Lion's Head
Lion's Head
4.5
About
Lion's Head in Cape Town is a peak situated at 669 meters above sea level. The hike up Lions Head takes approximately 90 minutes at a moderate pace. Lions Head trail is steep but do-able, while the 5.5km trail packs a punch (Both ways). The views from Lions head are amazing. Take a look around you and see the beauty. Lions Head hike is the preferred route for mountain enthusiasts, the easiest of the routes in Cape Town.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • vaucouleur
    Oslo, Norway12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Recommended trip in Cape Town
    Fantastic mountain for people with average to good ability. Note that the path is fairly easy for the first few parts, but you will hit points that require climbing up ladders and steep paths. A very rewarding experience. We walked up in 55 minutes, with stops for photos. Awesome trip. Recommend strongly if you are willing to do a short steep hike.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 11, 2023
  • Carmen Santiago
    Mountain View, California164 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tough climb at the top, spectacular views!
    If you run marathons, this is an easy hike. For all other humans, it can get streneous. As you get closer to the top it is really tough with your knees taking the brunt of the large rocks. You will also climb four very steep ladders, right against the cliff's face which can feel scary. The hike is full of spectacular 360 degree views of Cape Town. Table mountain looms in most views, you'll see Para gliders jumping off both mountains framing your pictures. In July when we are visiting, the mountainside is covered in yellow flowers. We had a bit of rain, and we're treated to double rainbows pretty much the whole time.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 23, 2023
  • Dedgar2014
    Darien, Connecticut130 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Counter clockwise Hike at Lion's Head
    We did the counter clockwise hike so that we would hike all the way around Lion's Head. We started out as a group of six. As we got closer to the top my daughter and I turned around. The top part of the climb consists of very steep ladders against the cliff face. The group of four that went to the top consisted of three marathoners and one in very good shape. All said the last part of the climb was challenging mentally and physically and very rewarding. Highly recommend Hike even if you do not make it all the way to the top. All views were beautiful.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 26, 2023
  • Diane B
    Barrington, Illinois17 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Take the ladders. The alternative was scary
    We recently climbed Lion's Head. I sent my family ahead since I wanted to take my time and not feel pressured. I am a 60 year old woman and consider myself agile. I would not recommend going alone for risk of injuries etc. My biggest concern was when there was a sign that said you can take the ladders or go this other way (recommended route). I chose to skip the two ladders even though I was not afraid. I did this because I was alone and it wasn't very crowded at all so I thought I should take the "preferred" route. I assumed it would be easier. I must have lost the path because it seemded to dead end and I had to climb very steep rocks. No one was in site and I felt lost and started to panic. Fortunately I found the path and a nice family sat with me as I tried to gain my composer. I was terrified. I should have taken the ladders and recommend the ladders for sure. The hike itself was steep with big bolders. The beginning is deceiving since it is just a gravel like path. That's why I send my family ahead. Don't do it alone and take the ladders when there is an option!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 18, 2023
  • Kardoesie
    Johannesburg, South Africa4,101 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely @ Lion's Head
    Besides the main climb up Lion’s Head, there are several other paths on the lower slopes that offer rewarding views and slightly easier walks for those that wants to walk more and climb less. Irrespective of the chosen route: Watch the weather. Take a warm jacket and water. Note that it takes as long up as it takes to climb down. Go with a friend. Stick to the paths. Leave your valuables at home, not in your car. Give right of way to the climbers going up. Smile and greet others. ideal for outdoor enthusiasts!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 8, 2023
  • Jodes64
    Binfield, United Kingdom16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sunset!
    We took the opportunity to hike Lions Head on a clear afternoon/evening for sunset. The hike up gives great views of Table Mountain and we saw a beautiful sunset over Camps Bay. However, please be careful doing this hike at sunset as it get dark quickly…
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 11, 2023
  • eker135
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom84 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Out of this world views!
    Out of this world views. Make sure to take plenty of water on a warm day and have decent walking shoes or boots with grip on them. The path gets narrow as you go up and includes ladders. If you're not good with heights or used to hill walking I would recommend avoiding it. But if you make it to the top it is well worth it! The views are absolutely stunning. A must do for keen hikers!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 19, 2023
  • TravelingFamilyTrip
    Chicago, Illinois209 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great moderately difficult hike with great views.
    We did a sunrise hike up Lion's Head and had a great time. The hike is a little more difficult than we guessed. It wasn't terrible but our legs were feeling it afterwards. The ladders & all were actually easier than making your way up the boulders nearer the top. You are rewarded with stunning views of the city, ocean shore, and Table Mountain. Be aware of your timing if you want to see the sunrise. We got there later than planned, but it worked out as we saw the sunrise at the beginning of our hike rather than the summit. But if we'd left a little later, we'd have totally missed out on the sunrise as you're walking on the back (shady, west) side of the peak for a while. You are advised to hike in groups due to recent robberies on the trail. We didn't have any problems but saw some news articles just after our hike. But other than that, you don't need to have a guide, it's a pretty straightforward trail and Uber to & from the trailhead was easy.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 2, 2023
  • Tour63909705662
    2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonder not.
    Amazing, brilliant atmosphere with an appeal that seize never to be erased in one's mind. Nature's best outdoors exploring. All you have to do is to take a short left to this wonder. That's not all, it's I. Capetown and there is more to feed your eyes and cherish!❤️
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled on business
    Written November 5, 2023
  • SAGraham
    Johannesburg, South Africa71 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A hike not a walk
    It is important to know that this is not a gentle walk it is a hike. It is just over 5.5kms round trip and takes about 3 hours. The walk is mainly in the sun so going early makes sense. The first path is an uphill on a jeep track. That then becomes a trail with steps created to make it easier to navigate. The last section involves climbing over and up rocks. While it isn’t too difficult it does require a fair amount of effort. Also there are sections that have steep declines next to the path that may be nerve wracking for people scared of heights. There are two different paths you can take to the top. The one involves ladders and chains. The recommended route still has two ladders you must climb but there aren’t any chains so it is easier. The views from the top are incredible and well worth the effort. Because this is a hike make sure you dress appropriately and have good shoes to wear and a hat. Also ensure you carry sufficient water. Finally Cape Town weather changes quickly so ensure you have something warm and something to keep you dry When you start the hike take a picture of the Emergancy numbers in case something goes wrong.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 23, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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David C
Cape Town Central, South Africa18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
It was a cool summers evening hike. The walk is easy to moderate. Lions Head also part of signal hill, has spectactular views of the Mother City ( aka Cape Town), the CBD, the Atlantic Ocean, Seapoint and Campsbay as well as the Indian Ocean in the distance. The walk was refreshing and pathways was very safe and also clean ( thnx to National parks and the hikers for keeping it that way). Fauna and flora was as beautiful as always. And the sunset was awesome over the Atlantic Ocean... A great hike around Lions Head, great views of Cape Town and surrounds. Table Mountain, one of the Seven Wonders of the world was spectacular in the background of our walk up to Lions Head.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LeVasc
Santiago, Chile188 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We loved the hiking. Beautiful walk in front of one of the wonders of the world. The height makes ir perfect so you exercise and avoid the mist (which table mountain doesnt) so you can see both the city and table mountain. Is very safe, actually you can see lots of people running to the to as part of their regular routines. Amazing!
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveling One
Greenville, SC740 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
We started the hike 2 hours before sunset and I will say that’s the perfect time to hike. The first part of the hike was shaded and the second part got quiet hot in the direct sun. Fortunately later in day the sun is not as strong.. so it didn’t bother us too much.

The hike itself was easy until you get towards the top of which is required scrambling among rocks. I would definitely wear proper hiking shoes! We took the “long” route on the way up and the shorter route on the way down that involved chains/ladders. No lie I was terrified going down but felt accomplished doing it! Hindsight, it wasn’t that bad. But if you’re inexperienced it can be frightening.

We went during a weekday but it was a full moon and it was PACKED. Very very busy. We went down right after sunset and people were coming up like crazy. It made the way down very long. I would definitely avoid hiking this during a full moon or leave right after sunset like we did. There was a huge bottleneck and you have to make a point to bypass the slow hikers or you’ll be waiting forever to get down. We took headlamps for the hike down and are glad we did! Despite a full moon it was cloudy so it was difficult to see

Overall we enjoyed this hike and recommend it!
Written October 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eric D
United Kingdom509 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
I think the hike to the top of Lion's head should be top of the list of things to do for anyone visiting Cape Town. You can park your car at the start of the hike, and there is also a little cafe available to buy water or coffee prior to starting the climb. Initially the path is steep but well maintained. The 2nd half is a much smaller path, sometimes on dirt or on rocks. You will later have a choice between the "recommended" path, and a more difficult one. We picked the easy one and it allowed us to climb at a nice and steady pace. A few ladders on the way but nothing crazy. Took us about 1h30 to climb to the top, taking quite a few breaks on the way. You will have great views and many picture opportunities on the way. I would advise to try and climb when the sky is clear to enjoy the views at the maximum. The weather can change rapidly, but there are a few webcams in the area where you can see what the could layer is doing on the south side, and combined with the normal weather forecast can help you find the best moment to make the climb.
Written January 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

freeXspirit
New York City, NY212 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Family
We had a free morning in Cape Town so we decided to do the Lions Head hike. So much better than Table Mountain! Not an easy hike, the last 30 minutes going up are tough as you’re climbing rocks and stairs while holding on to metal chains. The views are simply stunning all through the trek. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. I would recommend doing this early morning so you’re not baked in the sun. Not recommended doing it on a cloudy day coz your views of the city will probably not be as good from the top. I spoke with several folks who had done the sunrise/sunset hikes, not sure how they do it coz it would be tricky coming down the top in the dark where you have to watch every step. Maybe it’s doable with a headlamp. Either way, this is a phenomenal activity when in Cape Town, something for the entire family!
Written March 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stepanka B
Cape Town Central, South Africa28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Friends
This very popular hike is a must by lots of local and tourist while visiting CT.
Locals love it for a full moon hike, early sunrise or even sunset.

On this hike you will recognize very easily tourist and local hikers. We as locals cleaning up and collecting rubish!!
,, we say what you bring to the mountain take home from the mountains,,

If you reading this and you are planning of hiking Lions Head please DO NOT underestimate mountains.

This is not easy hike. Even is quite short there are ladders, staples and chains. Lots of tourists is injured day after day just because they are not prepared!! You always must have
* proper shoes ( so many wearing sandals, flip flops!!
* suitable clothing ( sport wear)
* lots of water
* sun hat
* sun screen
* snack

Enjoy the most beautiful views, keep safe and clean after you. Thank you :)
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert O
Rotterdam, The Netherlands3,975 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
I took me two hours to get from Adderley station in downtown Cape Town, to the summit of Lion's Head. One hour to the saddle at Kloof Nek and another hour from there. It is a relatively short hike compared to Table mountain and much less exhausting. The views are as spectaculair.

Only the last part of this hike involves some scrambling over rocks, but there are ladders, chains and staples. I went last Wednesday afternoon. There were many people, but no line ups anywhere. The summit area is rather flat and spacious.

Instead of hiking up from the city center, take a MyCiti bus 106 or 107 to the saddle at Kloof Nek 1. Then follow the road towards Signal Hill. On your lefthand side you will see a trail going up. Alternatively by car drive to the parking lot on the same road and start from there. The latter option is best for people who are not very fit.
Written November 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chrisjoman
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
The hike itself was a little demanding and it's def. not for everyone as at some parts you literally need to climb. However, it's totally doable and in the end you'll be rewarded with incredible views of table mountain + the city. I think you can even call it an alternative to table mountain as it's free, you don't have to wait in line for 2+ hours and you also breathtaking views.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Allen H
Little Rock, AR244 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Let me start out by saying calling this a “hike” is misleading 😂. Be prepared to pull, grab, climb and perform balancing acts. Also, contrary to many reviews, the beginning is no “easy”. I consider myself to be in pretty good shape but walking up that dirt incline had my heart rate up. More advice...don’t be concerned with timing yourself. Stop and admire the beauty as you corkscrew your way up the mountain. I chose the “easy” option rather than the whips and chains route 😂. If that was the easy route, I’d hate to see the other option. But once you reach the top.....OMG!!!!!! Best views ever and there will be some furry friends there to congratulate you. DO NOT leave Cape Town without going up Lion’s Head!
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Soehail Ali
Bristol, UK686 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
Great hike even for beginners. I love the fact that you can choose between the more advanced (with the ladders/high runs) or to go around the mountain which is perfect. I think that you must do this when you are in CPT especially because of the great views! Just before sunset it’s the best, but please be careful and take someone with you (for security on route) and four hikers is the best number but since this is so popular I think its good. No drink facilities/toilets on the hike so be prepared and prep!
Written March 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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