Rim of the Gap - Pinnacle Pass loop

HARD 52 reviews
#4 of 15 trails in

Rim of the Gap - Pinnacle Pass loop is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Marietta, South Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, birding, and fishing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.3 miles
2,237 feet

dog friendly









wild flowers

This trail starts out on the Jones Gap trail and quickly exits onto the Rim of the Gap Trail. There is good trout fishing and campsites along the river if your interested in several good day hikes. Head West on the rim trail, this is almost all uphill until you reach the 6/22 connector trail. Go left towards Pinnacle Pass trail. Take another left onto Pinnacle Pass. This is generally a ridge walk to a magnificent rock outcrop that provides a great rest spot before the steep descent to the trailhead. Along the way you will see numerous picturesque streams and falls along with massive boulder and rock formations. The fauna here is extremely diverse at time resembling a tropical rainforest. This is a great day hike. Someone in average physical condition should have a great time.

1 month ago

Hiked this counter clockwise with the trail to rainbow falls. Couple places where you could get off trail. Very technical coming back. Several roots, rocks and latters that made for slow miles. Very adventurous.

1 month ago

Solid hike. Wear good boots with good ankle support in the fall and when it’s damp, because there are numerous roots, holes, and rocks hidden under the leaves. Some parts of the trail can be technical, I wouldn’t advise bringing a dog.

2 months ago

Our gps said 10.4 . Technically very difficult. Would not go again after any recent rain. The approx 8 waterfall crossings where very dangerous with the steep drop offs and rushing deep water, made my us nervous. Beautiful hike that is fairly well demarcated and we saw no one else on the trail.

2 months ago

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.

5 months ago

This hike was more like walking up a drainage ditch. it was wet, muddy, and slick. The fact that it did not look like a trail wouldn't have been an issue if the trail was clearly marked, but it was not. very easy to get lost.There are ladders and slick flat rocks to walk over. I won't be doing this hike again.

6 months ago

Fun hike. The "rim of the gap" portion is difficult, the rest is fairly moderate. Someone needs to do some chopping on the ROTG portion though. It's more of a suggestion than a trail.

7 months ago

this trail is amazing definitely not for beginners I started on the Jones gap trail and then took number 6 (rim of the gap) to 15 to 7 to 3 back to 5 the whole thing took me 7 hours but I stopped to eat a couple times. I was way beyond impressed with the difficulty and absolute beauty of the rim of the gap! I only lost the trail one time and had to back track but the were a few times that I wondered if I was still going the right way which I think was the best part of this whole adventure! the trail is marked well it's just not a typical wide well beaten path like more moderate trails are. there were lots of water crossings which was fun but in the winter water proof boots would probably be a good idea! I can't put into words what a fantastic home this was!

7 months ago

had a great day on the this trail! definitely recommend bringing boots lot of water Crossings. I did the trail backwards see the blue then purple to the Rim trail yellow. I got lost on the trail a few times dude to following my dog and not watching the trail Blazers but easily turn around and found my way back. this Trail is very technical and not great for beginners but it is a fun difficult hike. I took a ton of pictures so look forward to seeing my dog and the trail. have a great hike, this was Justin

7 months ago

Very technical trail. Loved it. not for beginners

8 months ago

A beautiful but challenging hike. We took RoG to Frank Coggins to Coldspring to Jones Gap loop. The RoG section is definitely not for beginners. Be prepared for some scrambling and lots of water crossing-not so deep, but lots of it. We went after heavy rains so that may have added to the volumn of water on the trails. A couple of precarious crossings that I could see a really bad end to if you took a spill! Keep a close eye on the blazes. We missed one at about the five mile mark and had to back track. The planned route showed only being about 8.5 miles, but when we finished, my app said 10.8! The park rangers swore their maps are accurate and Alltrails was not, but I don't understand how GPS (as well as my screaming leg muscles) could be wrong!

8 months ago

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:)

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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

Sunday, December 03, 2017

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!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

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!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

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.

Monday, September 04, 2017

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.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

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.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

like every hike in Caesars Head very challenging beautiful views

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Definitely a challenge, go prepared for a great hike

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I was looking for a challenge, and this was it! I wouldn't attempt this without a trail map, it can get a little confusing with all the connectors. Toughest hike in South Carolina so far!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Combining several trails to make a loop can be a challenge for a new comer.The arrangement, Rim of the Gap with Pinnacle Pass Trail ( and other trails) requires a good reading of the trail map and constant vigilance to the markers. Carrying a map with you is highly recommended. This being said this serious loop can test you to the limit and gives you a great sense of satisfaction. I have made the hike several times with a 20lbs back-pack (something not recommended for beginners) in about 4 hours. The steep Pinnacle Pass Trail section, specially if you select to include it at the beginning of the hike, is more an obstacle course than a trail for a casual walk. It is just as treacherous when you go downhill , but obviously less tiring! There are few great views but the one of the Gap, afforded from the rock outcrop on #20 trail, is spectacular: you'll see the diminutive shape of Pretty Place Chapel from there.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Amazing hike but tough. Many difficult climbs. We went counter clockwise and while the descent on Pinnacle Pass was tough, we were glad we took Rim of the Gap first as it was an long steady climb up to top.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This is a hikers hike. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who isn't looking for a challenge. I actually recorded this loop as a full 10 miles from the parking lot. The Rim of the Gap trail is a bit tricky. The trail is well marked but some spots you will actually question if that really is the trail. You cross a number of mountain creeks and a couple spots you're actually hiking up a creek, so it can get wet and slippery. I could see this being difficult for a dog because there are a number of ladders and the trail gets really tight in more than a few spots. The views could be better. If you're looking to push yourself this will be right up your alley.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Rim of the Gap trail isn't for the novice or beginner. The uphill leg will wear you out if you're not used to a moderately difficult hike. The Rim of the Gap section is pretty well marked by yellow blazes, but like others have said, it's not hard to lose the trail at points. Some of the switchbacks aren't marked great and you can miss them. I'd avoid this trail if there have been heavy rains. It was clear that some of the waterfalls get pretty big and wash across the trail. If you're looking for a workout, this is a good hike. But if you're looking for views, might be good to choose a different trail.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Awesome hike, but definitely not dog friendly unless your dog can climb ladders! This is one of my personal favorites. At times the trail is hard to find. If you find your self saying "oh my! I have to jump that water flow and risk a 500 ft fall info don't make it across to stay on the trail!" Look around, there is probably a switchback you missed that avoids the deadly jump.

cross country skiing
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Moderately challenging hike, but not much to see.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Just did this one for the first time. Overlook on Pinnacle Pass is well worth the difficult climb. The ranger advised us to do the Pinnacle Pass leg first and return on Rim of the Gap and he was right.

Monday, November 10, 2014

This is a beautiful trail and can be combined for an almost 12 mile loop - definitely for experienced hikers as there are several sustained climbs, rocks/boulders to climb up and down. The rock formations, creeks, Saluda River and other natural scenic areas are very nice. Dress accordingly, when you get on the 'other' side of the mountain out of the sun it gets chilly. Bring food and water. Mainly, enjoy! Hike on!

Load More