Wolfberg Arch and Wolfberg Cracks Cederberg Hiking Trail

Cederberg Wolfberg Arch 16km

Fanie and I have done the 5/6-day Cederberg Wilderness trail twice before. The unique rock formations, and well-known landmarks, namely the Wolfberg Arch and Cracks are the highlights of the trail.

In both cases, we were overwhelmed with snow fall on the mountain, before we could reach these landmarks. We had to take alternative routes, because of the weather conditions. After the last hike, we decided that we have to go back and hike only the Cracks and Wolfberg Arch. We returned to do this epic short hike. The hike was done over three days and two nights.

This region is home to some of the planet’s oldest and twisted rock formations, exceptional biodiversity and memorable orange sunsets.

You leave your vehicle at the car park near Sandrif private holiday resort, and complete the mountain register at reception. Then you start with a steep climb on the zig zag trail, leading up to the cracks. From the cracks one can see the car park and the resort in the distance down in the valley.

There are 2 cracks which are very large openings on the top right side of the mountain. Once you have reached the top, and to gain access to these cracks, you have to climb over large boulders, at the entrance there of. The wider crack is uncomplicated and provides a beautiful route out to the top plateau. We went through the wider one, as the other one is apparently narrower and a bit more technical to gain access to. Magnificent views of the valley and opposite part of the mountain range can be seen from here. The cracks it self is enormous, and can even clearly be seen on “Google Earth’ maps. It is really an awesome sight. A geologist’s dream, I am sure.

You walk through the cracks for a while, and at some places still have to go over a few boulders to get to the other side. It is like an enormously wide passage with huge rock sidewalls towering next and above your head when you walk through it.

Once through the cracks, you head in the direction of the Arch. There is no water on this trail during the dry summer months, and you have to carry enough water to sustain you for the number of days that you are planning to be there.

Once outside the cracks, there is no official indication of trail markings. A few stapples of small rocks, placed there by other hikers, are the only indication of the route. One can easily get confused as there are a lot of rocks all over. So be prepared with a map, and GPS with pre programmed coordinates to get you there. Closer to the Arch, one can identify its formation and shape in the distance. On route, we saw a lot of very interesting oversized rock formations, that is absolutely amazing, and a few wild flowers too.

Closer to the Arch, we had to climb up to where the arc is situated, and only then you can truly experience the magic of this about 4-time life size rock that it carved by the wind into a perfectly shaped arch.

We select a nice cozy spot that is sheltered from the wind, and pitched our tent. From underneath the arch one can see far with a 360°.On the second picture below, Fanie took a picture of me standing in the middle of the arch to indicate its actual size.

Two other hikers had also arrived, and they select anther spot to pitch their tent as well. That night, we had the mountain and the stars all to ourselves. Fanie took pictures of the stars with the arch, and it came out beautifully.

The next morning, we sat in the arch having our coffee, with this un spoilt views. It was simply amazing, with the clear blue skies, complementing the warm colour of the arch.

The rest of the day we spend to explore the area, and search for fresh water. Our water levels dropped quickly because of the heat, and we wanted to just have a bit of extra water to serve as backup. We found only a small puddle, with still standing water, but it still seems to be ok. We collected the water, and back at the camp site, we filtered it through a dish cloth a few times, then boiled it another few times.

The 2nd night we spent alone there all by ourselves. The peace and quietness, and the majestic rock formations, left us in awe, and makes you feel humbled and privileged to be in the presence of the Lord’s creation. For no man can create such beauty.

The next morning, we gathered our gear, and with one last view, we bid the Arch goodbye, and in our “rear vision”, the arch became smaller and smaller until we could not see it anymore

We back tracked back to the cracks, and finally we could see the carpark again.

What another epic journey in the Cederberg!

We went back to Sandrif, and booked into a chalet to relax for another two days.

We have done this hike 8-10 November 2021.

Rating: Difficulty:8/10(Rugged terrain, very hot and dry in summer, wilderness trail and no facilities on the mountain carry full kit, unless you plan it to be a day hike only)

Beauty:10/10

Tips for the hike:

Can be done throughout the year. Carry extra water in summer 3-4 l p/p. In winter, warm and protective gear would be recommended. Early start is essential.

No clear trail markings on the way to the Arch once outside the Cracks. No cell phone reception on the mountain

Proper map and GPS to guide you on the trail, medical kit, flash light. Rehydrating products, bio degradable soap, wet wipes.

Not for the faint hearted, you have to be fit, and an experienced hiker as the trail has a few technical spots to overcome.

Obtain permits for the hike at the Sandrif reception office- Dwarskers farm, Cederberg Winery.

Take your trash out from the overnight spot at the Arch, as there is no personnel cleaning.

Footnote:

The products/ food/ gear that are referred to, are things that we personally prefer to use, or helped us on our hiking expeditions, since we have started hiking. Personal preferences may vary from one hiker to the next, regarding gear, food and products used.

All information given above, is based on our personal experience, circumstances, observations and weather conditions of a certain hike.

 It might differ from other hikers’ experiences, or different weather conditions and circumstances.

Check out some more of my photos at 500PX and PhotoPixSA and the Trip Reports and Hiking Trails
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