Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Raven Cliff Falls Hike

This was a memorable day for me, because Ive been wanting to hike this trail for a long time.  I actually went to hike it a couple years ago and -DUH- got on the wrong trail, I hiked nearly to Jones Gap before I realized I was going the wrong way-- right trail, wrong direction--so finally I got my wish to see the Raven Cliff Falls!

It is located at Ceasars Head State Park in Upstate SC   There are over 50 miles of hiking trails from easy to strenous in this park.  The elevation of the park is around 3,200 ft.  The trail starts at 3,000 ft and drops to 2,000 so the way back was hard in spots...

view of ceasars rock
Once I got to the park I had to go check out the view of the area..and the color was almost at peek one more week it will be awesome. 

Ceasars Head over 7,000 acres

Here's where I messed up last time...the trail head for Raven Cliff Falls starts across the road, somehow that completely escaped me last time & I got on the Foothills trail behind where my car is parked in this shot, but this time I DID cross the road--

Trail head parking there are 3 trails that can be accessed from this lot

You have to register yourself in this little box, write who you are where you are hiking to and when you expect to be back and a number to contact if you dont show up! AND it cost $2 to hike.

This trail is part of the Foothills trail which is a 76 mile backpacking or section hiking trail with access in various places .The sections I did was the Raven Cliff Falls Trail, the Gum Gap Trail, and the Naturaland Trust Trail, which is 6.6 miles round trip. 

For the most part the trail was easy...but then the elevation drops and thats ok going out but coming back ohhhh it hurts.  Saw some great color in the forest and Im always on Lookout for odd this tree with a Keyhole-

 I hiked down the Raven Cliff at 1.4 miles it interesects the Gum Gap trail but take the side trail to left for the view platform thats 0.8 mi away.  From there you can view the falls across the Gap as its called here in the east, out west it would be a canyon! 

The View of the falls is awesome although distant. You need a good zoom to get any kind of a kodak has a 24 x zoom so it did pretty good...although I like the far off shots best cause it encompasses the Fall display...some trees were already bare of leaves I see.
The falls is a 420 ft drop altogether.  The Dismal Trail which is very strenous takes one down to the lower part of the falls, I did NOT take that trail, I had a quick lunch break here on the platform and visited with other hikers...

the lower falls section

I had not decided at this point whether I would hike to the suspension bridge which is the sturcture you can see in the first 2 shots of the falls, look looks like a plank going across so I backtracked to the intersection of the Gum Gap trail and decided to go for it...I hiked another 1.1 miles to the suspension bridge...this fellow was on it when I arrived so I gave him his time alone, sort of...

Well after I totally invaded his privacy and took his photo (and a video of him) I ventured up onto the bridge to see for myself...

The view was KILLER..awesome, and the brige was quite stable since its not that long...Ive been on "swinging" bridges that made me air the Royal Gorge....whew.

I was told by one of the other hikers to NOT take the trail beyond the bridge...its so steep you have to hang onto a rope to climb down...( i have a feeling that is where the DISMAL trail ends up)..SO I took that advice went over had a look and then came back down.  The bridge is positioned just at the precipise of the top portion of the falls (which is sort of a cascade but not)  behind it is this smaller cascade...

     I enjoyed this part of the falls too it was nice.  I took this short video..

Then it was time to hike back to the car...and I was beat so I stopped to rest on this really interesting log,

I had an awesome day...I got on the trail at 11 am and got back to my car at 4:30 so it was an entire day but well worth it...and now I can mark off page 260 of my Waterfall Hikes of Upstate SC--which is an ongoing project of mine. 

On the way home these great clouds moved in and gave me a nice end to my day...


  1. Stunning pictures Dixxe, amazing colour in the trees. A lot of hiking, but well worth it.
    Great idea to 'register' too.

  2. Wow, that's beatiful! Where is it located? (What state, part of the state?)

  3. Wow, that's beatiful! Where is it located? (What state, part of the state?)

  4. HI Diana, most people dont realize that SC has Mountains!! BIG ones too!! This is located in the upper part of SC in Ceasars Head State Park, I have linked it in the body of the text sorry I didnt think to do that earlier! IF you ever get over its worth it but I wouldnt try it in SUMMER...only during the cool months.

  5. Simply wonderful stuff....all but the moldy cottage. Thank you for leaving me note. I'll be back.

  6. OMG! What an incredible hike. Your photos are so good it felt like I was there. You hike alone?

  7. Thanks for the info and the pictures - don't know why my previous comment came out twice - maybe I was having a senior moment...

  8. That looks like a great hike! I actually drove through SC yesterday (more on that later). Unfortunately it rained the whole time.

  9. Barbara I was driving too...I was driving I-385 East, then I-26 E and then I-20 East and it rained on me too...Did we cross paths? lol

    And Granny YES I hike alone, when I have no one to go along...Always got my mace with me tho. and I'd feel sorry for anyone who may think they can get the upper hand on me!! lol

    Diana I have plenty of those moments lately!!

  10. Whoa! What an impressive place Dixxe, incredible scenery!! So glad you found it this time :) Lovely photos, my favourite is the second one down. I wish I was brave enough to hike alone :)


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