The Cape Trails: Arangieskop multi-day trip trail
Arangieskop is a stunning and challenging two-day hike. There is certainly a good reason it is considered to be one of the toughest hikes to complete in the Western Cape. Day one is only 10 km but it is a steep uphill battle almost the entire way with an overnight stop at the Arangieskop hut. Day two starts with another short uphill climb to the summit followed by a long tough descent that will most certainly take its toll on your body, leaving you struggling to walk comfortably the next day. If you do brave this hike, the views and general scenery along with the unbeatable feeling of accomplishment make it all worthwhile.
The hike starts from the Dassieshoek hut, as you exit the gate take a turn to your left. Walk along the dirt road until you reach the Dassieshoek Nature Reserve. At the first fork in the road about 800 m into the hike, make sure to stay left. On day 1 look out for the white footprints and cairns, these will keep you on track in moments of uncertainty.
At 1.2 km take a sharp left, close to the picnic area. Shortly after this, I crossed a bridge made from a railway line. The road will take a bend to the right shortly afterwards at about 1.36 km. A set of footprints will guide you off the road to the path on your left where the ascent begins. Some carved out stairs will assist you for the first part of your climb, which takes you into the fynbos. Unfortunately, this area was still recovering from fire damage when we walked through it. Although the bushes may still be recovering, don’t forget to take a look at the scenery of Robertson behind you and the beautiful mountain ahead of you.
At 4 km the descent starts into the valley. On your way down there’ll be some chains and ladders to help you get down to the water. At the bottom you will find plenty of shade, flowing water and many comfy rocks to rest on. This area is great for a tea stop, a short recuperation period and a water refill. It will be needed, as the section ahead is no easy feat.
Day 2 is a total distance 0f 12.5 km back to the Dassieshoek hut. To make your way to the Arangieskop summit, backtrack the way you came into the Arangieskop hut and follow the yellow footprints to the top. The hike to the summit is just over 1 km in distance and 200 m in elevation.
After reaching the summit, the tough descent begins. Go especially slowly and carefully over this first section but be sure to still stop and take in the spectacular views while descending. About 4 km into the hike, the trails lead you down into a forest area.