This very steep and winding road starts in the town of Port St Johns and winds its way up the lush mountainside, eventually curling back on itself to terminate at the old runway on the top of the mountain. The road is tarred or concreted all the way, so traction is good (even in wet weather) making this drive possible in any vehicle.
The 9.8 km long road has 69 bends, corners and curves to contend with and some fairly steep gradients of 1:5. The views from the end of the airstrip are superb and include a bird's eye view over the Umzimvubu River, the Gates of St John as well as the river mouth itself.
The road was well built many years ago making extensive use of concrete to ensure it would not suffer water damage from the heavy rains that fall in this area. The road has a false summit of 240m ASL which is reached at the 2.8 km mark, where after it undulates and descends until the 5.4 km mark. From this point the gradient ramps up steeply as the road reaches its maximum gradient of 1:6 before reaching the top of the mountain, where you can drive along the tarred runway to the various lookout points.
The full content of this article is restricted to subscribers.
Subscribe for only R350 a year and get full access to our website (888+ mountain passes), including the videos, the full text of all mountain passes articles, fact-file, interactive map, directions and route files.
Subscribe Now (12 months)
For those who need to only use the website for a single trip or a short time frame, we now also offer a 6 month convenience subscription at R250.
Subscribe Now (6 months)
If you have already subscribed to our site, you can Log in to view the full article.
You will gain full access to the best parts of the website, which include:
- the full content (non subscribers only see about 10% of the text) of 888+ mountain passes,
- plus you get the video(s),
- Fact File,
- Interactive Map,
- and the downloadable Route File.
You will also get our weekly newsletter packed with the latest interesting passes information delivered to your email each Thursday.
Paid subscribers qualify for 10% off the digital downloads from our online shop.
Still not convinced?
You can visit five ‘Open’ pass pages on Mountain Passes South Africa to evaluate what you’ll be getting: