Queen Rose Hiking Trail


The Queen Rose Hiking Trail is considered to be the most beautiful hiking trail and one of the best Nelspruit Attractions in South Africa by many.

(Article compiled by the Team at Shandon Lodge, one of the leading 4 Star guest houses in Nelspruit and as well as one of the oldest Nelspruit Lodges in the Lowveld)

That’s quite the statement to make, bearing in mind there are many astounding hiking trails all over the country, such as the “Hole in the wall” hiking trail situated in the Eastern Cape. But for now, we’ll give you all the information you need to decide if that statement is true. (check out our other articles on things to do in Nelspruit Mbombela)

This is a backpack trail which covers around a total of 21 Km and takes roughly 2 days to complete. The trail has a fair demand for fitness and might catch some hikers off-guard. Mountain biking and slack-packing is also an option when embarking on this epic journey, but if you’re going by foot – we would highly suggest you take the best pair of hiking boots you have (or use it as an excuse to buy a new pair). According to recent 2020 Google reviews, the roads leading to the hiking trail are in fair condition and should be drive-able in a sedan.

Scenic view from the Queen Rose Hiking Trail - Shandon Lodge

Where is the Queen Rose Hiking Trail?

The trail is located 30 Km from Barberton, Mpumalanga and about 380 Km from Johannesburg. The trail starts in the mountains east from Barberton town, in the Nelshoogte Forest Reserve and is run and maintained privately. There are two overnight huts for hikers, the Queens View and the Delfonte. The Queens View hut can accommodate up to 20 hikers at a time, with electricity, beds and matrasses. The hut has a bathroom on the inside and another ablution block nearby. And last but not least, it has braai facilities waiting for you to share a cold one with a mate.

Scenic view of the mountaints at the Queen Rose Hiking Trail - Shandon Lodge

The Sections

Your journey will have 2 sections, one is known as the Montrose section which is a 13 Km trail which starts with a fairly steep incline but is downhill the rest of the way. The other section is known as the Queens River trail which is mostly uphill and 8 Km long. It’s all up to you which one you would prefer to start with.

A scenic waterfall at the Queen Rose Hiking Trail - Shandon Lodge

Montrose Section

The Montrose section trail starts by taking you uphill through an authentic Lowveld pine plantation before descending to the Alvin Falls. After reaching this point, you will be hiking along the banks of the Montrose River. These river banks can get slippery at times, so watch your step. Once you have reached the open grasslands, you will be led to the Makesh Hut, which is solar powered with gas showers and flush-able toilets.

The Queens River

The second section is known as the Queens River section, this is definitely the more “High Risk, high Reward” type of trail as its 8km long and is mostly uphill. Taking you on an unforgettable journey through the indigenous bush and along a riverine forest, the trail includes several pools in which you can swim in on a hot summer’s day, a suspension bridge and a zipline for the thrill-seekers.

Check out other attractions of the Lowveld you could visit like the Lowveld Botanical Gardens Nelspruit or the best restaurants in Nelspruit.

Scenic dam at the Queen Rose Hiking Trail - Shandon Lodge