Hospital Rock – Jones Gap

January 19, 2020

Sherri and I

When we first started training for the make a wish 28.3 mile challenge we met a man who told us about hospital rock. He said it was a very tough trail. After all these years we decided to try it. I left from Clemson so we could have 2 cars – one at each end of the 8.8 mile trail.

I parked my car at the Falls Creek Falls trail head. Then we drove to Jones Gap and left from the visitors center up the Hospital Rock Trail. It was a pretty steady incline through some campsites but nothing to difficult.

It crossed over the bottom of a huge waterfall called Buckeye Falls.

I think it was about 2 miles to Hospital Rock. It was a large rock with shelter under it. Not really a cave. Sherri read that wounded shoulders or deserters hid here during the Civil war.

There were lots of views on the way.

Then the hard part began. It was sssttteeeeeeppp! Here is a pic of the elevation.

We kept going up and We could see what’s called the Cleveland Cliffs.

Sherri said something and all of a sudden I remembered that I’d left my keys in her car at Jones gap!πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ We were almost to the very top of the elevation – about 4 miles. We could finish the hike and have to road walk another 2.5 miles back to her car or turn around. We decided to turn around. Then it was all down hill. Turns out we hiked right under Pretty Place at Camp Greenville.

It’s the coolest chapel on the top of the mountain. We hiked down to our car. We never saw a soul except 2 guys camping at Jones Gap. We got in the car and when leaving there was a line to get into Jones Gap! Very limited parking.

We got to the falls creek trailhead and it was crowded. The trail is a terribly maintained uphill climb. It’s all basically washed out. It’s steep. Maybe We were just already tired from the nearly 8 miles but dang! It was almost all uphill until you get to the falls of course. Then it’s a climb down to the base. I just kept thinking if only I had my keys it would be all down Hill! πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

But it sure was worth it! This falls is a beauty! It is a 3 tier cascade each about 50 feet high. I only saw the bottom 2. It was a beauty! This first pic is the top.

Then from down below.

The trail crosses right here at the base. Now back down to the trailhead. I really wish I didn’t forget my keys and could have completed this trail. Oh well maybe another day but probably not. So many trails so little time!

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