Ascent of Bursted Rock Mountin on 2019-03-11

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, March 11, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bursted Rock Mountin
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:3240 ft / 987 m

Ascent Trip Report

As far as I can determine Bursted Rock Mountain is the 15th highest named highpoint in South Carolina. The trailhead for Bursted Rock Mountain is located at Gum Gap (35.10274 N 82.69108 W). I don't usually provide directions to trailheads in my trip reports, but my navigation aid did not know this road access to Gum Gap and I had to figure it out on my own with the help of Tom Layton's and Fred Lobdell's trip reports. From the junction of Hwy 276 (also called Greenville Parkway) and East Fork Road, located at 35.15468 N 82.70686 W, drive up East Fork Road 1/4 mile and take a left fork. Continue on this road to 35.13717 N 82.70763 W where there is an extremely sharp left turn. At this point a gravel road begins. At 35.12494 N 82.68830 W the main road turns left with a sign there that reads,"Private Drive - No Outlet." The road to Gum Gap goes straight here. There is a crude sign nailed to a tree here that reads,"Gum Gap - 2 miles." Actually it is only 1.8 miles. There is only one more junction at State Line Road, which is private, located at 35.11931 N 82.68669 W. You continue straight here past a sign reading,"Watson-Cooper Heritage Preserve." About a 1/4 mile before Gum Gap I had to splash (float!) across a deep puddle in the middle of the road with water up to the bottom of my car doors, but I made it in my 1991 Ford Festiva. The coordinates at the Gum Gap parking area, which is surprisingly large, is 35.10274 N 82.69108 W. The trail (road) to Bursted Rock Mountain is just west of the parking area. The road forks here and you take the right fork following the blue blazed Foothills Trail past a pipe gate. From the parking area Bursted Rock Mountain is 1.56 air miles away. During this hike the road will make more than one hairpin turn and you will start heading in the wrong direction for quite a distance. Be patient and stay on the road. It will eventually turn back and start heading in the right direction. In addition, you will lose a bit of elevation at times, but again, this road is the best route to follow. After hiking exactly 1 hour and covering 2.19 miles I reached the trailhead to the left of the Foothills Trail for Bursted Rock Mountain at 35.09547 N 82.71101 W. At this point you are .32 air mile from the summit. I was able to follow a fairly good trail until I was .2 mile from the summit, then it became a mild bushwhack with a lot of tree blow down near the top and several wild boar diggings. When you are just .1 mile from the summit there is an excellent view to the south of Little Table Rock Mountain. I reached the summit after hiking 2.69 miles in 1 hour and 39 minutes from Gum Gap. There was no view here due to the trees, so I did not linger long, but I did a short investigatory hike to the west to see if I could access Dolves Mountain by going cross country without having to descend all the way back to the Foothills Trail. I discovered a series of ledges on the west sides of Bursted Rock Mountain that would make such a route very difficult and maybe impossible if it cliffs out. I descended back to the Foothills Trail in 15 minutes after covering .42 mile. From there I actually continued hiking west to climb Dolves Mountain which was only .85 air mile away, but since this trip report is for Bursted Rock Mountain I will continue from here with my return trip back to Gum Gap. I reached my car at Gum Gap from the trailhead to Bursted Rock Mountain in a little over one hour after covering 2.43 miles; however, I did make a side trip to climb Slicking Mountain along the way whose trip data is included on that other trip report. One more important thing to point out is that after hiking 17 minutes and covering .73 mile on the way back to Gum Gap from the trailhead to Bursted Rock Mountain on the Foothills Trail there is a fork in the road and the tendency is to continue traveling straight there. Just by luck I happened to look up the right fork and saw the blue blazes of the Foothills Trail, so it is necessary to take the right fork here which I can testify is easy to miss.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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