Cedar Falls Day Hike
& Optional 5th Day for Leopard Trail Hikers
Cedar Falls Day Hike
This trail must not be missed! Unbelievable, unique, stunning and a real Baviaanskloof hiking treasure are just some of ways to describe it.
Following clear flowing streams and cutting deep inside the most beautiful kloofs, the trail starts and ends at the Cedar Falls Base Camp. It takes roughly 4-6 hours (including lunch and swim stops), depending on your fitness level, and should be considered at least a half-day outing. The trail ends at the beautiful Cedar Falls, and you return on the same path.
At two points you will need to swim a few metres to get through a narrow gorge (please see route notes below). Take shoes suitable for walking through water, and long pants to protect your legs from being scratched by the vegetation. A swimming vest to protect you from the cold water is also a good idea. (The water is very cold in winter, so come prepared.)
Due to the unique and sensitive nature of the Cedar Falls Kloof, we manage it for future generations to enjoy in its pristine state. Fires and overnight camping are not allowed.
Permits for the trail are required, and are limited to 12 people per day. Advance booking is essential. R90 per person. The trail is free for those staying over in Cedar Falls accommodation but advanced booking is still required.
The walk to the first pool is a moderately easy 3.7 km hike following a path up the kloof. At points you will walk over river stones and rocks as you criss-cross the river. There are some beautiful mountain pools to stop and swim in along the way.
As you near the end of the valley a large red cliff looms ahead of you, seeming to cut off the valley. However, at the base of the cliff the river takes a sharp right turn into a narrow gorge – the remote and hidden Cedar Falls Kloof. At this point you will need to swim a 10-metre stretch between two cliffs to keep moving up the kloof. There is also some (easy) rock clambering and walking along boulders in the river.
Another 400 metres will bring you to the second pools, and after climbing up on the right-hand side of the pool, you are faced with another swim of 15 metres.
The last section of the trail is closer to a kloofing adventure (without any jumps) than a Sunday afternoon hike, so please come prepared. Shoes that you don’t mind getting wet are an easy option to facilitate the swim-throughs and walking over the rocks. Please go carefully as the slopes are slippery.
At the foot of the cliffs a waterfall flows into a deep pool (you can’t see the bottom even though the water is crystal clear). This is a great place to swim and have lunch before starting your journey back on the same path. The fresh water combined with the beauty of the steep cliffs and pools is an incredible gift to all who can visit.
As mentioned in the notes above, a permit to do the trail is required; fires and overnight camping are not allowed.
The Cedar Falls Day Hike starts and ends at Cedar Falls Base Camp. A maximum of 12 people will be allowed on the trail each day. Booking in advance is essential. The permit for the hike is R90 per person. The hike is free for guests staying in Cedar Falls Base Camp accommodation but it is still essential to book your trail in advance through the online booking system.