CLOSEST TOWN > Clarens TRAIL DESTINATION > Golden Gate National Park DISTANCE > 50km (Various) GRADING > Intermadiate
Golden Gate Highlands National Park and the surrounding Maluti Mountains offer a selection of riding options, although the roads inside the SA section of the park are all (sadly) tarmac. However, Bokpoort-Bergwoning- and other farms in the area offer dirt riding along gravel roads, 4×4 routes and game or cattle tracks.
On your bike
Beyond Golden Gate, the rough and ready gravel roads of the erstwhile Qua-Qua homeland buck and slide along gnarly valleys and craggy horizons. In some cases, access and/or permits need to be arranged beforehand with private landowners and the national parks authorities, but generally folk up here in the Eastern Free State are friendly and down-to-earth, so the process should be relatively painless.
For a tarmac cruise from Clarens, crank along the R712 towards Golden Gate (13.4km), turning right onto the Blesbok Loop after approximately 2km. This 6.7km one-way loop climbs steeply into eland country, offering panoramic views, an inexhaustible supply of fresh air and a skittish switchback downhill back onto the R712. Hit a sharp left almost immediately to explore the Oribi Loop, a bonus 4.2km of highland cranking amongst zebra, wildebeest, mountain reedbuck and chacma baboon. A speedy 22.5km cruise back into Clarens makes for a total riding distance just shy of 50km.
An easy crank along tar, but at least it gets you out the house and into an awesome national park.
Around 2-3 hours in the saddle
A there-and-back ride with two loop options into the park.
In Clarens, but you could drive the 13 kays to the park headquarters and start there.
Tarmac roads (sorry about that …)
A map of the park roads is available from Reception.
Regular park entry fees apply to riders.
Full range of amenities at Golden Gate and in Clarens
- Phone: 058-255-0075
- Website: www.mtbroutes.co.za