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Blyde River Canyon Hiking Trail

Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga

Blyde River Canyon Hiking Trail is a 30 kilometer, three day trail, traverses half of the blyde river canyon nature reserve as well as privately owned land, from the misty heights of graskop to the bourke’s luck potholes. Although the route tends to follow the contour lines, the terrain is mountainous at times and a responsible degree of fitness is required. The route is marked by yellow footprints, painted onto rocks.

Day 1
Paradise camp to Watervalspruit hut – 3km

Starting at paradise camp, on the gods window loop road outside the town of graskop, the route takes you through montane grassland past weathered quartzize rocks into the little watervalspruit valley and onto the watervalspruit hut which is 3 km from paradise camp.

Day 2
Watervalspruit hut to Clearstream hut – 13.5km

On the second day, the trail takes you 13,5km through a landscape of strangely sculptured rocks brightly coloured with lichens, into the treur river valley. Skirting ravines and patches of indigenous forest – you emerge at the clearstream hut.

Day 3
Clearstream hut to Old Mine hut – 13.6km

This 13,6km stretch of the trail leaves the blyde river canyon nature reserve just beyond clearstream to follow the treur river past the new chum falls. On this section, the trail passes a spot where the wagons of the great trek reconnaissance party were believed to have camped. The trail re-enters the nature reserve just before the bourkes luck potholes, which marks the confluence of the treur and blyde rivers and the start of the blyde river canyon. Walking through the bourkes luck complex, one finds the old mine hut, a one time housing site of the miners.
The trail is closed from bourke’s luck potholes to swadini and no hikers are permitted on this section.

What to take

Weather conditions are variable with frequent rain and mist during the summer months, with chilly mornings and evenings in winter. For this reason, it is advisable to carry enough warm clothing as well as a lightweight raincoat. Good hiking boots, a hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent (summer only) are essential. Clothing or backpacks should be brightly coloured in order that your group can keep sight of each other in misty conditions.

All food, cooking utensils, lighting, bedding (sleeping bags) and toiletries (including toilet paper) must be carried with you. It is essential that you carry sufficient water with you on the trail especially in the hot summer months.

Hikers huts

The huts have 15 concrete beds with mattresses, towel, bed sheets, flushing toilets, barberque sites, 3 legged pots, boma and firewood is supplied.

Additional information

On arrival, please report to reception for filling of registration and indemnity forms.  In terms of parking and transportation your vehicles must be parked at Bourke’s Luck Potholes on a designated site (enquire from the receptionists).  Important to note that vehicles are parked at own risk.  There will then be a common transport to take you to the starting point which is at paradise camp about 40 km’s away from Potholes.

Please note that:

Injured hikers who leave the trail will not be permitted back on the trail without a written doctor’s note.

The terms and conditions which are sent to you with your reservation advice form, are to be adhered to at all times.

No private vehicle are permitted at the huts for any whatsoever reason

In case of medical emergencies, contact must be made with firstly the hut attendants, to summon help.  Costs incurred will be borne by the injured parties or you can contact the following emergency:

Ambulance: 082 733 1643
Netcare: 082 911
ER 24: 083 142


  • R1323.00 pp – 3 days/2 nights

Admin Fee:

  • R55.00 once off per reservation.

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