Somewhat Disappointing Hike to Raven Cliff Falls

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This blog features a very long hike, which I don’t necessarily regret, but it could have been avoided if I looked at the map more closely. In my head, I thought the order of operations to this hike would have been:

  1. Suspension Bridge
  2. Waterfall up close
  3. River Crossing
  4. Birds Eye view of Waterfall

In actuality:

  1. Suspension Bridge
  2. Zero views of the Waterfall up close
  3. Unnecessarily steep hike with river crossing
  4. Birds Eye View of Waterfall

After the suspension bridge while we were making our steep decent, we were expecting to see a view of the waterfall we we partially went over on the suspension bridge, though the further and further we went down, it didn’t seem that was going to happen and once we got to the point when we realized it wasn’t going to happen, we decided it wasn’t worth hiking back up that steep decent. Thankfully, the other side of the climb out was not as bad, but still steep in places. I had been sweating hiking up to the view, but then as we had made it back up, the air shifted cold or at least we were more exposed and my sweat had started to freeze.

If I had read the map in advance, we probably would have had not only the strength, but the time to check out one other place before sun down.

What We Did

What We Should Have Done

Don’t get me wrong, it was a more intense fulfilling hike by the end, but I felt as if I had hiked down to the river and back up for no real reason. Same with the suspension bridge. There was an alternative route to the bird’s eye view back the way we came that was very flat as you can see on the map above. If you can’t tell, the point furthest away from the road on the map is Raven Cliff Falls with the suspension bridge and the point second furthest away from the road is the birds eye view of the falls.

Started to Snow/Hail at the Start of the Hike

The hike to the suspension bridge was for the most part descending gradually with some long flat spots. Yeah there were some ascents, but nothing as intense as the hike down to the River Crossing and back up. I assume the majority of people who do this hike, hike the the suspension bridge and back, which is a little odd because then your destination to the top of Raven Cliff Falls would be the suspension bridge.

I love suspension bridges, but if I’m going to hike an additional 4 miles to a waterfall, I’d want to see the falls up close.

I’ve covered unnecessary steep decline and incline after the suspension bridge, however there was a cool river at the bottom.

River Crossing

Bird’s Eye View

Yeah it was cool to finally see the falls for what it was, but when we got to this point, we were done. I have some other photos of this spot with the falls, but we look so done so I’m just not going to post them. Ha 😅


  • Skip the suspension bridge and hike directly to the bird’s eye view of the falls – You will save yourself 4 miles (2 hours) depending on your chosen route.
  • Bring a telescope lens if you want detailed pictures of Raven Cliff Falls from the Bird’s Eye View.

NameRaven Cliff Falls
LocationCleveland, SC
Trailhead/ParkingOverflow Parking – 35.114704, -82.640569
Main Parking: 35.115959, -82.638291
Trailhead: 35.115959, -82.6388382
Trail NameRaven Cliff Falls Trail – 1.4 Miles
Gum Gap Trail – 1.4 Miles
Natural Land Trust Trail – 1.7 Miles
Dismal Trail – 1.2 Miles
Raven Cliff Falls Trail – 2.0 Miles
Hike Length 7.7 Miles
AllTrails LinkRaven Cliff Falls Trail

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