Always take water with you. Keep your cellphone handy in case of emergencies. A permit is required for all activities in the Clarens Nature Reserve, which includes hiking, mountain biking and fishing.

Permit Cost

R 30 per adult
R 15 per child

The permit is valid for a week from date of purchase.
Income from permits is used for conservation and to maintain the large number of trails in the Clarens nature Reserve.


Dam and Kloof Walks

(orange) 3.5km/1.5 hours

Start at the CVC gate in Hill Street or at the end of Ridge Road. Walk around the dam or take the turn-off into the Kloof at the far side of the dam wall. Take a rest on the bench overlooking the dam with mount Horeb in the background. Fishing in the dam is allowed.

This walk is also the starting point for the SPRUIT WALK, the CLARENS MOUNTAIN TRAIL, the PORCUPINE TRAIL and the CARACAL CONTOUR.

Circular Route around Kloof Dam


We have a new short and scenic route to complete the circular route around the Kloof Dam in the Clarens Nature Reserve. It starts on the dam-wall, on the side closest to the village. An uphill zigzag takes you to a bench after 300 meters. From there, the route is fairly level and mostly follows exposed sandstone. Follow the orange arrows. At the T junction, turn right and complete the route in a clockwise direction.

MTB – Grade 1. All ridable

Spruit Walk

(light blue) 2.5km/1 hour

Take the DAM WALK over the dam wall, turn right and turn right again following the blue marker. This is a lovely, mostly shady route along a crystal clear mountain stream (in summer). Cross a few wooden bridges until you reach Le Roux Street. Here the trail splits into two options (left, along the same Kloof Spruit, or right past the log cabin to the Eastern Spruit). Both join up again at the bridge in Van Zyl Street. From here, continue alongside the spruit until you reach Lake Clarens.

MTB – Grade 1. Mostly ridable except the section between Bester and Malherbe streets. Take a detour via Le Roux and Malherbe Streets.

Clarens Mountain Trail

(red) 3.4km/2.5 hours

Start with the DAM WALK. After crossing the dam wall, turn right and follow the path with red markers up the mountain side. On the left are sandstone cliffs with a beautiful little waterfall (summers only). Follow the red markers further and traverse the CLARENS MOUNTAIN on a contour path. You can choose the upper or lower route. This trail offers beautiful views over the Clarens Village, the Little Caledon River Valley, and the Red Mountains up to Golden Gate National Park. Descend the mountain above Berg Street, or continue on the SKY CONTOUR TRAIL.

Scilla Walk

(green) 2.4km/30 min

This trail is named after the BLUE SCILLA (Merwilla plumbea, Afr: Blouberg-lelie), a protected plant species with a beautiful blue flower which flowers during October. Start at the CVC gate at the top of Main Street, and follow the green markers straight ahead. You will find a bench on the left. From there you have a lovely view of the village and Mount Horeb. This route can be walked as a circular route in either direction or you can continue on the DAM & KLOOF WALKS. The previously named Maluti View Route (700m/15 min) now forms part of the Scilla Route. This route is a short deviation on the SCILLA TRAIL, onto a solid sandstone ridge from where you have a perfect view of the Maluti Mountain range in Lesotho, sometimes snow-capped during the winter months. This is an ideal vantage point to watch a golden sunset over the Red Mountains.

MTB – Grade 1. All ridable

Porcupine Trail

(black) 3.5km/1. hour

This is for the hiker who wants to go a little further and really wants to be in the middle of nature. Bikers can follow this route coming from the SKY CONTOUR and CLARENS MOUNTAIN TRAILS. Follow the dam trail from the CVC gate in Hill Street, then continue up the mountain with the CLARENS MOUNTAIN TRAIL (Blue Mark-ers). Once higher up, turn left at the black marker. Follow the contour path until it joins the DAM AND KLOOF WALK above the inflow of the dam. From here, you can choose your return route.

MTB – Grade 3. Mostly ridable. Slightly challenging ride with steep ascents and off camber decents. Where it meets the Clarens Mountain trail, either turn around or return via the Caracal Trail.

Caracal Contour

(yellow with black) 5.2km/2.5 hours walk and 20 min cycling

The best views of Clarens and surrounding landscape, given its high elevation. The vistas from this trail are stunning. The trail has been carefully designed with conservation in mind, and is suitable for mountain bikers and hikers. Use the DAM AND KLOOF WALKS to get onto the PORCUPINE TRAIL above the dam inflow. Follow the PORCUPINE TRAIL for a short distance, then turn towards the bench on the sandstone outcrop. Pass the bench up the mountain via a few switchbacks, then follow the contour path. Walk until the trail joins the CLARENS MOUNTAIN TRAIL.

MTB – Grade 2. All ridable. Flowing single track with some off camber sections and tight downhill switch backs.

Mallen Walk

(pink) 1.1km/30 min

A lovely and easy walk on the Clarens Mountain slope above the SPRUIT WALK. Start in Berg Street close to the junction with Van Zyl Street and follow the path towards the mountain side. Turn left on MALLEN WALK (the right-hand path is the CLARENS MOUNTAIN TRAIL). The path eventually joins the SPRUIT WALK close to Steyn Street. You can also walk any half of the trail by crossing the wooden bridge at the lower end of Le Roux Street, and turn left or right at the T-junction.

Route 2030

(bright green) 1.2km/20 minute

This route connects the SKY CONTOUR and the CARACAL CONTOUR TRAIL, and also passes the highest point on all the Clarens Nature Reserve trails. It crosses a point on the ridge at a height of 2030m above sea level. This route offers the best view of the Clarens Village and surrounding mountains.

MTB – Grade 2. All ridable. Flowing single track that joins up to the SKY CONTOUR and the CARACAL CONTOUR TRAIL.

Titanic Trail

(magenta) 2km/1.5 hours

The Titanic rock is a large sandstone cliff which has the shape of a ship’s bow. It is named after the well-known passenger steamer that sank in the Atlantic in 1912. This trail takes you past Titanic and then up on the northern slope where it ends above this beautiful rock formation. From here, you can also enjoy a lovely view of the village. Start in Naauwpoort Street just north from the Maluti Lodge Hotel and follow the trail markers. A few switch-backs on the North slope of the mountain will take you to the top. Return on the same Trail, or continue on the SKY CONTOUR.

MTB – Grade 3. Mostly ridable. A good level of fitness and MTB ability is needed. The trail leading up to the SKY CONTOUR TRAIL is steep and some ‘hike your bike’ will be required to get up. The single track is narrow in sections so take caution. But it is worth the effort as the views are breathtaking.

Sky Contour

(blue) 3.5 km/2 hours

The SKY CONTOUR is a 3,5km trail, joining the TITANIC TRAIL and the CLARENS MOUNTAIN TRAIL. Start with the TITANIC TRAIL and walk North to South following the blue route markers, or the other way starting with the CLARENS MOUNTAIN TRAIL.

MTB – Grade 2. All ridable. Flowing single track linking the TITANIC TRAIL and ROUTE 2030.

Sandstone Contour Trail

(magenta) 5km/30min

This route joins the CLARENS MOUNTAIN TRAIL (Red route) with the TITANIC TRAIL (Magenta). Start on corner of Van Zyl and Berg streets. Follow the red route up the mountain slope for 200 m. Then turn right onto the SANDSTONE CONTOUR. Once on De Villiers street, turn left and take the steps through the Poplar bush crossing a small stream. At the top, after the steps, turn sharp left, through the gate and follow the purple markers to finally join the TITANIC TRAIL below Titanic rock.

MTB – Grade 3. Suitable for mountain biking except the section through the Poplar bush. (take a deviation via De Villiers and Naauwpoort streets)


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