Time: Roughly a 2 hour hike to reach the abandoned fire lookout and back down to your car depending on the trail you take and how long you spend absorbing the incredible view presented to you | Parking: There is plenty parking at the Rhodes Memorial parking lot if you decide to do the hike early morning otherwise you do run the risk of struggling for parking due to competing with the UCT student scramble | Dog Friendly: Yes it is and if you decide to go for coffee at the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant they do allow well behaved pets | Entry: Free | Location: Hike begins at Rhodes Memorial Parking.
The hike to the abandoned fire lookout is an extension to the usual Kings Blockhouse hike it’s also a link for the more passionate explorers to Devils Peak, however doing the full hike through to Devils Peak does make journey a lot longer if you were expecting a quick get away. I would suggest doing these hikes in stages first the blockhouse, then the fire lookout and finally all the way through to Devils Peak. Doing this allows you to gain some experience of the area, assess how long it’s going to take and to plan what fundamental items you want to bring with for the next time to make the hike that much better (a flask of coffee or some hand gloves for the cold).
Here’s a short picture story of the experience.
At the start of the hike just after parking in the Rhodes Memorial parking lot. 5:30am on a dark and nail bitingly cold winter’s morning, we were up on the mountain. You can see the dress code for the morning is full winter gear with thick hoodies under our jackets. Pretty vital to bring a head torch and a small back pack for odd important supplies.
As you can see in the above photograph the hike does get pretty steep and technical and definitely does require a degree of concentration in the dark. Quite often at sections like this, above the blockhouse, things can get somewhat ‘thrilling’ for those with a fear of heights. The serious drop offs on your left and right, as you make your way up, will definitely get your blood flowing as the adrenaline runs through your system.
With the steep drop offs does come some incredible views of the city. Above, on hands and knees doing the shuffle as I went through this section and decided to rest my camera on the rock in front of me for a long exposure shot as the rising sun ever so slightly lit up the sky above the clouds in the horizon. The views on this hike are truly special.
The above photographs were taken once we had reached our destination the abandoned fire lookout. With a cup of coffee and some biscuits we watched the sun rise above the city. The photographs below depict our decent. We came across a Tahr on the way down which was a pleasant surprise given their rarity.
A birds eye view of the Kings Blockhouse, pretty spectacular from the cliffs.
Get Outside. Explore.