Explore the most popular trail running trails in Savage Gulf State Natural Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful hike but be prepared or just stay on the rim.

Great hike once again! This is my second time hiking this one and I love it even more now. Very challenging hike. We saw a large rat snake (harmless but huge!) hanging out pretty close to the trail, and a hiker we ran into said he saw a rattlesnake sitting in the middle of the trail close to the end... be careful!

Hiked the North Rim Trail to Hobbs Cabin and back this past weekend (~10 miles Saturday, ~8.5 miles Sunday). Couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. Trails are well marked, there is plenty of access to water, clean campsites and excellent views.

Would highly recommend to backpackers of all levels looking for a weekend getaway.

Top of the gulf, in the gulf, swinging bridges, waterfalls. campsites, springs, history, and challenging terrain all add up to a great trek. Can’t ask for much more fun!

Beautiful trail! Would highly recommend. My dog and I did the ~9 mile loop and we both really enjoyed it. I agree with the previous reviewer that you should walk through the stone door area FIRST otherwise you're in for an excruciating last mile or so. Be careful this time of year about ticks! My dog (who doesn't stick to the trail completely) had 3 or 4 on him after he was bathed that I had to pull off. He has a flea and tick collar too, so I can only imagine how bad it might have been without it. It took us about 4.5 hrs to complete: we kept a pretty good pace while walking but stopped momentarily in a few places to enjoy the view.

An overnight at Dinky Line Campsite is great for 1st time backcountry campers. Easy hike in on the North Plateau Trail so if you decide it’s not for you it’s a quick trip back out. Mountain Oak Trail will take you from Dinky Line to the North Rim Trail and will reward you with views of Savage Gulf.

Great day hike if you are looking for something more challenging than a leisurely stroll. Allow enough time to complete your hike as necessary, the spur trail to Ranger Falls is a MUST. STRONGLY RECOMMEND starting with Gulf trail from Stone Door and finishing with Rim trail to allow time for recovery. Otherwise you will be making a steep ascent over rocks and some boulders to end your hike.

Took the North Rim Trail to Hobbs Cabin to overnight there. Left Savage Gulf Ranger Station at 14:30 and chose this route as it was shorter than North Plateau and needed to arrive at camp before sunset. Was able to complete trip with approximately one hour of daylight left, but found this a strenuous hike with the fast pace and mostly being out of shape. Next day we completed the loop via the North Plateau Trail back to the Ranger Station. It was slightly longer than North Rim with no scenery but only one big climb and found this to be a good “recovery hike” after fast pace on North Rim the prior day.

Great challenging trail. With all the rain it made the water crossings a bit more challenging. Made for a slower pace.

My wife and I hiked the North Rim Trail to Hobbs Cabin campsite #3. There is a nice water source just down the hill behind the cabin. The next day we completed our loop via the North Plateau Trail back to the ranger station. It was a beautiful hike and one we plan on doing again.

Moderate to difficult trail. I hiked this in a race day, so Big Creek Gulf was very well-marked, but I’m not sure it always is. Nice variation of terrain. I did it clockwise, so went down Stone Door first, then Big Creek Gulf (which was fun and loud from all the rain), then took the Big Creek Rim back, which was easy and flat after all the work in the first few miles. Highly recommend.

Backpacked down Stone Door, along Big Creek Gulf trail and back up to Alum Gap campsite. Lots of rock hopping so the proper footwear is essential. Ranger Falls was gushing due to all the recent rain. You have to walk a bit to find firewood as it is picked clean around the Alum Gap campsite. Nice overlooks on the hike out along Big Creek Rim trail. Strenuous hike but worth it.

Went through Stone Door into the gorge. Very rocky, but once down there, wildflowers were everywhere! Beautiful The bolder filled creek was dry, but hiked to a Ranger falls anyway. It was running great, with a small rainbow at bottom. It goes underground, that’s why you see no water in creek bed. Going on along BCG Trail, I came upon another smaller waterfall. It also runs back underground, as does Big Creek, which you will see for the remainder of the hike out of gorge. Very rocky climb out to the rim. Rim trail has a few nice overlooks. I would rate this moderate, with steep climb at end. Don’t wear flip-flops!!

walking
2 months ago

This was nothing but flat walking through trees. I found myself bored. This is a fine trail for a first time hiker but don't expect to see anything but trees, no view here.

Beautiful views, considerable elevation gains and descent. Tricky footing in some places over rocky trails especially when climbing or decending on the gulf. Take the extra .8 miles to see Ranger falls!

Great hike!! Strenuous at times, but worth it!

It was challenging for me as I haven’t done that distance in years. The views were fantastic- great time of year (early March) for some bonus waterfalls. Great sense of accomplishment after completing the loop!

A great place to hike and get outside with so many trails you could hike for days. Awesome swing bridges to cross the rivers too. The view from the ridge was beautiful and we will definitely be back to do more hiking and possible campout in their several designated spots.

Good for in shape beginners. Been to Hobbs cabin a few times now. My favorite 1 night hike.

I only did half of this trail starting from Collins West Campground and ending at Sawmill Campground. I would deviate from this trail and follow the Stagecoach Road trail to Savage Falls Campground. This trail is a bit harder than others, but it offers some truly great sites. Collins West Campsite had a cliff where you could brush your teeth with a view before heading out for the day! Horsepound Falls offers a good break spot. Then there is Schwoon Springs right before you get to Sawmill Campground. This spot provides a fantastic hangout inside the cliff, hearing the water crash on its way down the rocks. Such a great sound to witness! This trail really does offer many features.

Great hike...always enjoy it

great winter waterfall hike for ranger creek falls

also great as an out and back to horsepound and suter falls in winter

This trail is not for the faint of heart. While it has some easy sections and some moderate sections. There are also some very strenuous sections as well. We hiked it clockwise and started with the waterfalls. I’m pretty sure no matter which way you go that last leg of each side of the trail will definitely test you. I hiked this with a 15 y/o and a 16 y/o and my kids and I hike pretty regularly but we woke up this morning all walking funny. It tests the legs out most definitely. But it is an awesome trail with lots of beautiful scenery. We didn’t get to see the views at the look out points because it rained off and on all day and we hiked in the fog a lot. But would definitely do this trail again but maybe next Time backpack it. Have fun everyone.

A little bit of everything. Easy, fun hike with a LOT of great views. Some challenging areas (when backpacking)

Love this trail during winter months. Scenery is beautiful. Can be challenging in areas. Easy if you hike a lot and used to it. Take your time you’ll be fine.

I would agree with Paul Jacob that this hike could be rated as moderate if you hike regularly. While there are certainly strenuous sections and the mileage is up over 9 miles if you add on the extra 0.8 to Ranger Falls (highly recommend!!), the trail is super easy to navigate with all of the blazes and clear signage. Also, the uphill sections really aren't bad if you take the loop clockwise. I would think going counterclockwise on the loop would be harder as the trail ascending out of the Big Creek Gulf to Stone Door is steeper and rocky.

Since we did this hike during the winter, we were able to see Big Creek very well along the Big Creek Gulf trail, which was flowing beautifully in spots. The flowing water sections of Big Creek plus the spur trail to Ranger Falls made this my favorite section of the three sections on this loop.

Summary: If you're a regular hiker, this is a fairly moderate, mid-distance hike with some great scenery for the mileage. My wife and I were able to complete the loop in just under 5 hours. We highly recommend this one!

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail not much to see in the way of views but still nice to be in the woods

Tough trail. Definitely go see Ranger Falls. Brutal climb up to Alum campground. Awesome views on the way out and the Stone Door is amazing

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