Phillipskop Mountain Reserve near Stanford offers many delights for you to discover during your visit. Explore the reserve on our hiking trails, enjoy the tranquility of getting away from it all, soak up the breathtaking views from the slopes of Phillipskop, and get close to nature. Discover the beauty of the fynbos that makes this part of the world so special.
Visitors are welcome to hike anywhere on the reserve but we have established a number of hiking trails to help you in your exploration. There are three main routes, described below, but these can be connected up to make longer more varied hikes. 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).
Day Visitors are welcome but only between 8:00-16:00 so as not to disturb our resident guests. A conservation fee is charged to all day visitors.
Waterfall Hiking Trail (3.5km)
This easy hike follows a more or less level path along a jeep track for the first half. It winds around the east of Phillipskop into a beautiful valley. At the end of the jeep track is a lovely rock candlewood (Maytenus oleoides), which is great place to have a picnic or drink on a hot day (and is a fun climbing tree for the children). Up until this point the path is suitable for any ability; after this the path gets more tricky as it passes over the steep rough slopes of the valley to the base of the waterfall. This is a great place for the kids to play, and to cool off in the shade of the steep cliffs during the morning hours. 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 (3km)
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 waterfall valley, giving you stunning 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...
This trail has long but gradual ascent along the western slopes of Phillipskop up to the saddle between Phillipskop and the main ridge of the Klein River Mountains. It passes through The Gateposts and then past the two mini rock stacks, Peter & Paul. At the Saddle it is worth going and looking over the far side down into the Hidden Valley. From there one can see Eagle Crags, where you may be fortunate enough to spy our resident Black Eagles soaring below. From the Saddle you can take the path up to the summit of Phillipskop, where you will be rewarded with wonderful panoramic views of the Klein River Mountains and the Overberg as far as the sea. From the saddle you can also hike up to the main ridge of the Klein River Mountains, and the highest point on Phillipskop Mountain Reserve. From here you can look down on Tesselarsdal and across to Steenboksberg, while on clear days you can see as far as Caledon and the Riviersonderend Mountains. Return from the saddle by the route you came up, or continue down into the Hidden Valley to join the Rock Stacks Trail or Waterfall Trail - and your hike will take you all the way around the mountain.
We have built a trail up Phillipskop itself starting from The Saddle. The path zigzags quite steeply up the north side. Please stick to the path to avoid erosion. The views from the top along the Klein River Mountains and across the Overberg towards Stanford and the sea are magnificent - well worth the effort of the climb up to the peak.