Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Jones Gap State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

An easy hike the first hour from Main Entrance of Park, on Jones Gap Trail then a strenuous hike thereafter. Beautiful views of the river along the way, and many mini waterfalls along the way. Wide trails and some narrow paths along rocks, rock jumping too, so much variety and so worth the trek. A nice park with $5 per person fee. Plenty of parking and clean bathrooms. From parking area to Jones Gap Trail to Rainbow Falls Trail and back is about 5.1 miles.

This trail was very fun to hike. A lot of great views.

hiking
10 days ago

This trail is amazing! Very beautiful and a great view of the falls at the top!

hiking
12 days ago

One of my favorite and most rewarding hikes. A decent distance and moderate trails leading up to an amazing waterfall. Absolutely hiking here again!!

hiking
14 days ago

Gorgeous hike with a great pay off! Most of the trail has water alongside, which makes for beautiful views and cooler temperatures. My hiking buddy and I are both out of shape, novice hikers but we could do it! Took us 2 hours to the top and two hours down with plenty of breaks. Watch your footing as most of the smaller rocks are ankle turners!

I would recommend this trail to anyone. At the end of the hike there was a rewarding view. On the way up is steep and can be challenging but on the way down was the easy part. Overall this trail was amazing.

It’s worth the effort because the falls are AMAZING! This trail is rated “easy” but it definitely should be rated moderate to hard. Wear hiking boots as this is not for running shoes. The terrain is very rocky and unstable. We do a lot of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina hiking. This is one of our favorites. You will not be disappointed with the falls.

1) Arrive early - limited parking at Trailhead.
2) First 1/3 of trail parallels river & riverbed, only a slight elevation gain, with many good photo ops w/rolling water & large boulders.
3) Once you cross over the river (on bridge) the next 2/3's of trail has a very appreciable elevation gain providing a good physical workout
4) BUT, the Rainbow Fall at the top of trail makes all efforts VERY much worth it - aprx a 160 ft free-fall water fall to which you can hike to within feet of the Fall's base.
5) GREAT Trail in all four seasons (had the opportunity to hike last winter with snow on the ground - it creates a whole different ambiance & atmosphere!). GO FOR IT, you'll be well rewarded.

hiking
23 days ago

It was super hot and humid yesterday when I hiked it which made the trail way harder. It’s not an easy trail, definitely a moderate as the second mile is most of your elevation gain. Very rocky terrain on the trail. The end is completely worth the trek. Amazing waterfall at the end. I’m used to hiking out west and this was similar to those trails. Who knew this kind of thing existed in SC!? Do this hike for sure, just don’t do it in the middle of a 90 degree day!

Amazing waterfall!! Harder than I expected, I broke a pretty good sweat getting up there. Totally worth it.

Would rate this as moderate as opposed to easy. Well marked trail, but long uphill at times. Great waterfall

on Rainbow Falls Trail

hiking
25 days ago

Great workout. Definitely broke a good sweat on the way up. Beautiful towering waterfall. Get there early because parking is limited.

hiking
25 days ago

Awesome! Very good workout. Had to stop a few times to take a breather!

Fairly easy trail. Would be difficult to get lost.
Beautiful views all around. Enjoy the climb

Great workout and beautiful views! Highly recommended!!

This trail is steep, but very well maintained and Rainbow Falls was a great reward for my 11, 10, and 8 year old hiking companions.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike to beautiful views of the falls and mountains. Well worth the time.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike and decent workout. The only bad thing i would say is that parking at Jones Gap sucks. Make sure you get there early or you will be waiting a long time for a parking spot.

Fantastic views, worth the climb. Starts off flat, becomes very rocky and steep with lots of roots. Loved it!!!

Did this rocky hike with the best friend and pup! Spray yourself with bug spray prior. The trail was lined with the river/creek for most of the way up, and there were multiple bridges that were great for the views. 10/10 would recommend!! It took us about 3 hours and 15 mins but we hung out at the waterfall for an hour.

Well marked trail. Strenuous at times - but worth the view of the falls once you arrive.

Only downfall was having to wait 30 min to even get into the park due to it being at capacity.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this with my kids on a hot summer afternoon. It's an interesting hike with lots of different views. The lower section along the river is woodsy and pretty traveling along the river. Then you go uphill (and more uphill) giving you some expansive mountain views and some interesting giant rock faces. The falls are beautiful, but when we got to the top we heard music...large group of middle school age campers blaring not-so-great music and hanging out. Still worth it though. It's a heck of a lot quicker getting back to the bottom than making the climb!

problem is...... they do not open the park until 9AM!

I did this trail today for the second time. It was the first time for my dog and a friend who came along. All three of us definitely felt the difficulty of scrambling over boulders and rock stairs, but that was part of the fun of it. Trekking poles help, I wouldn’t do it without them. It’s a beautiful trail, with a lot of variety of terrain, and will certainly give you a work out.

Awesome hike with an amazing waterfall at the end. You might have to wait an hour in front of the park because of limited parking spaces. You can spend that time talking to the park rangers about the hike options. After walking around 1 mile from the parking, you will reach an inter section from where the trail divides into two part. The right red trail is the rainbow falls trail. If you take the left blue one, you can go to jones gap falls about a mile ahead. The rainbow falls hike is moderate in the first half, then will get a little hard and the last stretch will get easy. Will not recommend small children as there are too many big rocks and then can hurt themselves. Also the steep incline in the middle can be difficult for the small children.Overall the hike is good and the waterfall at the end is refreshing!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, but there is not a sign for the trail. you must first begin on another trail that forks in two directions, continue on the right to reach the falls.
Challenging hike with uneven terrain, but worth it in the end. It took me about 2 hours to complete with a few short breaks on the way up.
This trail ended up being a little bit over 5 miles, not 4.3 like this app says.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, especially for out of shape women! Several waterfalls on the way to the lovely namesake! Lots of rain lately and all the water was rushing throughout the park. Recommend an early start to avoid the afternoon crowds on weekends.

One of the most beautifully crafted nature trails. Not the longest or steepest, but a great workout with a wonderful reward.....

on Rainbow Falls Trail

hiking
2 months ago

It was HARD!!! But definitely worth it

This trail is extremely steep going up and coming down. Once you get to the top, it’s fairly level but it’s hard to find the trail. The trail is covered with leaves, making it slippery. Hiking poles are a must for the decent. The waterfall is beautiful.

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