Hike Sentinel Peak

Rate this Adventure 7 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Bryan Young

This hike has something for every adventurer so long as you enjoy dramatic mountain viewpoints, climbing 50-foot chain ladders and the lucky baboon troop sighting. But just in case that’s not enough to satiate your adventure needs, the hike also ends atop the world’s second highest waterfall!

Sentinel Peak is a great day trip, but if you can spend the night it will reward you will magnificent sunset and sunrise views! The 7.5 mile (12 km) roundtrip hike begins from the Sentinel Peak Car Park just up the smooth dirt road past the sign for the Witsiehoek Mountain Lodge. (They are in the process of paving the road to the top!) After you park make sure to check in and pay the rangers fee before you set out.

You begin by passing through a chain link fence and slowly begin your ascent toward the massive Sentinel Peak rock tower standing 10,384 ft (3165 m) in front of you. As you hit the initial series of switchbacks you’ll come to a sign pointing left toward a scenic overlook – take it! It’s short, but the views are stupendous!

Once back on the trail you’ll finish the set of switchbacks before you eventually traverse around the Sentinel tower, taking you toward the crux of the hike. As you traverse make sure to stop and take in the views!

The highlight of the hike comes around the 5 km (3 mile) mark when you enter a narrow gully and come face to face with the famed steel chain ladders. Each ladder is about 50 rungs high and includes handles to aid your grip. While the ladders are daunting to stand below, if you take your time to and carefully place each foot and hand, you’ll be on top in no time!

From the top of the ladders, the trail veers up and to the left, leading you out into a high altitude plateau along the riverbed. Follow the river (often dry) to the top of the Tugella Falls and try to absorb the outstanding views of the Drakensberg amphitheater of Royal Natal National Park.

If you decide to camp there are numerous spots. You can set up your tent along the riverbed, or ascend a little higher of river left, setting yourself up for beautiful sunrise views from the fly of your tent. If the weather takes a turn for the worse you can always hunker down in the stone hut that sits river right. It’s a great safe place to sit, make some tea/coffee and watch the afternoon storm roll through. During our trip we encountered hail, which is not too uncommon here.

Whether you decide to make it a day trip, or an overnight, Sentinel Peak will surely not disappoint. As with any high altitude hiking be sure to start early in the morning to avoid the afternoon thunderstorm, and remember to be prepared for all sorts of weather!

Read More

Tags

Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike the Dragon's Mountain - the Amphitheatre & Tugela Falls

    There are two ways to get here: take a tour from Bergville or drive yourself.Taking the tour from the Amphitheatre Backpackers in Bergville is probably easiest if you're using the Baz Bus and don't have a car.From Johannesburg take the N3 towards ...

    4 miles 1300 ft gain

  • Experience Sani Pass

    Sani Pass is the highest mountain pass in South Africa, connecting the town of Underberg in KZN to Mokhotlong in Lesotho. It is strictly a 4x4 vehicle drive and takes visitors from a starting elevation of 5,065 ft (1,544 m) at the South African bo...

    13 miles 4370 ft gain

  • Hike to Qiloane Falls

    Lesotho is wonderful because it is quite easy to escape the city and enjoy remote adventures! Just an hours drive from Maseru you will take Main South 1 toward Roma, making sure to follow signs directing you toward Mohale Dam. As you drive you wil...

    6 miles

  • Cave Camp in Sehlabathebe National Park

    Sehlabathebe National Park is one of the most remote areas of Lesotho. It is also one of the most unique places in the entire country. Due to its isolation the park does not see vast amounts of visitors and you can find solitude quite easily. Howe...

    6 miles 0 ft gain