The Skeleton Gorge, or Smuts Track, is an epic hike for all ages! It takes as long as it takes. This is definitely one of our favourite hikes on Table Mountain. With the jungle forests, views, 1880 dams with museum, Disa gorge, one can’t ask for more. So much to talk about and see on this adventurous historic trail.
General Jan Smuts hiked this route until he was 85 years old.
The hike starts at Kirstenbosch Gardens as we head into the Afromontane Forest. There are steps in the beginning and a few short ladders through the jungle-like forest and then onto a rocky gorge .. all safe and fun especially after some rain, when the river is flowing and the waterfalls are plentiful.
Once above the treeline approximately an hour into the hike, the views and landscape are incredible! Twenty minutes later its time to have a swim in the reservoir … preferably in the hotter, Summer months.
Afterwards we cross the 585 metre dam wall and explore the Waterworks Museum, with the original steam train, working tools etc. There were 500 workers living on top of Table Mountain whilst the two reservoirs were being built. A tremendous feat!
We then head on to the unmarked route through the Disa Gorge following the aquaduct, looking for the Red Disa Orchid (the emblem for the Table Mountain Club). These flower between January and March.
Back onto the Smuts Track and on to Maclears Beacon (highest point on Table Mountain) and across the northern, front face of Table Mountain to the Cableway.