South Carolina has only a thin line of mountainous terrain within its border areas with North Carolina and northern Georgia. The highest point of land in the state is a bit less than 3,600 feet. However, this country is known as the Blue Ridge Escarpment, also sometimes termed "The Green Wall". The escarpment rises abruptly from a Piedmont plateau that sits at about 800 to 1000 feet, so some of these peaks are truly spectacular. Add to their immediate relief the exposed cliffs and granite domes some of these mountains possess, and you are left with some very formidable walls by almost any standard. I believe the greatest sheer wall in the state of SC is to be found on Table Rock Mountain, a most imposing southern mountain that is something of a Mecca to rock climbers in the East.
Table Rock Mountain.
From I-85 take SC 276 at Greenville to Highway 11 (also known as the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway). From 11, follow the signs into the park.
All climbers need to register at park hq. Also, even hikers are asked to register at the trailhead (one trailhead for most of the park's trails). Just fill out a form and drop it into a box. If you need a rescue and failed to fill out a registration form, you will be fined.
There is a $2 entry fee, per person over 16 years of age.
When To Climb
Any time of year. As with other southern peaks, keep in mind that it gets terribly hot and humid in summer. Ticks can be a problem. I would stay away from the cliff areas in freezing weather, unless you are an experienced ice climber.
The trail to the summit is called The Table Rock Trail. 3.6 miles in length, it climbs right at 2,004 feet. The trailhead is at the Nature Center on the main park road at the large parking lot on Pinnacle Lake. Budget about 2-3 hours one way to the summit.
Camping is allowed in the park at a designated developed campground. There is a camp store, three bathhouses with hot showers. Fees are $17 per night, except for a primitive camping area which charges $4 per night (pit toilets and common water area). There is no backcountry camping. A vast area to the west of the park land is owned and regulated by the city of Greenville SC and is a protected watershed. They prosecute any trespassing, even hiking. There is back country camping very near the park, on the Foothills Trail, which connects the park to Sassafrass Mountain, the highest point in SC
There is also a lodge in the park, and rental cabins (along with two lakes , boat rentals, and fishing).
Check the weather reports for Pickens, SC. Subtract five to ten degrees for the highest ridges.