Explore the most popular river trails in Caesars Head State Park/ Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wonderful. Very strenuous from Jones Gap but a wonderful adventure. Dogs-not recommended unless they're well trained or cartable. Wear shoes/boots with good soles and always make sure you can see a yellow marker every 20 ft or so because it is easy to lose your way if not careful. Overall-an amazing hike. We took Jones Gap up, Coldspring Branch to Coldspring Connector, Frank Coggins to Rim of the Gap and back down. 13 Miles total and an awesome day:)

It's tough. ... ps. Don't fall over the chain. it's a long long way down.

Very good trail but man is it tough. We did the trail clockwise with pinnacle pass up and the rim of the gap trail down. when you reach the first peak on pinnacle pass trail, you think your at the top and have made it, haha not so much, you have about 6 more peaks to go up but none are as long as the first peak. the descent down going clockwise was not to bad at all but can see how it would be difficult going counter clockwise and coming down pinnacle pass. If you hike this trail, just know it is long and when you think you have quit climbing, you have not. just count about 6 climbs after the first and after that, you should be good.

Great trail. It is technical but if you’re a strong hiker you’ll be fine. Having done it both ways I prefer to do it clockwise. This leaves the most technical bit of ROG for the end but you do much of the return claim early in the return rather than the end. Pick your poison. The spur to rainbow falls is worth it if you have time and can stand the additional elevation. A bit about gear, not specific to this trail — consider using hiking poles and trading in your hiking boots for a lightweight trail runner with great tread and grip. Changes like this will make all the difference on a trail like this.

I do not recommend yellow trail... I got lost over than 4h, trail is not well marked. Bad experience

Okay... okay..... The reviews here really threw me off. I was hiking with my friend, we went through jones gap trail and rainbow falls no problem, then we get on rim of the gap trail... The paint job on the rim of the gap trees is terrible. It was responsible for throwing off our group, and the absolute worst pain imaginable in my lower body, literally can't move right now. More yellow markers need to be placed on rim of the gap. I'll never be hiking it again as it's dangerous if you're on mile 20 of the hike and you have no idea where you are. We got out at 8:55PM, it was pitch black. My recommendation: if you attempt this trail after 15 miles and you're not experienced, bring tequila and a notebook to write your will on. Also, Jones Gap is beautiful, Rim of the gap doesn't really offer any views.

spectacular. stunning. fearful. extremely difficult. 12 miles including the connectors. allow 7 hours. easy to get lost or take a tumble. i did both.loved it. quite a challenge.

hiking
4 months ago

Jones Gap Falls is not a robust waterfall but it's very pretty and the hike along the Middle Saluda is worth it on its own. The trail is pretty rocky and can be quite wet(as in, streams across the trail) depending on the recent rainfall. You should go past Jones Gap Falls so you can see the nice cascades on the river and eventually Toll Road Falls about a mile on.

gorgeous but ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR DOGS with multiple ladders including a 10ft straight vertical... quite a bit of rock scrambling and crossing over multiple slick ‘waterfalls’... especially difficult with wet leaves in fall... take your trekking poles, a small daypack & a trail buddy and you’ll totally enjoy the challenge!

gorgeous but ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR DOGS with multiple ladders including a 10ft straight vertical... quite a bit of rock scrambling and crossing over multiple slick ‘waterfalls’... especially difficult with wet leaves in fall... take your trekking poles, a small daypack & a trail buddy and you’ll totally enjoy the challenge!

gorgeous but ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR DOGS with multiple ladders including a 10ft straight vertical... quite a bit of rock scrambling and crossing over multiple slick ‘waterfalls’... especially difficult with wet leaves in fall... take your trekking poles, a small daypack & a trail buddy and you’ll totally enjoy the challenge!

This hike is as hard as it shows, many straight up the side of a mountain spots. I wouldn't suggest bringing dogs or small children as it is very strenuous at points. The trail has one good lookout point but overall you are in a tree line most of the time. If you want a challenge this will definitely get the blood flowing.

One of my favorites. Longer than it is hard, but beautiful at all parts. Very busy on weekends.

Very closed in, technical, no views, some spots very poorly blazed.

Good hike for exercise but no good lookouts / vantage points along the trail. First 2-3 miles were technical and fun but the remainder of the hike was lackluster.

Took about 6 hours to complete, which included a quick dip in the river and lunch.

One of my favorite trails. I've done it many times. It's hard but very adventurous. It's usually closed but.... nothing dangerous. I take my dogs..just be prepared to carry them down a latter.

The first part on the Blue markers was great...
The yellow marker trail was a poorly designed trail, and easy to lose your way. The trail was not well taken care of with lots of thorns, brush, and low hanging branches as well as drainage issues throughout its travel. It was also lacking in lookouts when you reach the strenuous hike to the top of the ridge. I would advise to avoid yellow trail in JGSP.
Notes: Actual miles was close to 11 miles. 7 hours hike with children.

A party of 11, plus two dogs. Kids 8-14. The first part (Jones Gap Trail from Raven Falls parking lot) was a breeze because it was downhill the whole way. 1.3 miles in we stopped at a waterfall and ate. 3.5-4 to the Coldspring/Kimball junction. Bill Kimball trail was aggressive especially carrying my small dog up the side of a mountain. It was an adventure tho and I would do it again!

Listen up: Rim of the Gap is rated hard because it's a tough trail, even for experienced hikers. Rugged, narrow trails with steep switchbacks, boulders to scramble, ladders, elevation changes, etc. Allow yourself plenty of time to push through the very technical 5.3 miles.

If you hike Falls Trail AND Rim of the Gap, you'll definitely feel it the next day.

hiking
8 months ago

Jones Gap is an easy to moderate trail with rushing streams, beautiful waterfalls and plenty of backcountry campsites. Falls Trail will put you to work, but Rainbow Falls is worth the climb.

If you're hiking during or after heavy rain, you may encounter high stream crossings on the way back to the trailhead.

I wouldn't say it's a hard trail, but she sure is technical. Not a hike if you like epic views, but definitely a hike for hikers (trail is beautiful).

Great trail, to make it a bit more intense start at Jones Gap and hike up to Caesar.

Nice trail that up top runs adjacent to some high cliffs. Many of these have light streams which in or after rain would be amazing waterfalls. Fun to climb on and explore. There really is only one good overlook or view but still a good trip. The section along the Middle Saluda River is also nice. Definitely recommend bringing a map.

Took this trail to the water fall then came back and connected to rainbow falls trail. Easy hike but rocky. Falls were nice. Get there early as suggested.

like every hike in Caesars Head very challenging beautiful views

This is definitely a hikers hike, as previously mentioned. It was very challenging and a great climb (starting with pinnacle pass and going to rim of the gap), but the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because there was literally not one rewarding overlook or view. Yes, when you get to the highest point of elevation, you can kind of see through the trees, and it's a nice view, but there are definitely no 'holy shit' moments where you're thinking 'this was worth every bit of difficulty' ... then again, I have high expectations for hikes that are this hard. Overall, I would definitely hike this again, but solely for the difficulty, probably try out the whole pinnacle pass trail next time instead of taking the connector back to rim of the gap. This park is amazingly beautiful, and the trail map is worth the buy. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a challenge, but just know there won't be any overlooks from the top.

It was a Challenge, but it was worth it.

such a fun trail... first 4km is hard and takes about an hour... lots of waterfalls and river crossings.. Rainbow waterfall is really cool.. takes me 3hr 15min to run/hike it

Fantastic trail. We started at Jones Gap parking, looped up to Jones Gap Falls, then looped around to the Rim trail. Almost constant elevation change for much of the loop, but very enjoyable climb on natural terrain. Trail was very wet as it is spring and there are streams and waterfalls everywhere. The last mile or two descending back to the parking lot did seem to take forever as it is very gradual and much easier than the previous miles.

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