Hiking John’s Rock

Daina, Cooper and I

March 10, 2018

Daina was home from Clemson this weekend and we were trying to find a good hike with views. She talked about table rock which I’ve done twice but is super hard. I was looking for somewhere I haven’t been but there was a lot of afternoon rain in the forecast. I finally decided on John’s Rock near Brevard. We set out just before 8 am (kinda late but….) We decided to take Cooper and leave the other 3 dogs behind without any guilt! As we got to Brevard I decided to stop at Bi-lo and get us rain ponchos just in case. We arrived at the visitors center to get a map but they were closed. I met some girls looking for a hike and sent them to Looking Glass Rock trail head. Mainly because there are always lots of people there.

We passed Looking Glass trailhead and just a little further on the left was the Fish Hatchery and our trailhead. It was a packed parking lot. We found our trailhead and parked near it. There was s group of about 20 Boy Scouts getting ready to take off so we grabbed our stuff and left in front of them.

This is a view of Johns rock from the parking lot. Looks just like looking glass rock only shorter.

This is a nice wide trail that goes consistently up with a 1000 foot elevation gain in 5 miles without any switchbacks. We went by some Boy Scouts camping on the river then a bunch of water crossings with bridges. This was a new change of pace for me! There was a waterfall around here also but we never found it!

This trail was Cat Gap Trail. It was a loop but with the threat of rain we decided to just turn on John’s Rock trail.

Cooper was thoroughly enjoying himself. We didn’t encounter any people on the way up and surely could of left him off the leash but I didn’t. He loves water crossings but did the rock hoping instead of plowing through it. That was weird for him especially because the water was only a couple inches deep!

We see a sign like this and know we are almost to the top!

At the top there are a lot of side trails that go out to various parts of John’s Rock. It is kinda steep and the end is a straight down fall off and die place like looking glass rock. There were a couple people up there. We ate an apple and took some pics. It’s always beautiful with a bright Carolina blue sky but today with all the clouds it was a beautiful March day as well. I got lucky and caught this hawk flying by between us and looking glass rock.

We took some more pics and enjoyed the view for a while. Then we took a couple pics for other people because selfies just don’t cut it with this view!

Since we didn’t do the loop we didn’t know where the rest of the trail was so we went back down the way we came up. I love this Peaks USA app.

On the way down we looked for the waterfall again and couldn’t find it. Since that was a short hike and we came all this way I decided to take Daina to a couple waterfalls. Firmest one was looking glass falls. It was so close by we had to stop. She really seemed to like that one. We left poor Cooper in the car but he has already been here before!

So while we were here Daina taught me how to use Boomerang on Instagram! So cool.

We head back to Brevard to get some coffee and wi fi and figure out where else we can go since we came all this way. I decide we should go to Gorges State Park and see Rainbow Falls.

It was 25 minutes away so we drive up there and hit the trail.

We started hiking this trail which I thought was only a mile but was actually 2.2 to the falls. The only reason it mattered was we were supposed to meet my parents for dinner at 6:30 in Fort Mill.

We did the hike to the falls at a pretty fast pace. This falls is totally worth the trip. Daina really loved it. It’s probably the most powerful waterfall around. Not the tallest but it’s still rather high. She took a bunch of pics and I did not take any? Idk. I noticed these people standing above the falls that I didn’t see last time I was here. I got this pic to send to Lisa cause I hate we missed this last time!

Daina and I find a trail alongside the falls and head up to this point.

We scramble up a bunch of blowdowns and climb up what turns out to be the hard-way! Turns out the original trail that continues to the next falls goes right through here and Lisa and I missed going to the rocks above the falls! My phone just died but Daina goes out on the rock to take pics.

The water is rushing the wind is blowing and she is making me nervous! She took some awesome video and pics from here.

I was a little too chicken to climb out there. 🤫

Well now it’s getting late so we book back up the trail at a fast pace. It finally started to rain some but we still didn’t need the ponchos. All total today we ended up at 11 miles.

Sometimes we hike for views sometimes for waterfalls. This time we did both. I was tired! It must have been a tough hike cause Cooper even layed down in the back seat and took a nap. He still never put his head down but he did sleep. Then he got home and slept some more!

Great mom and daughter day.

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