Big Creek Gulf, Big Creek Rim, and Stone Door Trails Loop

HARD 122 reviews

Big Creek Gulf, Big Creek Rim, and Stone Door Trails Loop is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Beersheba Springs, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1541 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Savage Gulf has multiple trail sections. This loop includes the Big Creek Gulf (BCG), Big Creek Rim (BCR) and Stone Door (SD) Trails to create a 9.5 mile loop. Savage Gulf is located near Beersheba Springs, Tennessee. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.

hiking
12 days ago

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.

hiking
15 days ago

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!

backpacking
17 days ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail, and well maintained. I'd rate it as moderate. though the alum gap-BCG section is quite rocky and steep. Wear close toed shoes. Only a couple other people on the trail despite clear skies and a high around 55. Near the ranger station, check out Ranger Falls as well, just a couple hundred yards to beautiful falls.

1 month ago

Beautiful trail that is not too difficult. Not heavily trafficked on the day we went.

2 months ago

Stunning, but tough. Our group quoted “rock hell” a few times on the ascent.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful October day for hiking. I went down to BCG from the Stone Door. It’s not quite ‘rock hell’ as someone else said, but it is rocky and rugged—more a rock purgatory. Highly recommend trekking poles and closed-toe shoes/boots. I went up to Ranger Falls as well which was a good side trail—flowing nicely. Yes, the climb up BCG to Alum Gap is straight, steep, and strenuous. I stretched out a hammock at Alum Gap and took lunch and a nice break. BCR is a delightful trail with occasional overlooks and plenty of beautiful woods—a nice amble.

hiking
2 months ago

Big creek Gulf is the harder of the trails. When you get to the split from stone door we took Big Creek Gulf for a major downhill adventure. There was a dry creek bed for a lot of the hike and just before it starts with the uphill elevation there is a nice waterfall to stop and refill water and have a snack or lunch. The last mile to 2 miles is a beast. At one point it felt like the incline was almost straight up and was never going to end lol. Definitely a workout. Big creek rim is a fairly easy trail with a few viewpoints overlooking the mountains. If you want to start hard and end easy this is the way to go. If you want an easy start with a bang for an ending take Big Creek rim to big creek Gulf. It was roughly a 9-9.3 mile hike. I had two gps monitoring distance and those are the numbers I got.

3 months ago

Fun loop! Pretty standard woodsy Tennessee scenery, but the Stone Door is a really awesome, unique feature...add in some nice views and a waterfall and you've got a recipe for a great day hike. I started around 8am on a Saturday and didn't see a soul until I reached the Alum Gap camp area, but the parking lot was full when I left. I'd rate the loop more moderate, but the climb to Alum Gap at the end of the BCG trail is a doozy for sure. There are quite a few sections of the BCG that are rocky and pretty slick--if you have weak knees or ankles definitely wear supportive footwear and maybe bring trekking poles, especially if it's a wet day. The BCR trail fairly easy and mostly flat, so don't be discouraged from taking it even you're gassed from the climb out-- the views are lovely. In total the trail including the Ranger Falls spur took me right at 5 hours with a short break for lunch. Temps were in the upper 60s and I drank about 1.5L water.

hiking
4 months ago

I'd rate more moderate than strenuous

hiking
5 months ago

Like Mary, I also took Laurel out. It added to the mileage, but my companion was gassed, so we took easy mode to complete the loop. I did this trail because of the hard rating, and that ascent did not disappoint my expectations. I thought that climb was going to end like 5 times before it did, lol. I didn't make it to the falls though. My lady isn't that great on rock yet. Initially, I was disappointed because I thought we took the easier way. On closer inspection, I will tell you there is no "better" way to do this trail. The madman that designed it made it where no matter which way you go, you're screwed. I took the GSD straight down into rock hell and then had to climb my way out of it. Touche, trail designer. Touche indeed.

camping
5 months ago

My son and I did an overnight here. Went from the Savage Gulf Ranger Station to the Stagecoach Road Site. Beautiful views and a challenging trail. We had a great time, and look forward to going back. The only issue we had was the trail sign for Stagecoach Road was knocked down by some deadfall after some storms, and we almost missed it.

hiking
5 months ago

Did a combination of SD, BCG and Laurel. Skipped the Rim this time for a slightly lighter easier day (the ascent at the end of BCG is tough). Pretty views at the start. Did the Ranger Falls spur, and it was definitely worth it.

6 months ago

Technical trail, but very nice bring good rock shoes!

hiking
7 months ago

Stunning views and a variety of trails to choose from make this a great place to hike. I wish I had packed a lunch because an impromptu picknick on the ridge would have been fantastic. Definitely recommend this spot for hikers.

8 months ago

We did the BCG to Alum Gap, with the final ascend under heavy, heavy rain, which made it even tougher. It was very rocky at times. Still beautiful and challenging. From Alum Gap we did a 3 hour hike to Greeter Falls and back---some more overlooks and impressive falls. Due to the unforgiving rain we cut our trip short and took Laurel Trail back to the ranger station, not the rim trail as we had originally planned. Worth visiting!

hiking
8 months ago

The Ranger Falls spur is well worth taking as well.

9 months ago

Did about 6mi round trip, starting at Stone door and then heading towards Ranger Falls. Tough and beautiful!

backpacking
9 months ago

I hiked in and out to my campsite last week by taking the rim trail. I was going to do the loop but it was later in the day and after hearing the ranger's warnings and standing on the bluff and seeing how far down (and back up) the river was I chickened out. Came back earlier today to tame this beast. It was extremely beautiful but it was hard due to the elevation changes which are almost 1000 ft.

backpacking
10 months ago

nice challenge for our scout troop

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