Crystal Pools Hiking Trail

This is the 2nd time I have done this hike and somehow forgot how short it is or maybe I was just very unfit back then.  🙂 It is a lovely morning hike to a series of mountain pools that you can swim in, in a beautiful Valley known as the Steenbras River Gorge. The hiking trail is a  fairly easy hike with a bit of scrambling up to the 3rd pool. There is a path going up further, but I’ve been told that is quite a bit of scrambling and not that easy. Maybe one day I will go up and see for myself. Up to the 3rd pool is only about 5 km there and back.

We hiked up to the 3rd pool where the men had a swim. We were told about an eel that bit a women 3 weeks ago and were not sure which pool so the ladies chickened out.


Another group arrived but were very noisy so we decided to go explore the 2nd pool.


From there we went down to the 1st pool and then back to the starting point.

The Crystal Pools officially forms part of the Steenbras Nature Reserve and follows the Palmiet River up the gorge. This hiking trail is closed in winter and is only open between November and  April. You also require a permit from the Steenbras Nature Reserve which are R60 per/person.

Getting There: Drive out to Gordon’s Bay on the N2. At Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, 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. After 6.6km you will reach the Sunbird Lodge on the right-hand side of the road. Parking is just further along the R44 towards Rooiels, just over the bridge and on the right-hand side.

Permit: E-mail your name, group size, contact number and date you wish to visit the area to  Wait for confirmation of your e-mail and that you have a provisional booking. Make an electronic payment. Once you receive your permit, remember to print it and take it with you when you visit the nature reserve.

A lovely hike even for children, just remember to watch them all the time.

Leave only footprints 👣




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