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SC Highest Sassafras Mtn. - 3554 Ft

Biking (Hiking) Map & Guide

SC Higheast - Sassafras Mountain

PDF Printable Version of Sassafras Mtn Bike (& Hike)

Sassafras Mountain is South Carolina's highest point, at 3554 ft above sea level.  It is not a very distinct peak.  It is in amongst other round mounds of similar elevations along the South Carolina/North Carolina state line.  However, it is accessible via a lightly traveled paved road.

Unlike most state high points, South Carolina does not bring attention to its highest point.  There are no gift shops, ice cream counters, or short order grills at the top of this mountain.  Nor are there water fountains and restrooms.  The summit is only crowned with a series of communication towers, with the summit road basically serving as a maintenance access avenue.

The ride starts at 1800 feet and climbs to the summit in less than 6 miles.  To add insult to injury, there is a downhill section in the middle which you have to regain during the second part.  Fortunately, this ride is short and the traffic is almost non-existent.

This is a mountain ride for those who like to climb mountains on their bikes.  It takes patience, granny gears, lungs and calf muscles.  But it is short. which makes it a good challenge for those who are not quite sure.  It is mainly in the woods with limited vistas through the trees though at the summit there is a partial view.

As an alternate, you can hike to the summit along the Foothills Trail from the same trail head parking lot at Laurel Valley.  The hike is 4.8 miles to the summit (one way) according to the Foothills Trail Guide.  Like the bike ride, the hike is a steady climb gaining 1700 feet from base to summit. 


Rounded peaks in area of Sassafras Mtn.


Topo Map of Sassafras Mountain SC Bike Ride
Locations are approximate
Current Pickens county road map.

Miles 11.6 (round trip)
Road Surface Paved Roads
(except for short distance on gravel road at parking lot)
More Detailed (Better) Maps Good County Road Map: Pickens County SC
Good State Atlas:  Delorme SC Atlas and Gazetteer
Rider Skill Definitely not a family ride unless older children in good shape to endure multiple hills and are road savvy.
Start (1800') Park at Laurel Valley Trail Access Parking lot.  Follow gravel road back to US 178.  There is typically a porta-potty located at this parking lot.
( Approximate GPS Coordinates 3502'56.78"N 8248'49.61"W )
0.2 Right (south) on US 178.
1.0 (1750') Left on F. Van Clayton Highway in the Rocky Bottom community.
2.4 (2400') Chimneytop Gap where Foothills Hiking Trail crosses.
4.0 (2800') Bear right at fork.  (Left goes downhill across state line into North Carolina and a maze of mountain roads.  Don't go left unless you like getting lost.)  After here the road straddles the state line along the northwest shoulder of Sassafras Mtn.
5.8 (3500) Gravel parking lot on left at gate.  Beyond gate is summit.  Just beyond summit high point is a short foot trail that leads to a limited view.
11.6 Return to starting point.

rev 12/09