Jones Gap Trail, Rim of the Gap Trail,
and Frank Coggins Trail

Picture of small waterfall along Rim-of-the-Gap Trail

Warning:   This data is out-of-date. Trails, roads, and landmarks change.
You should obtain current information before attempting any hike.

Date Hiked: 8/8/92

Length: 12.0 miles

Type: backtrack

Difficulty: 4

Scenery: 3

Blaze: blue on Jones Gap Trail (#1), yellow on Rim of the Gap Trail (#6), purple on Frank Coggins Trail (#15)

Main Features: partial views of Saluda River valley, streams

Animals: crows, chickadees, vulture, pileated woodpecker, cardinals, gray squirrels

Location: Jones Gap State Park, South Carolina

Driving east on highway 11 from near Table Rock State Park, drive 4.0 miles past the merging of highways 11 and 276. Turn left on River Falls Road (beside F-Mart). Drive 5.7 miles to the Jones Gap State Park parking area at the end of the road. Park. (The parking lot is inside the gate, which closes at dusk.) It's about 0.25 miles from the parking lot to the trailhead.

Approximate Altitude Changes
Ascend 1,700 feet to top of ridge at 3.0 miles
Descend 350 feet to low spot at 4.9 miles
Ascend 550 feet to Caesar's Head State Park store at 6.0 miles
Total Ascent: 2,600 feet

0.0 parking lot
0.1 impressive footbridge over Middle Saluda River
paved walk through picnic area
trout pond
interpretive center (hiker registration required)
0.3 cross bridge
turn right onto Jones Gap Trail
0.4 turn left onto Rim-of-the-Gap Trail (#6)
0.5 stream crossing on rocks beside boulder
0.7 turn right at trail junction beside stream
1.0 stream crossing on rotten log
dangerous crossing of wet rock
1.2 stream crossing on rotten logs
1.3 partial views of Middle Saluda River valley on right
1.5 view of small valley on right
cross rocky clearing sideways without going up or down the hill
(do not turn left up the rocky wash)
1.7 stream
2.5 continue straight past trail on left marked by blue ribbons
3.0 top of ridge
3.2 take right fork (sign says Caesar's head 2.5 miles)
3.3 descend on switchbacks between boulders
3.5 short spur trail on right goes to best view of valley
crawl through hole under giant boulder
(this maneuver would require backpack removal)
3.5-4.5 trail is dangerous on wet rocks hugging cliff
go through crevice between two rocks
(this maneuver would require backpack removal)
3.6 partial view of Middle Saluda River valley on right
3.7 stream crossing
crawl under large fallen tree leaning against cliff
4.0 climb ladder
partial view on right
4.1 stream crossing
dangerous stream crossing at base of waterfall
4.2 descend ladder
ascend ladder
partial view on right
4.3 ladder
4.4 there's a house right over your head hidden by the cliff
(I never saw it, but I heard people talking, walking on a wooden
deck, and closing doors.)
4.5 sharp right switchback away from cliff
(easy to miss)
4.7 stream crossing
4.8 dangerous stream crossing on wet rocks
4.9 low spot
turn right when you come to the cliff again
(there's a waterfall on the left)
5.0 descend ladder
dangerous, small, log bridge beside drop-off
dangerous, slippery, wooden bridge
dangerous stream crossing over slick rock
(this crossing has a steel cable you can hold onto as you cross)
5.1 ladder
dangerous stream crossing
view of tall, thin waterfall on right
5.2 bear right at fork onto Frank Coggins Trail (#15) (trail #14 goes left)
(sign says Caesar's Head Store is 1 mile)
wooden bridge
5.7 turn right onto unpaved road
5.9 cross highway 276 at Caesar's Head State Park
6.0 restrooms, store


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