Hiking Trails

Phillipskop Mountain Reserve near Stanford offers a unique opportunity to access this part of the Klein River Mountains. Visitors are welcome to hike anywhere on the reserve but we have established a number of hiking trails to help you in your exploration. Several trails are described below, but you can make up your own routes by linking these trails to make longer more varied hikes (the distances and amount of climbing are merely guides to help you plan and will vary depending upon the route taken). We have also hidden a number of geocaches along two of the trails. For more information on these see our geocaching guide. A larger version of our map can be downloaded for printing at home (2.6Mb).

Please note from 1st February 2024, the hiking trails are only open to members of Phillipskop and those staying in the accommodation at Phillipskop. Regret no dogs.

Candlewood Hiking Trail

(4km, ±100m ascent)
Children playing at waterfall

This easy hike follows a more or less level path along a jeep track for the first half, winding around the east of Phillipskop into the beautiful Candlewood Valley. The jeep track ends at the Picnic Tree, a lovely Rock Candlewood. This is a great place to have a picnic or drink on a hot day, and is a fun climbing tree for the children. The path then continues up the valley to the base of the waterfall. From here you can climb up to Phillipskop Cave, a recently proclaimed Heritage Site, where you can view and enjoy Khoe-San rock art. Return via the same route, or continue climbing up the valley to David & Goliath Rock Stacks and return via the Rock Stack Trail. Discover more…

Rock Stacks Hiking Trail

(4km, ±250m ascent)
Rock stack on the border of Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

This trail takes you the quickest route to our striking rock stacks, David & Goliath. It starts off with a steep hike up to Castle Rock, but after that the path undulates around the side of Phillipskop. It passes above the Candlewood Valley, giving you fabulous views down to the stream and waterfall. Once you reach the rock stacks, it is worth looking around the corner into the Hidden Valley to see the sheer cliffs of Eagle Crags at the back of Phillipskop. If you continue through the Hidden Valley, the path will take you up to the Saddle, where you can join the Saddle Trail. Alternatively, you can return by the route that you came on, or take the path down the valley to join the Waterfall Trail. Discover more…

Saddle & Summit Trail

(4km, ±400m ascent)
View from the summit of Phillipskop in Klein River Mountains

A long, gradual ascent up the western slopes of Phillipskop takes you to the Saddle between Phillipskop and the main ridge of the Klein River Mountains. From the Saddle, the path up Phillipskop zigzags steeply to the Summit. The far-reaching views from the top are magnificent and well worth the climb. After returning to the Saddle you will need to decide which way to continue onwards. You can head back down the mountain the way you came up, or continue on around the mountain, descending via the Hidden Valley behind Phillipskop, towards the Rock Stacks, and returning to your starting point via a circular route.  Discover more…

Ridge Trail & Haarkapper Peak

(6km, ±500m ascent)
Phillipskop from the ridge of Klein River Mountains

From the Saddle you can also hike up to the main ridge of the Klein River Mountains, and to the highest point on Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, Haarkapper Peak, 88m above the Summit of Phillipskop. From here you will be rewarded with stunning views of Phillipskop Peak and the rest of the reserve below you to the south. The Klein River Mountain range stretches both east and west, and to the north you can see Tesselaarsdal below you and across to Steenboksberg and the Riviersonderend Mountains beyond. Return to the Saddle via the same route that you came up, and then decide which way you will chose to head down the mountain.  Discover more…

Panorama Path

(4km, ±200m ascent)
View from Lookout Rocks on Panorama Path

This trail offers you extensive views, but without too much climbing. This trail takes you up the far western ridge of the reserve, passing Ebenezer Koppie. The middle section of the trail contours around the front of the mountain, passing Lookout Rock and the Breakfast Table. Finally, descend via Fortress Rock, behind which you can get a magnificent view down into Candlewood Valley and to the Rock Stacks beyond. The complete trail is about 4 km, but it can also be split into 3 separate loops, should you need a shorter walk. Discover more…

Klipspringer Path

(500m, ±180m ascent)
Klipspringer Path with rope

The Klipspringer Path is a more adventurous route to the summit of Phillipskop. It begins in the Hidden Valley at the back of Phillipskop and zig-zags its way up through the rocky cliffs of Eagle Crags. This is an easy route but there are a few sections with a bit more exposure and you will require your hands. It should be classified as a low-level scramble. We have put in some ropes to help on the trickier bits but it does not require any rock climbing skill. Discover more…

Three Peaks Challenge

(8.5km, ±670m ascent)
View of Phillipskop Peak from the ridge

Phillipskop has a fantastic variety of trails which can be combined to make longer and more varied walks. But for those who want the ultimate challenge of exploring Phillipskop in one day, we present the Three Peaks Challenge. This route uses the various trails in the most efficient order to summit each of the three high points at Phillipskop with the minimum of repetition. Discover more…

Lily Pond and Nerine Pool

A short walk from the cottages will take you to Lily Pond, where you can cool off in this rustic and picturesque dam. You will find the path to Lily Pond signposted from the road heading out of the reserve. The path crosses a stream bed (usually dry), then it is a flat and easy walk to the Lily Pond. For the more adventurous, take the path around the near side of Lily pond and continue up-stream as far as Nerine Pool – another lovely spot for cooling off on a hot day. You may not be able to reach Nerine Pool with dry feet, so be prepared! Discover more…

Haarkapper Hiking Trail

The Haarkapper Hiking Trail is a longer trail (±12km) over the mountain to Tesselaarsdal and back again. As the route is not entirely on the reserve, a separate permit is needed. Please see the separate page for information and how to purchase permits. Discover more…

Map of Hiking Trails at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve
Map of Hiking Trails at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

A larger version of our map can be downloaded for printing at home (2.6Mb).

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