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Geelhoutkloof Trail

Distance: 6km
Type: Day hike
Difficulty: 3/5
Total time: 4 hours
Colour on map: Purple (excluding joined sections with other trails)

This trail connects the Winterhoek Trail and the Two gorges Trail. You can access Geelhoutkloof from either these trails. From the Winterhoek Trail you will follow it in a downhill trajectory (difficult on the knees) and uphill from the Two gorges Trail.  Find this trail on your map before hiking it as you might get confused by the written description only.

Our advice for a most interesting afternoon or morning hike from the Stone Mountain Lodge incorporating Geelhoutkloof would be as follows. Starting at the lodge, take the 4x4 route, and join the Cycad Trail where it meets up with the 4x4 track (About 1.3 km) Follow the Cycad Trail down to the joining point with the Two gorges Trail (1.43km). Turn right and enjoy an easy walk for about 0.6km along the Two gorges Trail. Then turn left into Geelhoutkloof.

The trail cuts short through some low growing trees. Upon exiting this mini forest, it hugs the contour of the hillside until climbing for a short distance to the left. From here the trail offers some interesting crannies, hollows, vegetation and colour variations, all stemming from a close-up experience of the steep “kranse” to the left while at the same time offering eagle-views to the opposite side of the kloof. Amongst others you may see Klipspringer, Red reebok or black eagle. You now enter a narrow kloof with a dense standing of tall trees (mainly young Geelhout) with a formidable cliff face on the right hand partially hidden by vegetation. There is usually running water for swimming or drinking in this section unless it is very dry.

You exit this kloof with a rather steep but short climb. It then turns to the left with an easy incline until it joins the Winterhoek Trail as it gradually reveals beautiful vistas of the valley and faraway mountain ranges. The Geelhoutkloof section is about 2km. Upon joining the Winterhoek Trail turn left and follow the trail for about 500m back to the lodge

N.B. It is always better to carry water as you cannot bank on running water.

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