This is a popular and easy hike to a series of mountain pools in a kloof. I have always known it as Crystal Pools, but it officially forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, and you are hiking up next to the Steenbras River.
Getting there: Drive out to Gordon’s Bay on the N2. Take the turn-off to Gordon’s Bay. You will reach a T-junction when you arrive at Gordon’s Bay — turn left onto the R44 (Clarence Drive, which is the coastal road that leads to Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay etc). After 6.6km you will reach Sunbird Guest Lodge on the right-hand side of the road. Parking is just further along the road, over the bridge and on the right-hand side
Difficulty: easy to follow trail up steep kloof
Cross the road and walk along the fence to the entrance where you can present your permits.
The path starts out fairly gently: after a quick walk down to the valley floor it follows the river up the valley. The path is well-marked out, with short red pegs in the ground at regular intervals.
The pools are magnificent!
There are some pretty impressive jumps off the cliffs into the pools. If you are feeling brave, wait for someone else to jump to see where the best launching spots are. Please at no time dive into the pools.
Despite the river and the pools at hand, you need plenty of water — you wouldn’t want to drink this water even if people weren’t swimming in it!
We hiked up to the very top — as far as I can remember, this route was not available a few years back. From the top you can see the top-most pool, as well as the dam wall of the Steenbras Dam. There views in the other direction are across False Bay to Cape Point.
If you are looking for a more adventurous way to enjoy the area, check out the abseil tours offered by Abseil Africa!
Take: a packed lunch, bathing costume, lots of liquid.
Don’t take: your dog.