dogs on leash
Caesars Head State Park has long been a must-see in the South Carolina Upstate. A granitic gneiss outcropping atop the dramatic Blue Ridge Escarpment, it offers breathtaking views year-round, especially when fall sets the hardwoods ablaze. Another annual highlight is the Hawk Watch program each fall, timed to allow visitors to marvel at the unforgettable sight of hundreds of soaring, swirling migrating raptors hawks, kites, falcons, eagles and more from the park visitors own perch at 3,200 feet above sea level. Hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging circle and traverse Caesars Head and adjoining Jones Gap state parks, which together form the Mountain Bridge Wilderness, about 11,000 acres of pristine southern mountain forest. One of the most popular trails at Caesars Head leads to 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls, where a suspension bridge offers one of the two publicly accessible overlooks to the falls as they splash deep into the mountain cove below. Picnicking and wilderness trailside camping also are highlights. The park, easily accessible with its headquarters on U.S. 276 just shy of the state line, also leads to some prime trout fishing areas in the state-designated scenic Middle Saluda River.
I really enjoyed this trail. Unseasonably warm January day. Perfect for hiking. Ranger told us it was about 5 miles RT and strenuous. Parts of it can be, but I didn't find it too difficult. The height of the waterfall is amazing and the perfect payoff!
The hike was straight uphill the entire time. It was a great workout and just short enough not to make it miserable. The uphill climb was well worth the view of the waterfalls. I've seen many waterfalls and this one was one of the most beautiful. Highly recommend this trail. It was also marked very well so it made it pretty easy to follow.
We sorely underestimated the difficulty of this hike. It was exhausting - constant elevation changes, climbing over roots, scrambling over rocks, navigating narrow ledges with steep drop offs. This loop took us over 7 hours. The challenge made it really fun - like an obstacle course/hike combo. Be prepared if you take on this one!
Big cliffs and nice falls, but no ravens. Very challenging but rewarding hike. I would highly recommend hiking clockwise on this loop, since the toughest incline is definitely on the east side. Cliffs are really tall and picturesque. Some recommend skipping the overlook, which you can, because there is another less known overlook on the east side of the trail on a rock overlooking the falls from a better angle. Bring hiking sticks and boots! Tennis shoes just aren't gonna cut it.
Great day for a looonngg hike! Parked in the Mountain Bridge lot. Made the loop counterclockwise but doubt it mattered which way you go. Took the 1.6 mile spur up to Rainbow Falls. Strenuous climb almost like a mini-Table Rock but well worth. The Fall was partially frozen and was a beautiful payoff. My app had the loop at 13 miles, took about 6 1/2 hrs.
Since most people go left on the loop, I chose to go right so as to reward myself with the falls as opposed to seeing them at the start. Made it about 3/4 of the way through the loop itself before I wound up off park property. Pretty sure I made a wrong turn at some point, but after crossing a creek that went halfway up my shins, I walked for another 45 minutes or so, only to realize that the number of forks in the trail was still increasing. Ended up stopping and going back the way I came, as the trail was unmarked and I am by no means a survival expert. Great hike all around though. Will definitely come back and try going left to see if I can find where I went wrong.
I didn't do this trail. I did the trail on the other side. It's about a 1/4-1/2 mile straight down that leads you to the same fall. It's an awesome hike and even has some sections that a rope is required to repel from. My legs are killing me today, but well worth it!!
The trail itself is quite eroded but the falls are worth the hike. There is one spot that is easy to go off trail and get lost. But it was just as easy to get back onto the actual trail. Just remember once it doesn't feel like a trail it's probably not a trail.