253 – Jones Gap Falls

Accessibility – Moderate

Height: Approx 45′

Distance – 3.6 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 5

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 5

GPS Info: LAT 35.1250 LONG -82.5938

Last updated – 07-30-2018

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The hike to Jones Gap Falls can be combined with the hike to Rainbow Falls to make a nice day outing in Jones Gap State Park . Adding Jones Gap Falls to Rainbow Falls will give you a total of around 7.2 miles total (but adding Jones Gap Falls only adds about 2.0 miles to the total). Most of the hike follows the Middle Saluda River to the trail split and from there the trail undulates as it heads toward Jones Gap.

To get to Jones Gap State Park from Brevard take US276 from Brevard heading South to Caesar’s Head State Park. US276 meets SC11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) where you make a left. Follow SC11 about 4 miles (passing Wildcat Wayside) and turn left onto River Falls Road. There is a convenience store on the corner where you turn. Coming from Greenville, follow SC11 to River Falls Road and make a right. The park entrance is 3.8 miles from the turn and there is a parking lot on the right with a daily per-person fee of $2 is paid.

From the parking area the trail to the ranger station leaves from the upper end of the parking area near the kiosk. The enters the woods and comes to a creek and a set of steps. At the top of the steps a is a small man-made pond filled with fish. Beyond this are the restrooms and the ranger station. The trail to the falls starts on the far side of the bridge, heading upstream following the Middle Saluda River. This section is the Jones Gap Trail, which is the route for 0.8 of a mile when the trail splits. Bear to the left to head to Jones Gap Falls. If you head to the right you will cross the Middle Saluda river on your way to Rainbow Falls.

The hike following the blue-blazed Jones Gap Trail is about one mile from the split to the falls. There is a wide open camp area in a pine forest not too long before you reach the creek. You pass over the creek and on the far side a trail heads upstream a short distance to the falls. While not as striking as Rainbow Falls, Jones Gap Falls holds its own charm, which includes the two-toned rock of the falls.

The two-toned rock at Jones Gap Falls – July 2018

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