Little Mountain Travails
Shaw's Mountain Pass lies on the R320 between Caledon in the north and Hermanus in the south. It was built around 1825 and offers the traveller not only a short cut between the two towns, but also some lovely scenery and a few wonderful wine estates along the way.
The Pass and Shaw's Mountain, over which it traverses, was named after Lieutenant Colonel William Shaw an ex-Indian army officer who settled close to in the Cape in 1839, and who introduced merino sheep to the area. His farm was known as Truyntjiesrivier, but he renamed it Muirton after his family's farm in Scotland.
Shaw's Pass is only 4.2 km long and in no means a major Mountain Pass, often described as one of the Cape's 'little mountain travails'. This means it is not essential to have an off road vehicle and the traveller will not miss out on the scenery and views.
The Pass descends 154 metres from a maximum altitude of 282 m at the summit. Mid way down the descent on the southern side there is a sharp turnoff onto a gravel farm road. This road will pass by the Glen Oaks Farm where a challenging 4x4 route can be explored. This also provides an enjoyable circular loop through some of the most beautiful parts of the Overberg.
The rare Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, usually found on low mountains and plains, can be found along this Pass and if you are a patient traveller, you may get a glimpse of the very rare Robertson’s Blue Butterfly!
No Admission Fee
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