Friday, April 8, 2011

Jones Gap Falls Hike

WHAT A FUN HIKE!!!
Im back home after a couple days upstate...as planned on Thursday I got in another waterfall hike part of an ongoing goal to hike as many as I can of the waterfalls listed in the book Waterfall Hikes of Upstate SC.  IT was perfect weather wise, 70 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. This hike is on page 232- Jones Gap Falls.  Jones Gap is a State Park and the main feature is the Middle Saluda River that runs through it.


The Mountain Bridge Wilderness area connects Jones Gap and Caesars Head State Parks...and its chock full of hiking trails and a few waterfall hikes!  Last Fall I hiked at the other end to Raven Cliff Falls.  The song of the mountain is the river...it sang  sweetly for me, bubbling and gurgling, dipping and scrambling, sliding and rushing around granite boulders all along the 2.2 mile length of the hike.


The canopy was full of soft color with the trees dressed in their spring leaf finery!


 

Sometimes the trail was rocky and sometimes it was easier going...

Had to cross a few bridges--some of the wide open spaces are designated primitive camp spots..there are no rv or car camps here only pack it in and pack it out--awesome wilderness experience!  This is camp spot #10


  video


I enjoy hiking in these mountains because there is so much to see along the way--like wildflowers this is White Trillium--also saw blue violets, yellow violets, wood anemones, Indian Strawberry...and others.


      And this one--- that I dont know the name --but if you do please let me know what it is...



LOTS of butterflies gathered in this spot...I think I see about 4 species in this shot!
(Red Spotted Purple, Zebra Swallowtail, the Spice Bush and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail)

AND I'm always fascinated by the size of these large burls!

 
video

THEN finally after taking my time and taking photos of everything...lol I arrived at my destination, the waterfall!! Lucky me I had the whole place to myself-



The falls is a 50 ft Fan Class waterfall and its really a beauty..worth the hike! I sat down to eat my lunch on a rock and enjoyed the cool spray and the soothing sounds of the crashing water...





ONE more Video...the falls:


video

WELL I thought I was alone then I saw this guy...imagine living at the foot of this beautiful falls away from all  most human interference---



After a small meet and greet I headed back, and at the Headquarters I relaxed on one of these chairs for a while ...



then headed back to civilization...reluctantly!!!



PEACE

14 comments:

  1. I am soooo glad you went there!
    I totally gobble down the views of nature and trees(yes, sicks of sand and brown, but what can I do? Heading to the Golf course today and hide in the 'woods there for a while... ;))

    I can't tell you how much I love these nature photos, I can almost breathe the clean, fresh air!

    I would have expected to see anything there, a deer or such, but a LOBSTER?!
    How the heck? Is that normal?
    I always connected them with oceans, guess I was wrong :D

    Love that wood house. Wouldn't mind living in one of those, surrounded by forest.

    Civilization sucks. It's so hard to get a moment of quiet around here
    :(

    OK, enough whining ;)

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  2. Looks like a great explore! Some beautiful photos. Nice to hear your voice and that WAS a big, lumpy, bumpy burl.

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  3. Such nice and refreshing photos! I hiked and fished some areas of the Great Smokey Mountains two years ago. I promised myself I'd return when the Rhododendrons were in full bloom. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. What a great time you had Sondra!! Such a wonderful place. I love it when I visit somewhere and there is no one else there apart from the wildlife :)

    Your photos are lovely and the videos really convey the atmosphere. I couldn't believe how loud the water was!!!...and all those different butterflies in one shot, just amazing and all so exotic looking :)

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  5. Oh so beautiful Sondra -- Loved every picture! Thanks for sharing this great hike. I love waterfalls -- I've said I "collect" them (worked especially well when we were traveling by RV w/o an room for "stuff">

    I loved this virtual hike and thanks again.

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  6. OH Yes I forgot to say that is a Crayfish! ITs only about 3 inches long...they live in fresh water and are related to lobsters...I read on Wikpedia they cant tolerate Polluted water--so I guess they are like the canary of fresh water! SOME people eat them BUT I would never do that!

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  7. WOW I love those butterflies!!!!

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  8. What a gorgeous place and your little friend is really colorful!

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  9. Very Cool Hike! Love the creek...the flowers...the waterfall...the one of you watching the waterfall...the critter. Dang I love everything about this post. Many thanks!

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  10. Wow, what a place. I think I could live there lol
    Beautiful shots of the flowers, and the falls.

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  11. The house is beautiful, the orange crayfish is amazing (what a spotting!), the butterflies are fantastic (it reminds me of my post a couple of days ago) and the waterfall shots make me want to go there now! Great post.

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  12. Oh, Hmmm. 70 degrees, sunshine and all that beauty and peace. I felt it just reading your post. You are lucky and so are your readers to see and hear about this hike.

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Comments are appreciated!