hiking

views

forest

birding

nature trips

walking

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

dogs on leash

trail running

river

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.

Decent hike! Far away view from the falls, but nice overlook spot to picnic

This is a very difficult trail- lots of water crossing and elevation change. You definitely need a day’s worth of food and water. I’m very grateful we had poles and good boots. If you are well prepared and in somewhat decent shape, this is a phenomenal trail. I would definitely do it again.

Great trail, hiked it counter clockwise with my blue heeler, if it were not for him being 35lbs then it would have been struggle on #14 with the ladders, luckily enough I could pick him up by his harness and carry him down. Great views, didn’t pass but a few people once on #14 and #12. Going up #12 will definitely give you a leg workout.

This is a fabulous trail. Very rocky in places, so def wear hiking shoes. A good many options for short or long out and back hikes and two waterfalls.
Excellent. We will def do this one again.

Best trail I’ve been on in a long time!

10/15/2018 The hike is medium/hard in my opinion. Definitely worth the hike. The falls are fantastic. We hiked with two adults and 4 kids(7,5,3,2). 2 year old was in a kelty kid carrier. For us it was a 2 hour hike to the falls and the trip back was 1 hr 15 minutes back. We took a few breaks. A lot of uphill on the way that flattens out just for a short break then uphill with a little downhill.

Good hike but the view from observation deck was not very exciting. If your looking to get closer to a waterfall choose a different trail.

This was a great hike with beautiful views. Trail 12 is not for the faint at heart if you go in the counter clock wise direction because almost every step is uphill. My only issue with this trail is its listed as dog friendly, and I would suggest leaving the dog at home if you want to do the whole loop. The park its self was very dog friendly, but trail 14 (the one with the swing bridge) has several spots where you get to a vertical rock face and you have to climb up or down a ladder. So, I ended up having to carry my 50 pound dog up and down the ladders. The other 3 trails do not have these ladders though.

Cool trail as always!! Wish the leaves we're turning, but AWESOME anyway!!

1 month ago

Easy to moderate hike. Well worth the time an energy. Waterfall was nice but you see it across the gorge. Nice half day hike.

Lots of payoff, clockwise is the way to go. harder than we expected as we're not in prime shape but very rewarding. Beautiful hike with several spots to see waterfalls, the suspension bridge was a huge highlight.

Gorgeous waterfall at the end but a long and a bit strenuous of a hike. Round trip 3 miles. Well traveled and wide path.

Good day hike close to home...will be back as the leaves turn.

My dog and I took the 11 12 14 13 11 route, which my watch measured at ~8.5 miles. Total round trip was about 3:45 (we’re quick hikers). Good hike, but we were fighting through spiderwebs on 12 and 14 was sketchy in parts due to fallen trees and storm debris. 14 has three ladders as well, so it’s not quite dog friendly. Keep in mind that the valley floor is will quite a bit steamier than the overlook, we were hot!

hiking
1 month ago

We did this starting Coldspring going counter clockwise. I am glad we did because we were able to make the ascent up Kimball instead if climbing down. We took our Walker hound with us and she did great- she was tired as were we- had to give her a hoist one time up a rock. This would be difficult Trail for a smaller dog as one reviewer has already mentioned. Trail was marked well except one point it followed a creed bed and I thought we were going to have to back track. I would do this Trail again which is my highest compliment. It was very strenuous, but worth it.

My first hike to Raven Cliff Falls was in 1966 before the current trail was made. We hiked in from Hwy. 276 near the bald rock overlook. That trail ran by the old bear hunter's cabin alongside Matthews Creek and ended at the foot of the falls. One of the most magical experiences of my life was sleeping under a full moon on the flat rock right at the bottom of the falls and seeing the spray and mist from the falls highlighted in the moon glow. Over time, I wore out the seat of several pair of shorts on the sliding rock about a mile down Matthews Creek from the falls.

This trail is one of my all time favs!!♡♡♡

awesome hike!!!! not for the inexperienced

Short but strenuous 2 miles uphill hike to the top with an INSANE waterfall. So worth it. Well marked with purple circles on trees. Highly recommend!!

a very tall two tier falls. first section is normal plunge second is Cascade. very steep to get to falls but worth it

Great hike ! Beautiful waterfall! Jones Gap is as good as it gets!

Rim trial is very narrow, some places almost non existent. Lots of rocky river bed trail on Jones Gap. Do not recommend taking dogs on this loop. a few ladders to climb.

I did #11, #13, #14, #12 as the app recommend. My app recorded 8.7 in 2:38 non-stop. It was very strenuous and not for the faint of heart. The swing bridge had the best view.

This hike took us right at 6 hours with several short stops. It was much longer than 7 miles, my Fitbit registered nearly 13 miles start to finish. It’s more than moderate and a few spots have some ladders/stair cases that are not so dog friendly. Going down dismal and back up the natural trail really takes it out of you so plan to take a long break at the bottom.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty hike. The view of the falls is from far away at the overlook. I would rate this trail easy to moderate.

Good workout, did it in clockwise direction.
Did not try Ishi trail version as that trail was closed about 10 years ago.
From River Walk Trail turn left in to Rim of the Gap Trail #6 yellow until start of Pinnacle Pass Trail # 20 white
This is where a strenuous 2 miles section lays ahead
Nice overlook along this way
Stayed on # 20 until John Sloan Trail #21 leads back to Rim of the Gap Trail ( Turning earlier on # 22 connector would shorten the loop by an easy going 1.5 miles )
Return on Rim of the Gap Trail is the easy part of this Loop

We didn’t believe it when we started that it would be strenuous, but it definitely was. It was a great work out that ended with a gorgeous view and one of the tallest waterfalls I’ve seen. This receives a 4/5 for me due to a few factors:
1. Parking- a little odd, and not much of it. We were the only ones on the trail so it wasn’t an issue.
2. There is a lot of shrub/logs that have fallen at the base of the waterfall and not a great area to gather for hanging out. We had brought our hammocks but were unable to find a good spot to hammock.
Over all, I’d do it again for the view and workout!

hiking
2 months ago

My first hike in several years and was able to complete with little difficulty.

The hike is definitely a moderate hike for new or inexperienced hikers. Trail is narrow lots of roots and small obstacles. The hike was very enjoyable and a good day hike for anyone looking for a reason to get out and see nature. Would NOT recommend for kids who have never hiked before.

hiking
2 months ago

Any hike through the woods is enjoyable. The falls were small but still worth the hike. Pretty decent ascent coming back up. Chose to hike this trail because we got to the park too late to do the Raven Cliff Falls Trail. Will definitely be back.

Load More