Steenbras River Gorge

About Steenbras River Gorge

The Steenbras River Gorge forms part of the Steenbras Nature Reserve which is also part of the greater Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The reserve is well known for its unique biodiversity. Home to more than 1600 plant species, it has the greatest floral diversity in the world. This valley is located just an hour away from Cape Town and is a popular destination for trail hiking, abseiling, kloof-jumping, and swimming. Steenbras River Gorge is the ultimate hiking destination, boasting a variety of incredible hiking trails, including the Danie Miller hiking trail, the Klipspringer hiking trail and the famous Crystal Pool Hiking Trail.

Crystal Pools Hiking Trail

The Crystal Pools Hiking Trail offers a 2-kilometre-long hike to a series of mountain pools in Steenbras River Gorge. The trail starts about 6 kilometres past Gordons Bay along the R44, just after you’ve crossed the bridge over the mouth of the Steenbras River. It starts out fairly easy but gets tougher as you ascend. Continue to follow the little yellow footprints to stay on the path. About 45 minutes from the start of the trail, you will come across the first pool.

You can choose to rest and take a dip in a pool of refreshing mountain water (which we highly recommend) or hike further to the second pool, which is just ten to fifteen minutes away. Further up is the third pool which offers more swimming, kloofing, and cliff jumping opportunities as well as stunning scenic views of the area. The main water source of the pools is the Steenbras River. The third pool is an ideal picnic spot. From the top, you can see the dam wall of the Steenbras Dam and panoramic views across False Bay to Cape Point in the other direction.

Need To Know Information :

Location : Kogelberg Nature Reserve Trail, Helderberg Rural, Cape Town

Operating hours : Office hours: 7:30am – 4pm | Steenbras River Gorge and Crystal Pools hiking trail bookings : Monday – Friday (excluding public holidays): 8:30am – 2:30pm

Hike operating times : 6:30am – 7pm (hiking trails may differ slightly according to sunrise and sunset) | The hike is open from the beginning of November until the end of April annually and is closed during Cape Town’s winter season for rehabilitation.

Contact details : 021 444 6927 | 021 957 4725 (emergency number) | | You must pre-book your hiking permit at least three to five working days before your visit – To pre-book your permit, send an email to : Entry fee for Steenbras River Gorge is R75 per person and the entry fee for the Steenbras hiking trails is R25 per person | For more information and a detailed list of costs please contact 021 444 6927 or

You can also book your ticket via one of this link :

On weekdays :

On weekends and public holidays :

Distance from Cape Town: +/- 70km | 60 – 90 minutes


Posted on

November 19, 2021