Savage Gulf 

Gorgeous views; difficult climb to campsite; nice, airy campsite on ridge overlooking gulf


Our Apps

Map Tools

Share Trip
  • E-mail Trip
  • Embed Map
  • Social Bookmarks
    more bookmarks...

Download To

Create a Trip
* Requires a Trip Planner or Elite Membership
Author: ashleyeli
Date: 29 Apr 2008 9:27:09 PM
Activity: Backpacking
State: Tennessee (TN)
Distance: 7.25 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 3893 ft
Total Loss: 5430 ft
Net Change: -1537 ft
Difficulty: 6 / 10
Tags: Backpacking, Savage Gulf, Stone Door, Tennessee
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

Starting at the parking lot, this route takes Stone Door Trail to Big Creek Gulf (camp at Alum Gap) to Big Creek Rim, back to Stone Door Trail and the parking lot.  Dogs are allowed on leashes.  No bear sightings reported - no bear vault needed.  Water is available for filtering.  Register at trailhead.

TO TRAILHEAD: The Savage Gulf is located in central Tennessee in South Cumberland Mountains. It can be accessed from interstate 24 at the Monteagle, Tenn exit 127. Take TN 50 to TN 56, through Altamont to junction of TN 108. To access Stone Door Ranger Station (Stone Door, Laural Falls Loop, Big Creek Rim Trail, Big Creek Gorge Trail) continue north on 56 through Altamont and Beersheba Springs to reach Stone Door Ranger Station. Just past Beersheba Springs Market (closest place for ice), where the slogan is If we don't have it, you don't need it., you come to a sign indicating to turn right to Stone Door Ranger Station. Follow this road into the park. Hikers and campers must register at the Ranger Station.

Position Format: Datum:
Tracks

Stone Door Trail

Distance: 0.82 mi Points: 39
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
This easy trail begins at the Stone Door Ranger Station and follows a paved path to the Stone Door overlook. This trail is about a 1 hour hike. (Restrooms, water and telephone). 0.0 Begin at Stone Door Ranger Station Parking Lot. 0.2 To the left is Laurel Gulf Overlook with view of Laurel Creek gorge and Stone Door bluff to the right. 0.5 A small stream, sometimes dry. 0.9 Trail Junction (Big Creek Rim to right (Alum Gap Camp 3.2), Big Creek Gulf & Stone Door straight ahead), Stone Door overlooks left & straight.

Big Creek Gulf - Sec 1

Distance: 0.44 mi Points: 52
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
This rough, challenging trail leads through the gorge below and to the west of Stone Door. Hikers may return via Laurel or Big Creek Rim trails. This trail will wear you out. An over night stay at Alum Gap Camp is recommended. Small boulders and rocks must be traversed at many places on this demanding trail. This trail is about a 4-5 hour hike. 0.0 Trail begins from Stone Door Trail above the overlooks, then steeply descends through the Stone Door passageway to some wood steeps. This is a favorite spot for top rope repelling. 0.1 The descent continues down extremely rocky slopes. This is the most difficult part of the trail. 0.9 Connector trail to left, Big Creek Gulf Trail to right.

Big Creek Gulf - Sec 2

Distance: 1.09 mi Points: 43
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
(distances from beginning for BCG Sec 1) 0.9 Connector trail to left, Big Creek Gulf Trail to right. 1.2 Old logging road to left leads to several resurgent springs where the creek re-emerges after a 2 mile underground stretch. 2.0 Ranger Falls to left. This side trail leads to the falls and sink of Ranger Creek. Round trip to falls is one mile.

Ranger Falls Trail

Distance: 0.49 mi Points: 36
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
This side trail leads to the falls and sink of Ranger Creek. Round trip to falls is one mile.

Big Creek Gulf - Sec 3

Distance: 1.65 mi Points: 68
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
(distances from beginning of BCG Section 1) 2.0 Ranger Falls to left. This side trail leads to the falls and sink of Ranger Creek. Round trip to falls is one mile. 2.6 Sinks Trail to left; this short spur leads to where Big Creek usually disappears under an imposing, unstable limestone bluff. 3.5 An old landslide has opened a view of the surrounding cliffs, the largest being 'Big Bluff' to the west. After a steep ascent the trail rejoins the logging road. 4.0 Laurel trail begins to left, Big Creek Rim trail to the right. Alum gap camp area.

Big Creek Rim

Distance: 2.76 mi Points: 73
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
(in REVERSE order) This easy trail follows the edge of the plateau above the Big Creek Gulf. It begins from the Stone Door trail and ends at Alum Gap Camp Area. Some nice overlooks can be accessed along this 3.2 mile trail. Camp sites 8 & 9 lead to a nice overlook. Camp has pit toilets but no piped in water. Water can be filtered from near by stream if conditions have not been dry. Closest water when dry is Greeter Falls 1.4 miles. This trail is about a 2.0 hour hike 0.0 Trail begins form the Stone Door Trail near the overlook. 0.3 Split Rock Overlook, Stone Door cliffs to far left. 1.6 Sinks Overlook, at the bottom of the gorge a limestone cliff marks the area where Big Creek goes underground most of the year. 2.5 Pine Rock Overlook 2.7 Big Creek Overlook, the stream can be seen down and to the right. A beautiful intricate bluff is also to the right. 3.2 Alum Gap Camp Area. The junction of Laurel trail, Greeter trail and Big Creek Gulf trail.

Points of Interest

Greeter Falls

Location: 35.434265, -85.696228

Parking

Location: 35.446018, -85.656479
Follow Stone Door Trail This easy trail begins at the Stone Door Ranger Station and follows a paved path to the Stone Door overlook. This trail is about a 1 hour hike. (Restrooms, water and telephone). 0.0 Begin at Stone Door Ranger Station Parking Lot. 0.2 To the left is Laurel Gulf Overlook with view of Laurel Creek gorge and Stone Door bluff to the right. 0.5 A small stream, sometimes dry. 0.9 Trail Junction (Big Creek Rim to right (Alum Gap Camp 3.2), Big Creek Gulf & Stone Door straight ahead), Stone Door overlooks left & straight.

Stone Door overlook

Location: 35.440149, -85.649114
From here take the Big Creek Gulf Trail This rough, challenging trail leads through the gorge below and to the west of Stone Door. Hikers may return via Laurel or Big Creek Rim trails. This trail will wear you out. An over night stay at Alum Gap Camp is recommended. Small boulders and rocks must be traversed at many places on this demanding trail. This trail is about a 4-5 hour hike. 0.0 Trail begins from Stone Door Trail above the overlooks, then steeply descends through the Stone Door passageway to some wood steeps. This is a favorite spot for top rope repelling. 0.1 The descent continues down extremely rocky slopes. This is the most difficult part of the trail. 0.9 Connector trail to left, Big Creek Gulf Trail to right.

Intersection with Connector Trail

Location: 35.437813, -85.645287
-0.9 Connector trail to left, Big Creek Gulf Trail to right. 1.2 Old logging road to left leads to several resurgent springs where the creek re-emerges after a 2 mile underground stretch. 2.0 Ranger Falls to left. This side trail leads to the falls and sink of Ranger Creek. Round trip to falls is one mile. (distances from beginning for BCG Sec 1)

side trail to Ranger Creek Falls

Location: 35.427723, -85.657265
This side trail leads to the falls and sink of Ranger Creek. Round trip to falls is one mile. After returning from the falls, continue on Big Creek Gulf Trail: 2.0 Ranger Falls to left. This side trail leads to the falls and sink of Ranger Creek. Round trip to falls is one mile. 2.6 Sinks Trail to left; this short spur leads to where Big Creek usually disappears under an imposing, unstable limestone bluff. 3.5 An old landslide has opened a view of the surrounding cliffs, the largest being 'Big Bluff' to the west. After a steep ascent the trail rejoins the logging road. 4.0 Laurel trail begins to left, Big Creek Rim trail to the right. Alum gap camp area. (distances from beginning of BCG Section 1)

Ranger Falls

Location: 35.421597, -85.660713

Sinks

Location: 35.430080, -85.667091
trail to the left

landslide view

Location: 35.431980, -85.678604

Alum Gap Campsite

Location: 35.434147, -85.683792
Camp details: Camp has pit toilets but no piped in water. Water can be filtered from near by stream if conditions have not been dry. In the morning, take Big Creek Rim trail back to the parking lot. (in REVERSE order) This easy trail follows the edge of the plateau above the Big Creek Gulf. It begins from the Stone Door trail and ends at Alum Gap Camp Area. Some nice overlooks can be accessed along this 3.2 mile trail. Camp sites 8 & 9 lead to a nice overlook. Camp has pit toilets but no piped in water. Water can be filtered from near by stream if conditions have not been dry. Closest water when dry is Greeter Falls 1.4 miles. This trail is about a 2.0 hour hike 0.0 Trail begins form the Stone Door Trail near the overlook. 0.3 Split Rock Overlook, Stone Door cliffs to far left. 1.6 Sinks Overlook, at the bottom of the gorge a limestone cliff marks the area where Big Creek goes underground most of the year. 2.5 Pine Rock Overlook 2.7 Big Creek Overlook, the stream can be seen down and to the right. A beautiful intricate bluff is also to the right. 3.2 Alum Gap Camp Area. The junction of Laurel trail, Greeter trail and Big Creek Gulf trail.

overlook

Location: 35.440184, -85.649800

descent

Location: 35.439414, -85.648985
on Big Creek Gulf trail heading to bottom

Big Creek Gulf

Location: 35.434519, -85.646989

Alum Gap campsite

Location: 35.434310, -85.683339
large airy campsites overlooking gulf. i think there were about 12 sites

Greeter Trail overlook

Location: 35.431862, -85.685656

Greeter Falls

Location: 35.434030, -85.696106


Tracks/Routes:
Comparable Trips

Comments  Post a comment
0 Trip Comments