I’ve said it once and I will say it again. The best time to hike up Table Mountain in summer is early
in the morning. Saying early I mean early – nothing beats a sunrise hike in Cape Towns summer months, getting off to an early start is key when hiking Table Mountain in summer.
Sunrise in Cape Town starts as early as 05:28 am in December and typically begins 1 minute later each day after through the summer months. In my opinion the best time to start your hike would be shortly after that.
Advantages to hiking Table Mountain early in the summer:
- Beat the crowds, there is nothing better than having the mountain to yourself, the earlier you start your Table Mountain hike in summer the less people are around.
- Beat the ques, if you are planing on taking the cable car down, you won’t find many people standing in line on the way down in the mornings.
- Find parking, there is loads of parking early in the morning; you can park really close to the start of the Table Mountain hiking routes. Later on in the day, this is not the case – trust me.
- Avoid the heat, hands down this is the main advantage, it’s not too hot. The mornings are cool, or should I say cooler and it is really important not too leave your Table Mountain hike too late in the day. It can get really hot in summer and hiking in extreme heat can cause exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn and all in all a very uncomfortable hike.
Starting a Table Mountain hike later in the day in summer is not ideal. Firstly it’s still really hot and most Table Mountain hiking routes receive direct sunlight that time of day, so the ascend is going to be tough. Secondly it’s is a safety concern, it gets dark, you may miss the cable car if you are planning on coming down in it and its always a good idea to factor extra time in for emergencies.