About Pinnacle Rock Hike

Start: Cobham ranger station, southern Drakensberg
Finish: Cobham, southern Drakensberg
Duration: 10 km (20 km return)
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: try returning via a different path to best experience the reserve

Pinnacle Rock in the Cobham Nature Reserve gets little publicity. By comparison with the towering mountain peaks that form its backdrop, and the superb examples of rock art found in the reserve, a solitary rock comes off third best.

And yet, seen in the right light, Pinnacle Rock has something mystical about it. Particularly given the rock art on its base.

It stands in among a scattering of rocks on a flat plateau roughly 8 km from the nature reserve's camp site (1988 metres above sea level). Pinnacle Rock is another 2 km or so along the plateau, an excellent space to view the eland of the reserve, or other of the buck and animals in the area.

Leaving Cobham along the Pholela River, Pinnacle Rock usually forms a partway landmark on the more energetic Emerald Stream or Gxalingenwa Cave trails. Hiking to Pinnacle Rock is not difficult. The trail follows the valley between Ndlovini Mountain and Emerald Dome.

Cobham is a rugged part of the 'berg with dramatic scenery and vast expanses of grassland, its river edges a profusion of tree ferns.

For those prepared to rough it in tents, rather than heading for the nearest cave, then an overnight at Pinnacle Rock is every bit as dramatic and appealing as some of the more demanding cave and peak hikes.

You should reach the rock at midday, if you set out early in the morning, giving plenty of time for exploring, or simply absorbing the beauty of the area.

This is a hike best done in autumn, spring or early winter, as the plateau during summer can feel very exposed during the heat of the day. And in winter, the overnight temperature can drop significantly, a rather chilly experience in a tent.

Need to Know

WhereStart at the Cobham ranger station in the southern Drakensberg.

WhenDaylight hours.

How muchPrices on request.

OvernightStay nearby in Himeville, in KwaZulu Natal

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