South Carolina Climbs

Table Rock

Table Rock

NEW AND IMPROVED! Click the links for climbs in the areas listed below:

columbia2
Columbia Climbs (includes Fort Jackson, Lexington, Irmo, Lake Wateree, Blythewood, Camden)
greenville red
Greenville Climbs (includes Travelers Rest, Taylors, Pickens, Tigerville, Marietta, Table Rock)

Disclaimer: Climb AT YOUR OWN RISK! Many of these will be difficult, strenuous, with dangerous descents. Do your own research and make sure you are prepared for the terrain. You are responsible for yourself!

Walhalla Area

Cassidy Bridge – Going down Highway 290 towards Walhalla, there is a steep up and down, about a mile each way. The climb begins on either side after crossing Cassidy Bridge. From there it is a steep climb with an average grade of 7% and steeper pitches. This is the last major climb of Issaqueena’s Last Ride.

Whitewater Falls – This is a mostly rolling road that extends across the NC border to Whitewater Falls. It is a gradually rolling upward stretch of road with some steep sections with grades in the upper teens. There are a couple easier sections and small descents. Issaqueena’s Last Ride takes this just short of the border.

Wigington Overlook – This is a short, steep stretch of road that turns from the Whitewater Falls climb. It is less than a mile with a 7% average grade and some pitches in the upper teens. There is a rewarding view at the top. This is arguably the toughest section of Issaqueena’s Last Ride.


6 responses to “South Carolina Climbs

  • Tom Clayton

    Aaron, neat site. Here are some of the climbs we (most with Neil Turner) have done around the Greenville, SC area, we share the same passion for climbs;

    Cedar Road (from the Northwest) – you will ascend from 1015′ to 1260′ ( 245′) in about 0.6 of a mile. “Only” averages 7.7% gradient, with some >15% spikes.

    Callahan Mountain Road (from the Southeast) – the elevation rises from 1080′ to 1570′ ( 490′) in one mile. That is an average grade of 9.3 %.

    Altamont Road Paris Mountain (from the West) – start the intersection with Frontage Road, finish just after the “Wall” – the elevation rises from 1160′ to 2040′ ( 880′) in 2.25 miles. That is an average grade of 7.4 %, with two >13% spikes.

    Pot Shoals Road (from the East) start the river crossing, finish the intersection with Hwy 176 – the elevation rises from 1745′ to 2130′ (295′) in 0.75 miles. That is an average grade of 9.7 %, with a >17% spike.

    Pinnacle Mountain Road (from the East) (start the intersection with Hwy 225, finish 0.5 miles from the start ) – the elevation rises from 2475′ to 2800′ ( 325′) in 0.50 miles. That is an average grade of 12.3 %, with a >18% spike.

    Pinnacle Mountain Road (from the East) (start intersection with Bear Rock Road, finish the top (you’ll know it)) – the elevation rises from 3045′ to 3730′ ( 695′) in 1.00 miles. That is an average grade of 13.0 %, with a >20% spike for .20 of a mile :).

    Jeter Mountain Road (from the West) (start the intersection, closest to the village of Penrose, with Crab Creek Road, finish 1.75 miles from the start) – the elevation rises from 2160′ to 2950′ ( 790′) in 1.75 miles. That is an average grade of 8.5 %, with a >14% spike. Jeter Mtn. Road reaches a peak elevation of 3010′ (850′) 2.2 miles from the start.

    Lake Falls Road – dirt/gravel road (from the North) intersection with Little River Road – the elevation rises from 2270′ to 2985′ ( 705′) in 1.85 miles. That is an average grade of 7.30 %, with a >12% spike – on gravel !!!

    Caesars Head (start the bridge on Caesars Head Hwy (Hwy 8), not 276, finish the ranger station at the top) – the elevation rises from 1085′ to 2300′ in 3.7 miles (6.2%), hits the flat spot then continues up to 3030′ ( 1945′) in 6.15 miles. That is an average grade of 5.9 % A couple of > 10% spikes.

    Hwy 215 (from the Rosman side) – (start the bridge crossing after Balsam Grove, after the fish hatchery, finish the B.R.P. ) – the elevation rises from 2930′ to 5380′,( 2450′) in 6.9 miles. That is an average grade of 6.7%. Some long stretches of 10% grades involved.

    Green River Cove Road – This road is fairly flat running along the Green River – until it climbs out of the valley (starting from the final parking area you will see on the right , 17 switchbacks) – the elevation rises from 1080′ to 2085′ ( 1005′) in 1.9 miles. That is an average grade of 10.0 %.

    Hogback Mountain – (start Carolina Dr. @ the intersection with Glengarnock Road, finish Hester Drive )- the elevation rises from 1275′ to 2575′ ( 1300′) in 3.3 miles. That is an average grade of 7.5%. Expect one section of 13% and two others of 10%.

    Saluda Grade (Hwy 176 from Tryon up to Saluda) – (start is when Hwy 176 heads upward (about 2 mi from the intersection of Harmon Field Rd. finish is when you come around the finial bend, the road flattens and there is a dirt shoulder on the right, good place to catch some air) – the elevation rises from 1060′ to 2070′ ( 1010′) in 3.5 miles. That is an average grade of 5.5%. There are three 9% spikes.

    The Watershed – Callahan Mountain Rd/Old Hwy 25 elevation 1085′. Mountain Page Rd. elevation 1800′. SC/NC state line elevation 2140′. Max elevation 2400′.

    White Oak Mountain – (start Skyuka Mountain Road, intersection with Woodmere Drive, finish 3 miles from the start) – the elevation rises from 1100′ to 2965′ (1865′) in 3.0 miles. That is an average grade of 12.2%!!! There are two 17+% spikes.

    – (start the beginning of White Oak Mountain Rd. @ Houston Road, finish Sunset Ridge Drive ) – the elevation rises from 1200′ to 2965′ ( 1765′) in 3.6 miles. That is an average grade of 9.3%. Two sections > 1/2 mile of >12% grades.

    Sassafras Mountain – start Van Clayton Memorial Hwy @ Rocky Bottom, elevation 1800′. Top of Sassafras elevation 3540′ ( 1740′). Distance 4.6 miles. Average grade of 7.2%. Some 20% grades and a lot of it is >13%.

    Big Hill (East Fork Road) – Part I – the climbing starts in earnest about 7.5 miles from the Hwy 178 intersection (over those 7 miles you ascend 280′), you will know the spot when you see “Moon Shine Farms” and go straight up! The elevation rises from 2430′ to 2920′ ( 490′) in 1.1 miles. Average grade of 8.4%. About 0.8 miles of it are in excess of 10% with 2 – 18% spikes.

    Part II – About 0.5 miles from the peak of Part I, the elevation rises from 2790′ to 3065′ ( 275′) in 1.3 miles. Average grade of 4.0%.

    Part III – a little descent from the peak of Part II to an elevation of 2970′ and a climb to the high point on E. Fork, an elevation of 3135′ ( 165′ ) in 0.5 miles. Average grade 6.3%.

    Walnut Hollow Road (from E. Fork Rd.) – the elevation at the intersection is 2300′, the real climbing starts about 1.1 miles from there where the elevation is 2500′ and climbs to 2655′ ( 365′ in 1.7 miles) and ( 150′ in 0.5 miles). Average grade of 4.1% and 5.7% with a >17% spike.

    From the other direction – (start Hannah Fork Road, elevation 2170′ to Whipperwill Lane (the 2nd intersection with Walnut Hollow Rd.) elevation 2655′ ( 485′) in 1.1 miles. Average grade 8.4% with a “nice” 17% spike at the end of the climb.

    Howard Gap Road – (the entire length; start Hwy 108 – finish Indian Mt. Road) – the elevation rises from 920′ to 1855′ ( 930′) in 2.8 miles. Average grade of 6.3%.

    (“The easy part” start Ashland Drive intersection with Howard Gap – finish Indian Mt. Road) – the elevation rises from 1080′ to 1855′ ( 775′) in 1.4 miles. Average grade 10.5% and a mile of that is >15%.

    Rich Mountain Road – (start the intersection with Hwy 276 and Becky Mtn. Road – finish 2 miles from the start) – the elevation rises from 2120′ to 3065′ ( 945′) in 2 miles. Average grade 8.9% with a 0.2 mile section of 18%. Rich Mtn. Road reaches it’s peak elevation of 3320′ (1200′) about 3 miles from the start.

    Mt. Olivett Road – start the intersection with Piney Ridge Mtn. Road, just after you pass under Hwy 25, finish 3 miles from the start – the elevation rises from 2055′ to 3080′ (1025′) in 3 miles. Average grade 6.5%, with about 0.9 mile of >9% grade.

    Becky Mountain Road – start the intersection with Hwy 276, finish 2 miles from the start – (warning in the first mile the road climbs 700′ – average grade of 13.3%) the elevation rises from 2110′ to 3075′ (965′) in 2 miles. Average grade 9.1% with 0.25 mile of 20% grade. Becky Mt. Roads reaches it’s peak elevation of 3095′ (985′) 2.25 miles from the start.

    Climb to Whitewater Falls (Hwy 130/281) – (to the high point; start is 3 miles from the intersection with Hwy 11 (in these 1st 3 miles the elevation rises 50′), finish is 13.6 miles from the start at the intersection with Hemlock Lane) – the elevation rises from 1065′ to 3270′ (2205′). Average grade 3.9%.

    There are two grunt sections during the entire climb, I combined them into one “special” section. (start the intersection with Galloway Road, on the right side, finish 2.5 miles from the start) – the elevation rises from 1090′ to 1875′ (785′) in 2.5 miles. Average grade of this section is 6.0%, with about 1 mile of 10% grade.

    Hwy 178 towards Rosman, NC – this road from the intersection with Hwy 11 to Rosman has several difficult climbing sections so I will emphasize those sections. (start the intersection with Sunset Community Road on the left side, finish Sugar Likker Road on the right side) – the elevation rises from 1120′ to 1940′ (820′) in 3.25 miles. Average grade of this section is 4.8% with about 0.75 mile >9%.

    (start Rocky Bottom – even though the real climbing is further up the road, this is a landmark, finish Fjord Road on the right side) – the elevation rises from 1700′ to 2745′ (1045′) in 4.8 miles. Average grade of this section is 4.1% with about 0.75 mile >8%.

    Cabin Creek Road – the entire length (start the intersection with Green River Road, finish the intersection with Pinnacle Mountain Road) – the elevation rises from 2080′ to 2970′ (890′) in 4.15 miles. Average grade of the entire length is 4.1%.

    The grunt section (start the road entering Pace Cemetery – about 0.2 mile from Green River Rd., finish 0.2 miles past the intersection with Mammoth Springs Lane on the right side – 2 miles from the start) – the elevation rises from 2080′ to 2815′ (735′) in 2 miles. Average grade of this section is 7.0% with 1 mile of that > 9.0 %.

    Mine Mountain Road –

    Packs Mountain Road –

    Fork Creek Road – (start the intersection with Pearson Falls Road, finish (stay on Fork Creek not W. Fork Creek) the intersection with Austin Lane on the left side) – the elevation rises from 1490′ to 2250′ (760′) in 2.2 miles. Average grade is 6.5% with 1.2 miles > 9 – 10%.

    Holbert Cove Road – from the intersection with Silver Creek Road to the Hwy 26 underpass, Holbert Cove Rd. ascends from an elevation of 1010′ to an elevation of 2080′ (1070′) over a distance of 9.4 miles. There are two grunt sections.

    The first (start the 2nd intersection (it makes a loop) with Old Holbert Cove Rd., on the right side, finish the intersection with Piney Mountain Rd., on the right side) – the elevation rises from 1180′ to 1765′ (585′) in 1.6 miles. Average grade of this section is 6.9% with 1 mile of it >12%.

    The second (there are no nearby landmarks, but about 1.2 miles before reaching the intersection with Overlook Circle) you ascend from 1620′ to 1960′ (340′) in 1 mile. Average grade is 6.4% with about 0.4 mile >12%.

    Dupont State Forest (Staton Road from Crab Creek Rd.) – there are two grunt sections along this road. Overall the elevation at the Crab Creek intersection is 2125′ and at the end of Staton Rd. is 2890′ (765′).

    First grunt section (start the intersection with Crab Creek Road, finish 1.25 miles from the start) – the elevation rises from 2125′ to 2590′ (465′) in 1.25 miles. Average grade is 7.0% with 0.5 mile >10%.

    Second grunt section (start the bridge over the river that flows into Cascade Lake – about 3.25 miles from Crab Creek Rd., finish the end of Staton Rd., intersection with Cascade Lake Road) – the elevation rises from 2290′ to 2890′ (600′) in 2.25 miles. Average grade is 5.1% with 0.8 mile of > 8.0%.

    Mount Mitchell (Hwy 128) – you climb a 1000′ in the first 2.5 miles. (start the intersection with the Blue Ridge Pkwy, finish – the top) – the elevation rises from 5160′ to 6565′ (1405′) in 4.6 miles. Average grade is 5.8% with 2.0 miles >9 – 10%.

    If you want to climb to over a mile high:

    Hwy 178 (from intersection with Hwy 11) into Rosman, 1/2 mile on Hwy 64, Hwy 215 up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, B.R.P. East to Black Balsam Knob Road. Starting elevation is 1055′. Finial elevation is 5915′. Change in elevation is 4860′. Distance is 39 miles.

    Hwy 178 (from intersection with Hwy 11) into Rosman, 1/2 mile on Hwy 64, Hwy 215 up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, B.R.P. West for about 8.4 miles to the high point on the B.R.P. West of Mt. Mitchell. Starting elevation is 1055′. Finial elevation is 6135′. Change in elevation is 5080′. Distance is 43.4 miles.

    From outside of Asheville (the locals there “love” this workout) – The Blue Ridge Parkway heading East, from Tunnel Road (Hwy 70). Starting elevation 2175′. Finial elevation, near Craggy Gardens, 5610′. Change in elevation is 3435′. Distance is 18.0 miles.

    • aaronwest

      Hi Tom, Thanks for the comprehensive list! Yes, I am familiar with many of those and a number are on my ‘to do’ list (Sassafras, Pinnacle, etc.). I hope to make it to one of Neil’s rides during early 2012 training, so maybe I’ll bump into you sometime.

      You may also check out my NC climbs section, where a lot of those you mentioned are listed. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow from your list here and there to fill in the blanks for the guide sections I plan on putting together someday.

  • Johnny

    This is a great list. However, you have left out the most difficult. The only people who think Sassafrass Mountain is the toughest in SC are the ones who have not done Panther Mountain. It is in a private neighborhood, so they don’t have to deal with the usual laws on road steepness. You take Chinquapin Rd in North Greenville, keeping the university on your left. It will run into Old 25 at the bottom of a hill, go right (it dead ends here, so you have to chose). Then you will take a left after you cross the river or creek. I can’t remember the name of the road, but it’s the one before Beaver Damn Rd. So if you get to Beaver Damn, turn around and go down the road before that. It will take you to a gated community. Go around the gate. Where the road forks, stay left. From here you can go straight to Panther Mountain, or take a right on Mountain Summit Rd. Either way, you are in for the hardest climb of your life. Both have pitches over 30%. I think both are around 3 miles long. One two miles stretch of Panther Mountain averages around 15%. It is not for the faint of heart. It is not for people with a 23 on the back. I tried it with a 23…I ended up sitting down in the middle of the road for 10 minutes unable to breathe. The descent…don’t let off the brakes or you will die (seriously).

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