Rim of the Gap Trail

Jones Gap State park, South Carolina

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6 Reviews
4 out of 5
Rim of the Gap Trail is a hiking trail in Greenville County, South Carolina. It is within Jones Gap State park and Caesar's Head State Park. It is 4.2 miles long and begins at 1,368 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,126 feet. The trail ends near the Cliff Falls attraction.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Rim of the Gap Trail is a hiking trail in Greenville County, South Carolina. It is within Jones Gap State park and Caesar's Head State Park. It is 4.2 miles long and begins at 1,368 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,126 feet. The trail ends near the Cliff Falls attraction. This trail connects with the following: Pinnacle Pass Trail, 6 & 20 Connector Trail, John Sloan Trail and Jones Gap Trail.
Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Jones Gap State park
Distance: 4.2
Elevation Gain: 4,126 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 1,368 feet
Top Elevation: 3,003 feet
Driving Directions: Directions to Rim of the Gap Trail
Parks: Jones Gap State park
Elevation Min/Max: 1343/3003 ft
Elevation Start/End: 1368/1368 ft
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Hiking South Carolina

Hiking South Carolina

Outstanding views of Jones Gap, including Cleveland Cliff and Rainbow Falls, combine with spring wildflowers and autumn colors to make this linear trail one of the finest day hikes in the state.

The Rim of the Gap Trail is quite accurately named. For much of its length it hugs the southern rim of Jones Gap, offering magnificent views of this ancient cleft. The latter part of the trail passes through mountain cove and river cove forests rich in species diversity, including spring wildflowers.

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Recent Trail Reviews

7/16/2016
0

This is a great hike for the advance hiker. I began at Jones Gap State Park and hiked to Caesar Head Ranger Station. The trail begins easy, but once you pass the second spur "Pink" trail about 2 miles in, it begins to get hard. It is more of an obstacle course than a hike, over, under, around, even through "fat man squeeze" rocks and drop offs. While constantly looking over the edge of cliffs, down into Jones Gap. The views would be better in Autumn or early winter. However, you cross a lot of small mountain streams that would make it very slippery or icy in winter and believe me you do not want to start sliding, the trail's name is exactly what it means, "Rim of the Gap". It is a challenge and breath taking and exciting all the way through. There are several different distances posted for this trail but I think the total distance from Jones Gap to Caesar Head is about 5.2 miles including the Elliot "Purple" trail that ends at the Caesar Head Ranger Station. The yellow markers on the trail are easy to follow, there has been a lot of maintenance recently done on the trail, and no problems following the trail. I would be careful on a few of the ladders you have to climb up or down, they do need to be replaced and there are two steep rock drop off you have to be careful on. But hey, if you want an easy trail hike the Swamp Rabbit. It took my friend and I 5.5 hours to complete this hike. You can't go fast while on the Rim, one wrong step or a tumble and you're over the side. If you want a challenge, that will test your hiking skills, hike "The Rim of the Gap". You will love it. Also, I get tired of hearing people say "This trail isn't for old people". I'm 60, and did the trail, just make sure you're in good shape before attempting this trail, it's not a trail to hold hands on and skip along counting butter flies and picking flowers.


11/24/2009
0

I don't recommend this trail at all even though it is one of the most beautiful and unique in the Southeast. If you do attempt, it is best to plan an "in an out" so you can turn around if you feel uncomfortable. Not for dogs, children, backpackers, loop hikers, or novice hikers. I am a Smoky Mountain 900 miler and have hiked all trails in Jones Gap and Ceaser's Head and would rate this as the trail most in need of preparation and caution. Pinnacle Pass has similar features and sights without the steep dropoffs and questionable footing.


8/1/2009
0

We camped at Jones Gap State Park in August of this year and the weather was perfect. Not too, too hot and nice and cool in the evening. The tent camping is phenomenal. We did the Rim of the Gap trail with our Bernese Mtn dog - DO NOT TAKE DOGS OR SMALL CHILDREN ON THIS TRAIL. It was a beautiful but very treacherous hike with a lot of dropoffs, ladders, and slippery rock scrambling. I would highly recommend it for experienced hikers but it is not a casual, take-the-family-for-a-stroll-in-the-woods trek.


7/12/2009
0

Ditto to previous post. This trail can be dangerous. Be careful. Challenging and fun, though.


4/17/2009
1

Unlike previous poster, the ranger told me that this trail would require a lot of "rock scrambling". I thought I knew what was in store, but... This was an exhausting hike strapped with a backpack (it would even be exhausting w/o the pack, though), but it was fun! Unless you are in perfect shape, or just a sucker for punishment – though, I'd recommend starting from Caesar's Head SP. Coming from Jone's Gap SP requires a lot of up-hill climbing whereas Caesar's Head will take you *down* most (not all) those hills. Regardless of which park you start from, you are in for a challenge! This was, by far, the most challenging short-distance hike I've ever attempted. Climbing 4' - 6' embankments with the help of roots, rocks, or (if your lucky) a ladder. Squeezing through the “weight watchers” rock formation. Walking across waterfalls with the help of nothing but a cable. A 2' wide path with with a rock-face on one side and a 60' drop on the other.. This is one of those rare trails that I'll remember for years to come.. The ranger we talked to gave us a lot of information (and a lot of warning about how difficult this trail would be). One thing she did fail to mention was this is *not* a dog-friendly hike. We had our weim with us. He was able to navigate everything but one ladder (I had to unstrap my pack and carry him down that one). Still, had I know what we were up against, the dog would have stayed home, or we would have taken the much easier Jones Gap Trail to our destination. I would recommend this trail to anyone who is (1) in shape and (2) looking for a hike they can brag to their friends about.



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May 2018