Savage Gulf, TN

IMG_1097I got away early this week for my annual fall see the leaves backpacking trip to Savage Gulf, Tennessee. Savage Gulf is part of the South Cumberland Recreation Area located on the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau in TN. The rocks of the Cumberland Plateau were laid down 250 to 325 million years ago. Elevation averages 1800 feet along the Rim and 1100 feet in the Gulf. Trails within the Savage Gulf area range from easy dirt trails across the wooded plateau, steep boulder covered switchbacks descending into the Gulf, old logging roads and dry rocky river beds.




This year Mother Nature got up early and pulled out her finest watercolors…the set with the most brilliant colors.

IMG_1121Baby black rat snake




IMG_1138Glad I saw this before setting up camp, some kind of critter had been digging up yellow jacket nests, this was the second nest I saw within 100 yards and both were still active. Pretty sure I know what critter…it lumbered by camp just before dark…black bear. I heard it long before I saw it, sniffing and scratching around looking for grubs and yellow jacket larva. The bear was a nuisance for a couple of hours, whenever I clapped my hands or yelled it would bolt away, then I would hear it sniffing and scratching again, never once did it come in my camp or around where the food bag was hanging…at least not that I’m aware of…maybe as I slept.

IMG_1149Cooking water with Trail Designs TiTri and Evernew 600



IMG_1158I would be atop the far ridge by afternoon.




IMG_1174Stagecoach Historic Trail, this trail was a toll road built by slave labor in the 1840’s connecting McMinnville, TN to Chattanooga. Sections of stacked stonewall still remain.


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10 thoughts on “Savage Gulf, TN

  1. I hunt, not far from there. Beautiful pics, thanks for sharing. I figured it was skunks that dug up those yellow jacket nest. I know they did up a lot of them. Cool that you saw a bear, were you tenting or staying in the cabin ?

  2. I, along with a couple of my coworkers, visited Savage Gulf about seven or eight weeks ago. I loved it. It was supposed to be a two night backpacking trip, but well…crap happens, so it became a short overnighter instead. I really want to go back and make a multi day trip. The views were fantastic along the North Rim.

    • Frank- I’ve hiked every trail there , great views from all the Rim trails and beautiful backcountry trails too, and few moonshine stills or what’s left of them.

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