Aurora mountain biking trail runs from the quiet little West Coast village tucked away on the edge of the Piketberg mountains up to Kapteinskop over 1000 meters above. This mountain bike trail is a long and steady climb. It is steep in places with spectacular growing views of the whole west coast region.
Technical Rating Intermediate to advanced, loose rocky surface can make climbing and descending tricky
Fitness Rating High, the climb is very steep in places
Distances 35km from Aurora
GPS coordinates 32° 42′ 15″ S, 18° 29′ 05″ E
Route Composition 85 % jeep track, 15 % gravel/sand road, Ascent 900m
Route Type There and back
Trail Head Aurora town
How to get there
From Cape Town City Center, Take N1 (Paarl) On ramp, Take N7 off-ramp to Malmsbury, take Veldrif/De Hoek turn off left (just before Piketberg), approximately 25km on turn off right to Aurora, 15km further on the town is on your right.
Parking and access Park in the own at Café, Restaurant or Church
None its a public access road, but respect land owners land on the mountain
Piketberg Accommodation West Coast Mountainmist Self Catering Accommodation
Facilities None, Cafe is usually open normal business hours
Be careful of Heat in summer, snakes – especially Sept – Mar, cars at the hairpin bends
Aurora meaning “dawning of a new day” sits on the western edge of the Piketberg. Surrounded by Sandveld the contrast of the mountain is striking and provides a perfect environment for fynbos and Proteas. The trail is challenging, climbing about 800m in less than 15km, but the amazing vistas and views all the way up the mountain make this a unique cycling experience. From the top there is only one way and that is down the long flowing downhill back into the town.
Climb forever and descend forever
The total distance is just under 40km with half going up and the other half coming down. Head out of town towards Redelinghuis and then take the Sun Mountain Farm turn off to the right and start the real climb. A gradual uphill out of town is ideal for warming up the legs before the main climb. With just 2km into the main climb you will be wondering if you will make the rest of the 15km. This steep loose rocky section requires balance and power. Midway it levels out and reaches the alpine like shady oasis of Sun Mountain Guest Farm, perfect for a rest stop.
The second half of the climb is more gradual continuing along the narrow dirt road winding its way up the western edge of the mountain. With the summit in sight the final section is a mountain top retreat with breathtaking views, this is private property so best check with the owners for access. The cool crisp mountain air is refreshing compared to the pressing heat down below. The descent is long and winding with some fast and tricky sections. The final section tests brakes and strength as concentration is required to stay in control.
- Website: www.live2ride.co.za