Closest Town: Clanwilliam
Grading: Moderate to difficult | Duration: Various options
Location (Area/Province): Cape West Coast and Western Cape
Configuration: Circular and return options 6/14/23/31km
Start Point: Sanddrif camp site
Access: Entry fee payable at office
Beware of: Snakes; dehydration in summer, snow in winter
Facilities: Shop, wine sales, wood, ablution facilities, campsite and cottages
Share this route:
There’s been a lot of work done on the Dwarsrivier MTB route and, rather than a glorified gravel road with the odd bit of hiking trail, it now features some purpose-built singletrack to delight members of the fat-track tribe who do head here.
On your bike
Start off from Sanddrif Camp Site and crank the gravel road to the Wolfberg Cracks parking lot (2km) via the Valley of the Red Gods.
The road gets a bit rough from here, but continue for another 1km until you reach a stand of pines where you swoop left onto a stretch of stony singletrack which T-bones onto the Rietgat jeep track. If you want, you could turn right here for a 6km circular loop back to the camp site, but where would be the fun in that?
Rather judder right along the deteriorating jeep track, persevering until you hit the contour singletrack to your left at around the 5km mark (look out for the trail marker). Bomb this sweet little stretch until you reach the rather technical river crossing. Cross along the wooden boardwalk and rocks, then bear left to follow the old irrigation channel through the Rietgat camp site and onto the main gravel road.
Left here would be the quick way home, while right takes you 1.6km along an easy dirt-road cruise to a copse of trees overhanging the road. Again, there is a trail marker directing you left onto a jeep track meandering into the stony ridges. This section has a wild and remote feel to it, and if you were going slowly you’d probably notice the Cape mountain leopard spoor.
Pedal wild for just on 2km until you join the Lot’s Wife Trail, which (to the left) takes you back onto the main road and the camp site, or (to the right) onto a singletrack loop past an old pine plantation. The choice is yours – either circle back onto the Lot’s Wife singletrack from here, or route-find your way onto the Maltese Cross jeep track, where you turn left to crank for 6km past the Cederberg Observatory. Both options are good fun, and will eventually bang you back onto the dirt drag about 3km from the Sanddrif camp site.
Off your bike
There are more than 250 marked hiking routes in the Cederberg ranges, and other activities include fly-fishing on the Olifants River, wine tasting at Dwarsrivier Winery, or an evening of stargazing at the Cederberg Observatory, just down the road from Dwarsrivier. Most Saturday evenings see amateur astronomers from Cape Town presenting astronomy lectures and slide shows at this charming, open-air venue.
Telephone: +27 (0)27 482 2825
Website : www.cederbergwine.com
GPS: 32º30’14.0” South / 19º15’28.2” East