The Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail is an overnight hike from Greyton to McGregor. This was the first overnight I have done and while it was definitely a physical and mental challenge, I thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience. It may be on the slightly longer side for a first overnight hike but it’s definitely doable!
Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail: Greyton to McGregor Overnight Hike
What: Two day, one night overnight hike from the town of Greyton to a hut in Die Galgs in the mountains above McGregor
Where: Starting point is at the end of Nerina Street in Greyton. Overnight in the Overwagt cottages in Die Glag above McGregor
Distance: 17km each way. Same trail there and back
Duration: 7.5 hours each day
Difficulty: Doing an overnight hike is no easy feat and requires a good level of fitness as well as some recent hiking training under your belt. Sections of this trail are very steep and strenuous but not difficult technically. The sheer distance you’ll be covering over the two days is challenging in and of itself.
Conservation fees: You need a hiking permit from Cape Nature. The cost is R50 per person for each day so R100 pp for the two days. This can be booked through either the Greyton or the McGregor Tourism offices.
Accommodation: You’ll need to book a hut at Onverwagt for your night on the mountain. The Berg Train cottages are the more budget option costing R200 per person per night. The cottages are well equipped and comfortable. Browse the Onverwagt website for different options for different sized groups with different budgets. To book contact Bernardo on 082 612 4623.
The mountains and vistas are just magnificent on the Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail, and you’ll be treated to all sorts of floral treats along the path. The lush green mountain side was dotted with splashes of pink watsonias, orange ixia dubias and brilliant purple summer pipes from the Iridaceae family. Although the trail has no shade, you will be rewarded with a beautifully cool mountain pool with a gushing waterfall about halfway through the trail.
To begin the Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail you’ll park at the end Nerina Street in Greyton. There is space for a few cars underneath a big tree. Once you’re all kitted up, you’ll take the left-hand path. Turn right to cross the river and you’ll be all set to be on the right track. A big sign will indicate you’re on course for the Boesmanskloof Trail. The path from here is plain and simple to follow with no possible options to go off course.
Your first bit will take you through a flat marshy area before you begin the steep winding jeep track up to Breakfast Rock. The climb is long and tiring, but you’ll be rewarded with lovely views of the valley and Greyton behind you. Upon reaching Breakfast Rock you still have a bit more of climb to go before you reach the top of the valley.
Once you have reached the top, you’ll bid farewell to Greyton and see the sprawling valley below you. Winding this way and that you’ll see the path you’ll take to hike through the whole valley. Right on the other side you’ll see some big gumtrees on the horizon on the right-hand side- this is your destination. It may look very far and intimidating but the toughest part of the day is over.
After about an hour of descending into the valley and following the gently undulating path, you will reach Big Oakes Falls.
This beautiful mountain pool and waterfall part was by far my favourite part of the trail! Let your cool swim in this fresh mountain water be your sweet reward for completing nearly half of your first day of hiking! The perfect spot to cool off, enjoy some lunch, take off your smelly shoes and let your tired toes breathe.
After you’ve replenished your energy and are feeling refreshed and ready to go you can set off for the last half of today’s hike. Following the mostly flat path through the valley you will soon reach the other side. From here you’ll reach a bit of a fork in the road. The left path goes up straight away while the right path is flat for a while longer. All roads lead to Rome and you’ll get there no matter which one you take. We took the left path and had a spectacular view over the valley. After a bit of a steep climb out of the valley and a walk along the flat road you will reach the gumtrees that were once only a distant destination!
Unfortunately, you still have 2km to go before you can kick back and relax after a day of strenuous hiking. These last 2km are also filled with steep up and downs so you may have some very sore feet and leggies by the end of it. But the 17km of trekking are more than worth it when you see the gorgeous slice of paradise you get to stay at for the night. A little haven hidden in the mountains with rustic, but comfortable huts and a beautiful pool.
The huts at Onverwagt are cosy, comfortable and well-equipped. All bedding and towels are provided and there is a fully equipped kitchen. You’ll have views of dramatic sunsets over the valley and soft sunrises over McGregor as well as that all-important comfy bed for resting your tired limbs.
The next day you’ll head back the way you came, this time with a day of hiking 17km already under your belt. Take it easy and remember to stay hydrated. The last half of today’s hike will be the toughest as you have a big hill to climb and a loooong downhill which will take its toll or your knees and toes. So take a a nice slow morning taking in the view and drinking up some coffee to kickstart your day! We partner with Beavercreek Coffee and love their Tanskei Gold Blend and Ed’s Special Blend.
Give yourself and your fellow hikers a massive high five because you just completed 34km of hiking and you should be darn proud of yourselves!
The Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail is a magnificent overnight hike with panoramic views, beautiful floral and stunning huts in the mountains.
If you’re craving a weekend away that doesn’t break the bank and are wanting to escape into nature while doing some hiking then why not give the Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail a go?
Luke and I have recently partnered with Northridge Backpacks where they have gifted each of us with a Nomad 65– a stunning 65L backpack that is perfect for multiday hikes. In return we have photographed their backpacks on our adventures and have shared these photographs with our Instagram followers and I have shared them with my blogging followers. I cannot recommend this company enough! The backpacks are so well made, incredibly comfortable and supportive. Go check out their website if you’re looking for a new day pack or bigger backpack for multiday hikes! Keep your eyes peeled for an Overnight Hike Packing List blog coming soon!
More blog posts on overnight hikes coming soon! For now why don’t you check out some of my blog posts on exciting and adventurous hikes in and around Cape Town: Suther Peak, Tranquility Cracks, Cecilia Waterfall, Devil’s Peak, Judas Peak, Kloof Corner or my post on the Top 10 Hikes in Cape Town. Or if you’re looking for something a little further a field why not check out the Panorama Hike in Jonkershoek or Crystal Pools Hike.