From Pickens, SC:
- Drive N on US-178 for 15.5 miles, to an unincorporated town depicted as Rocky Bottom on the USGS topo.
- Turn east (R) onto CR-199 and drive 1.3 mi up the curvy road to the Chimneytop Gap trailhead for the Foothills Trail.
- Park in the small pullout on the west side of the road or alongside CR-199 but off of the pavement.
Before staring out, take a look at the Foothills Trail map as this route is not shown on the Eastatoe Gap Quadrangle. Cross over CR-199, and hike 2.2 miles along the white blazed Foothills trail as it contours up the west ridge of Sassafras Mountain. The blazes look strikingly similar to those found on the Appalachian Trail.
The trail crosses the summit road at 2.2 mi, and it can be difficult to pick it back up. There is a wooden stairway with a railing on the side of the road to the climber's left about 20 yards after the trail reaches the pavement. Look sharp for this, otherwise, you will end up hiking the road for the rest of the way up. Continue 0.3 mi on the trail (0.4 mi on the road) up to the summit register at another Foothills Trail sign. There is a USGS benchmark 25 yards east of the register.
Only basic hiking gear is needed, however, water availability is seasonal, so err on the side of caution and bring all that you need. Winter storms occasionally hit this area, so prepare accordingly.