up a set of stairs to the left of the public bathrooms. After you cross the road there is another small set of stairs to the right, possibly hidden behind some cars, which leads you onto a dirt track. This is where your trial starts.For the majority of this hike you will walk along a trail called “The Pipe Track”. This is a fairly easy trail provided you watch your footing. There are a few rocky areas, some loose rock, and roots to step over. Within 500 m you will understand the naming of the path as you come across the first of the pipeline which you will walk under. About 900 m into the trail you will notice a gate blocking you from entering a path to the right. This is the original pipe track, which is currently unusable after heavy rains. The arrow directs you to the detour route.Along the way you will notice a few splits in the path, stay on the main pipe track. The turn to Diagonal Cave is clearly marked. Along this path the views of Camps Bay are spectacular. You won’t get be deprived of Cape Town scenery at any point.
At about 2.6 km you will reach a little shady patch in the walk. If it is one of Cape Town’s scorching hot days, enjoy the short break from the sun. There aren’t many shady areas on this route.
At 2.8 km, you will see the well-marked turn to the left for the path up to Diagonal Cave. Up until this part of the hike the gradient has been very gentle, but almost immediately, after this turn the route becomes steeper. This increase in gradient lasts until you reach the top. Although it is steeper the terrain is not difficult as there are large steps most of the way up.At the 3.1 km mark during the climb up, you reach a fork, where you stay right. Shortly after this you will walk up a few switchbacks leading you up the mountain. During this, the terrain varies between the large rock steps and gentle gradient rocky paths until about 3.5 km, where some non-technical scrambling is required. The hardest part of the hike is over after the scrambling and you’re only 100 m away from the end of your trail. Continue to follow the trail until a turn off to the left which takes you up towards Diagonal Cave. The cave is a perfect shady spot to pull out your packed sandwiches and enjoy perfect views of Lion’s Head and Camps Bay before trekking back down.