The Hike -- Jones Gap Trail to Rainbow Falls Trail and back Jones Gap State Park -- South Carolina -- December 26th, 2011 I went to Jones Gap State Park today, intending to do part of the Jones Gap trail and return; however upon my arrival and looking at the park map, I noticed Rainbow Falls Trail which was the perfect distance for a short hike. The hike departs from the Grassy Ridge trailhead in Gorges State Park, near Cashiers, NC (view maps and driving directions).Gorges State Park is one of the newest in North Carolina’s state park system, and with an annual rainfall of over 80 inches, the park classifies as a temperate rain forest. Jones Gap State Park is part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, which consists of 11,000 acres of natural woodlands and mountains along the Blue Ridge Escarpment (PDF).The Jones Gap Trail is 5.3 miles long and follows the old Solomon Jones toll road, operated between 1840 and 1910. From here, climb approximately 1,000 feet over a distance of 1.6 miles to the base of Rainbow Falls. When the Jones Gap Trail diverges about a half-mile in, keep to the left and follow the red blazes marking the Rainbow Falls Trail. The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. Many come for a day hike to the Rainbow Falls which is more of a challenging section and Jones Gap Falls which adds to the Middle Saluda River and is an easier out-and-back hike (often for hikers with dogs). At 100 feet tall, you can hear the water rushing off of the cliff on Cox Camp Creek almost a mile away. The hike from the parking lot to Jones Gap Falls is not as steep, and you'll get to enjoy the river along the way. One of my favorite adventures in this area is to camp along the Middle Saluda River, then hike to Rainbow Falls, and continue on to Pretty Place Chapel. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. Rainbow Falls drops 100 feet over steep walls streaked with black and tan from the alternating layers of amphibolite gneiss, granitic gneiss, and mica schist. Its easternmost terminus is Jones Gap State Park and the 5.3-mile long trail meanders through lush woodlands towards Caesars Head State Park. Rainbow Falls makes a nice side trip if you have the time and energy, but this hike angles left to stay on the Jones Gap Trail. The trailhead is not in the main part of the park. A small side trail will go back about 150 feet or so to Jones Gap Falls which is kind of tucked away. If you know what to expect and do a little extra planning, these spectacular falls can be on your summer bucket list. I once again had Ava, my boxer, with me. Jones Gap State Park, Marietta Picture: Rainbow Falls Trail, Jones Gap State Park - Check out Tripadvisor members' 214 candid photos and videos of Jones Gap State Park Once the trail leaves Gorges State Park and enters the National Forest, camping is allowed anywhere along the trail. Jones Gap also provides superb primitive camping sites along the rocky and scenic Middle Saluda River. Cold temperatures and ice have forced the seasonal closure of the yellow-blazed, western section of the Rim of the Gap Trail (between junction with trails 15-Frank Coggins, and 21-John Sloan). Excellent bird watching can be enjoyed on this trail. Jones Gap State Park, Marietta Picture: Rainbow Falls Trail, Jones Gap State Park - Check out Tripadvisor members' 213 candid photos and videos. You have to travel through the Palmetto Bible Camp to find it. It is easy to follow and is marked with blue blazes. These two falls are popular in this section of Jones Gap State Park close to the Ranger Station. In the spring, azalea, meadow rue, and Solomon's plume envelope many of the boulders. The falls area is more quiet than Rainbow Falls when it comes to people but is unique in its own way. J ones Gap State Park sits on the Blue Ridge Escarpment in upstate South Carolina very near the state line with its neighbor to the north. Jones Gap State Park, Marietta Picture: Rainbow Falls Trail, Jones Gap State Park - Check out Tripadvisor members' 207 candid photos and videos. United States ; South Carolina (SC) Marietta ; Marietta - Things to Do ; Jones Gap State Park; Search. Trails include (mileage shown is one-way): Cleveland Connector (0.5 mile) Coldspring Branch (2.6 miles) Jones Gap NRT #1 (Jones Gap Falls) (5.3 miles) Hospital Rock #30 (4.4 miles) Rainbow Falls Trail (2.2 miles) Jones Gap State Park . You can make camping reservations here. Needless to say if you enjoy waterfalls, this is the place to come. Is this your business? 0.8 miles from the day-use lot, the red-blazed Rainbow Falls Trail exits right. Departing Jones Gap, travel approximately .75 miles along the blue blazed Jones Gap Trail, then veer to the right onto the red blazed Rainbow Falls Trail. I have been taking my boys up the strenuous trail to the falls since they were 5 and 6 years old – and you can too! Make sure you register at the sign board before starting your hike. Jones Gap is home to Falls Creek Falls, Rainbow Falls, Jones Gap Falls, and Silver Steps Falls. Jones Gap Trail to Jones Gap Falls, Jones Gap State Park. Detailed trail maps are available for sale at the park headquarters. You can do this but allocate plenty of time and make sure you pack lots of water, especially during the warmer summer months. At about the three-quarter-mile mark, you'll hit the junction to the Rainbow Falls Trail. 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