“Technical and scenic, the Rock Garden Trail is unforgettable.”
— Chris Chaney
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This is a very technical section of trail. It also skirts the top edge of some big cliffs in places so take care. In winter, large sheets of ice hang directly over the trail which passes through the dripline for long stretches.
This trail winds it's way through boulders the size of cars up to multi-story apartment buildings that have fallen off the opposing cliffline above. If you are running in winter you get a fantastic view of Lovers Leap and the buttress.
From Low Gap head right (south) toward Natural Bridge
. Continue up through some insanely steep stairs (think Stairs of Cirith Ungol) that will make you think twice about returning the same way.
At the top of the rock steps the grade eases and you can settle into picking your line through rocks and roots along the edge of a cliff with a few smooth sections interspersed. You'll breathe a sigh of relief when you see the big arch ahead of you.
Flora & Fauna
Amazing grouping of ferns, several protected species of wildflowers, the usual assortment of small woodland creatures and of course amazing towering trees.