Michel's Pass is located in the Eastern Cape between Hogsback in the east and Seymour in the west. The 6,5 km gravel pass is in a sub standard condition and subject to severe thunderstorms in summer and snowfalls in winter with a summit altitude of 1442m ASL. The track is strictly for 4WD vehicles with high ground clearance and low range. There is a point where the road washes away regularly. It is best to check with local busineses and B&B's in Hogsback whether the road is passable or not. Latest news in (March, 2017) is that the rockfall has been cleared and that the pass can now be driven by high clearance 4x4's and adventure m/cycles.
Cautionary: Only serious offroad drivers in high clearance 4x4's with low range should attempt this pass. Recovery equipment is essential. Don't drive it alone.
Michell's Pass (frequently misspelt as Mitchell's Pass) was named after Charles Michell who planned the original route through the Skurweberg & Witzenberg Mountains from Tulbagh and Wolseley through to Ceres. He was a talented military engineer, who perhaps gained more fame for his exploits by eloping with the 15 year old daughter of a French colonel. This might explain why he was "transferred" to the Cape of Good Hope! Michell went on to become the Surveyor-General for the Colony and designed and built several prominent Cape passes and bridges and was a major influence in road construction in the Cape, together with the popular Colonial Secretary, John Montagu, had the vision to plan a network of roads through the Cape Colony that would pave the way to a successful growth in the region's economy.
Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.
Passes are classified according to provinces and feature a text description, Fact File including GPS data, a fully interactive dual-view map and a narrated YouTube video.
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