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Jones Gap and Coldspring Branch to Bill Kimball Trail

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Jones Gap State Park

Jones Gap and Coldspring Branch to Bill Kimball Trail is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Slater-Marietta, South Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 9.2 mi Elevation gain 1,833 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

The Jones Gap Trail (blue) is an easy to moderate trail following the Saluda river. It's a steady ascent which gets quite rocky/rooty at times. There are several nice spots by the river to take a break! At about .6 miles (1km) the Rainbow Falls Trail starts off to the right (which is moderate to hard and about 1 1/2 miles long.) Another .6 miles down and the trail to the Jones Gap Falls will be on the right. It's just a couple of hundred feet long and worth taking a look. The Coldspring Branch Trail (orange) crosses the creek several times. It is a little steeper (moderate) leading up through forested areas. The Bill Kimball Trail (pink) is what makes this loop hard. Having reached the highest point of the hike, there are several areas on the way down where one might just have to be on all fours (around the rock walls which are beautiful!) Once back to the Saluda, the return is easy! Enjoy!!!

Ranger station including gift shop (limited hours,) restrooms with showers, day parking can fill up, come early (park opens at 9am)

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Reviews (22)
Photos (564)
Recordings (18)
Completed (97)
Bre Spiro
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HikingBugsOver grown

*I want to extend a shout out to this app! Due to what I’m assuming was the result of the effects of covid 19, (no accessibility to maintenance) ,the bill kimball trail was overgrown and no longer carefully marked. I lost it and was able to find my way back due to the app’s GPS feature even without signal. Just a fair warning to those planning to take on this hike in the next couple of weeks!* In agreement with previous travelers, the Jones gap trail is easy (and very picturesque) in comparison to cold springs and bill kimball. You are surrounded by waterfalls and it is essentially a walk in the park. I took the bill kimball trail up into Caesars (pink) and it was intense. Prepare to feel that burn. However, it’s a great workout and I think almost anyone can accomplish this trail in their own time with plenty of water. Hardly any views besides a cool rock face but the hidden creeks you’ll find on the way down are serene and soothing. I would do this trail again but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

Jeff Reynolds
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Hiking

Great hike but definitely strenuous. Went up Coldspring Branch and back down Bill Kimball with my nine year old. Bill Kimball looks to have been recently re-blazed (many more pink blazes than I was expecting from other comments) but still managed to lose the trail twice - once at the base of the rock face where we followed a washout down instead of stepping up and over a rock and the second farther down where the trail actually had a creek flowing down it and it looked like you were to cross.

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Jonathan Torres
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Hiking

Wow!!!! Jones Gap trail is easy compared to the rest of this hike. Cold Spring Branch is definitely harder, with Bill Kimball being hard as heck!! Food and water is a MUST. Got turned around twice, and used the app to get back on-trail. Ran into 4 people out on the hard sections, two didn't know about Alltrails, and two had no gear at all! Do not attempt this, on this hike! Coldspring to Bill Kimball is definitely the right direction to do this hike

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Daryl Tracey
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HikingOver grownRockyScramble

I hiked this entire trail and loved it. Much of it runs along the Saluda River which is incredibly beautiful and beautiful Jones Gap Falls is along the way. While the Jones Gap trail segment is a fairly easy hike. The Cold Springs Branch and Bill Kimball loop segment is extremely strenuous as it climbs up to Caesar’s Head. I went up the Cold Springs Branch and descended down Bill Kimball. The hike up Cold Springs had one extremely steep segment and otherwise just a constant climb for 2 plus miles. The trail was well marked and cleared. The Bill Kimball portion of the loop was extremely difficult even descending as it consisted of extremely steep switchbacks and required a good amount of scrambling down rocks and maneuvering over under and around fallen trees. I would not recommend this for hikers that are not extremely fit and fairly agile. Very challenging but very beautiful. You still have a good couple miles back down the Jones Gap trail once completing this strenuous loop. Make sure you are well hydrated and bring lots of water prior to attempting this hike. That being said, this is an absolutely stunning hike and would do it again.

Amanda Holliday
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Bill Kimball is a tough one. A cousin to the Dismal Trail. Wonderful loop, although if you’re looking for a panoramic view or waterfall....not here. Waterproof boots were a godsend, lots of tricky creek crossings. Overall a gorgeous day to hike. Happy Hiking!

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Andrea Cagle
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This is a great place to hike with friends or family. Surrounded by several waterfalls and many different hiking paths. So much to offer!

B G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jan 28 2018
Hiking

What a fun hike! Warm up on Jones Gap with a steady ascend for about 2 miles, hop back and forth across the creek and then head up the mountain on Coldspring Branch (breaking a bit of sweat here!) only to end up on your backside in certain places making your way back down on Bill Kimball! After that it's all downhill back to the parking lot! We met about 10-12 people, the majority of them on Jones Gap, 3 on Coldspring Branch, and none on Bill Kimball.

Dave Armstrong
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Hiking
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David Impson
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Hiking
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Mitchell Bailey
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Hiking
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GORDON MICKLEY
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Hiking
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Alison R.
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Hiking
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Ella Canfield
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Hiking
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Scott Stuart
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Hiking
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Marie LePage
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Hiking
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Marie LePage
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Hiking
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Kathryn Moczulski
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Backpacking
Adrienne Ables
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Hiking
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Jack Sexton
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Hiking
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William McKinney
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Hiking
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B G.
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Hiking
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Michael Curtis
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Hiking
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