Early fall my daughter Lauren and I hiked the trail from Camp Greenville to Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is located on the Camp Greenville property in the northern most area of upstate Greenville County, South Carolina Mountain Bridge Wilderness area. This is a really nice short hike to a beautiful waterfall.
All visitors are required to get permission from the camp office before hiking; it is recommending calling ahead to the office at 864-836-3291 for permission. The trail head is unmarked but is just past the main building of Camp Greenville, on the right you will see a small parking area for about 3-4 cars. If you continue to drive to the end of the road you will come to Pretty Place, Symmes Chapel,
From the trail head, you move quickly through rhododendron and mountain laurel then lots of rock and boulders.
The hike to Rainbow falls from Camp Greenville is a 1.8 mile out and back, the trail is strenuous and is rated difficult 7. The trail descends down the side of a steep sheer cliff into a rugged gorge so the footing is extremely steep and can be treacherous in rainy or icy conditions. The terrain is very steep, rocky with huge boulders and at two places the trail requires the use of ropes to safely maneuver the trail. It is pretty much hard core all the way down into the gorge that will take you about 45 minutes if you are in good shape.
The falls are part of the Saluda River, view down stream from the falls.
The hike ends with spectacular views of Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls plunges 140 feet over granite cliff surrounded by granite walls
The view shows the granite rock formations. The water is ice cold year round.
All of the rocks around the falls are cover with moss and are extremely slippery. Many people fall and get hurt, broken arms and legs when trying to get to the falls every year.
Needless to say, the hike back up the cliff takes more time and effort than the downward hike but is well worth the hike for the waterfall and views from the trail. As you ascend you can rest along the various ledges and boulders.
It is also possible to hike to these falls from Jones Gap State Park. The trail from Jones Gap is longer but not as strenuous and not as steep. The return hike is all down hill.
Take time to view my woodwork.