Posted on June 26th, 2020
Judas Peak Hike is one of Cape Town’s hidden gems with gorgeous views over Hout Bay, Llandudno and all along the Atlantic Seaboard. It is the very last of the 12 Apostle Peaks and one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets. The route begins at the top of Suikerbossie going up Hout Bay Corner, up Llandudno Ravine and then ends with summiting Judas Peak before coming back down again.
Judas Peak Hike
Start Location: Parking outside Ruyteplaats estate, Hout Bay
Duration: +/- 5 hrs (including a nice long lunch break at the top of the mountain)
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. There are some very steep sections which will get your glutes burning. There are two sections that use ropes and staples to help you up a rocky section. The path is well marked and it’s easy to know where to go. Hikers should have a good level of fitness before attempting this hike.
Conservation fee: None
Park your car at the parking just outside Ruyteplaats Estate along Suikerbossie in Hout Bay. There is a narrow footpath to the left of the estate security gate which will take you up to a second parking. You’ll see a sign that says public footpath pointing straight ahead. Follow this up until you get to a point overlooking Llandudno and Little Lion’s Head. At this point turn right onto a path lined with suikerbossies and ericas. The path is fairly flat and you will follow this for about 5-10 minutes before seeing a path to the left up the mountain. Take this left and prepare for a steep climb up Hout Bay Corner.
Hout Bay Corner
After a good session of steep climbing you’ll reach the top of Hout Bay Corner which boasts splendid views of the Hout Bay Valley and Llandudno beach. Take this opportunity to catch your breath after the steep climb and enjoy the view.
You then have a short clambering section where you’ll need to use the staples attached to the rocks to lift yourself up. But this is followed by a lovely long flat stretch lined with confetti bushes. You’ll be walking along a narrow path right next to a steep cliff (so if heights aren’t your thing then maybe think twice about doing this hike!) so proceed cautiously. As the path snakes along the mountain you’ll see more and more of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
About halfway along this section you’ll reach a beautiful waterfall (if there’s been rain recently). It gently trickles down mosses and ferns and is the perfect water bottle filling spot.
After walking for a while you’ll enter Llandudno Ravine. You’ll know you’ve reached it when you see a very steep, scrambly section with ropes and staples. It looks a lot more intimidating than it really is with just the first 2 metres being tricky. After that it’s steep with some loose rock but not too challenging.
As you climb up Llandudno Ravine you’ll realise why I say this hike has some STEEP sections. As you take breaks to catch your breath make sure you take the opportunity to turn around and admire the incredible view below you. You’ll see Llandudno and Sandy Bay beautifully framed by the ravine cliffs.
Upon reaching the top of Llandudno Ravine your legs are definitely going to want a little reprieve so veer off to the rocky outcrop on your right and take a moment to see how far you’ve come and watch as the waves crash below you at Llandudno beach.
The next section before Judas Peak takes you along a rocky path lined with ericas (pictured below are the erica lutea and wine rose ericas) and anaxetons. The path gently rises and falls as you make your way towards the plateau.
When you reach the plateau the path flattens out and the landscape changes to long grasses and restios. The first time you see a fork in the path take the right fork and follow this to the trig beacon of Judas Peak. It is all fairly flat except for the final rock scramble to the very top. Sit back and enjoy the most magnificent panoramic views of Hout Bay, Llandudno, Constantiaberg, the 12 Apostles, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the Atlantic Ocean.
After you have had your lunch break and taken in all the beauty surrounding you, you can start the trek back down.
Llandudno viewing point
Instead of heading straight back down you may want to make a slight detour to a rocky outcrop to your right that looks over Llandudno. You will recognise it as it also has a trig beacon. Going back the way you came you’ll turn right when you see this beacon and walk across a rocky section before climbing up a bit to reach the mini peak. You will have the most spectacular view of the 12 Apostles, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain from here as well as a lovely view over Llandudno, Sandy Bay and Karbonkelberg.
After you’ve filled your camera memory card with gorgeous snaps of all the amazing vistas this Judas Peak Hike has to offer you can go back down the way you came up. Hopefully your legs won’t be too wobbly when you get back to your car!
Judas Peak is a nice challenge for the experienced hiker and a great hike to add to your Table Mountain National Park bucket list. The views will really take your breath away so you’d like to ideally to this hike on a clear, sunny day when you can enjoy all of the beauty on offer.
I hope this was helpful and you can use this as guide when you hike up Judas Peak!
For more Cape Town hiking guides check out my Top 10 hikes in Cape Town blog. Or if you’re looking for something a little further a field why not check out the Panorama Hike in Jonkershoek or Crystal Pools Hike.