This is the second installment to document my Top Trail routes on Table Mountain. The first is here.
Super steep but (only just) runnable ascent to the fantastic loop around the Silvermine Dam. The route starts in forest plantation and takes you into the fynbos higher up.
Distance: 13 km (1h45 to 3h)
Total Ascent: 770 m
Total Descent: 770 m
Style of route: lolly pop
95 % single track, 5 % jeep track
Start at the Tokai Arboretum parking lot and go through the thatched arch. Up the main path and then find the single track which takes a pretty direct line up the hill. You will cross several jeep tracks to eventually get to the highest (Level 5) cross this and zig zag up to the ridge line. The last section is the most technical. Once you have reached the nek turn right towards Elephants Eye cave. Just below the fire lookout turn left and follow the level jeep track. This will join another dirt road heading up the hill. After a very short distance you will branch off left on a single track path. This traverses and climbs basically doing a long loop above and around the Silvermine Dam. You will hit the same dirt road as before (but on the other side of the valley). Down this to the dam. Skirt underneath the dam wall and into the parking lot. On the far side go up a single track path to a ridge line seperating you from Tokai. Left along here to where you came up. Follow the single track down to the start.
It will take some determination to run all the way up to the initial ridge and fire lookout. The angle is such that the temptation is rather big to walk in places. This route is 100% runnable bar the odd step around a boulder or two. A really good tester.
Water en route:
In wet weather you will find plenty streams. In dry months the dam is about half way and offers a great swimming spot!
Park your car at the Arboretum. This is located at the end of Tokai Road. There is a security guard on duty during office hours. Don’t leave anything in your vehicle as break ins happen outside of these hours.
Public Transport: There is no public transport access to the start.
Supporter Activities: The Arboretum is a great spot for family and children to play and have some coffee and cake while you play on the trails. The nearby Porter Market on Saturday mornings is just around the corner. This is also the launching point for Cape Town’s best mountain biking.
Other Info: Trail and Tar is a great mountain biking and trail running store only a few minutes away. Staff are active and knowledgeable and can assist with directions, gear and the sale of last minute nutrition.