Jocassee Gorges

Property Location

1344 Cleo Chapman Highway
Sunset, SC 29685

Latitude: 35.0486  Longitude:-82.8142
Acreage: 33000
County: Oconee, Pickens
Game Zone: 1


Property Type: WMA Other

Hours of Operation

Update: As of September 9, 2019, repair work on the Toxaway River pedestrian bridge (Jocassee Gorges Area) on the Foothills Trail has been completed and the bridge has returned to normal service. Thanks to bridge contractor Crowder Construction for keeping the bridge passable during this repair process.

The main, Horsepasture Road remains open from Laurel Valley to Jumping-Off-Rock.

A section of Jocassee Gorges road in northern Pickens County that suffered multiple landslides during heavy April rainfall will remain closed until November while repairs are made.

A three-mile section of the Horsepasture Road section between Bootleg Mountain and the Jocassee dam will remain closed until November. Landslides in the area continue to pose a threat to motorized traffic.

Check the SCDNR website, Twitter, Facebook, or call the Jocassee Field Office at 864-868-0281 or the Clemson SCDNR office at 864-986-6247 for updates.

Some roads are open on a seasonal basis. Regular Game Zone 1 seasons apply for hunting.

Seasonal access for motorized vehicles is September 15 - January 15 and March 20 - May 10 only. All-terrain-vehicles (ATVs) may be used Mon. - Fri during those time periods. If an ATV is used on Saturday, all riders must have a hunting license and a WMA permit. The Horsepasture Road (to Jumping-Off-Rock) and Camp Adger Road are open year-round for licensed vehicles only. ATVs are prohibited on any road from January 16 to March 19 and May 11 to September 14.


Activities / Facilities

Biking Primitive Camping Driving Equestrian Fishing Hunting Nature Viewing Hiking Important Bird Area

Property Description

Photograph of Jocassee Gorges

Regulations for Sassafras Mountain Site

Contact the Jocassee Field Office at 864-868-0281 or email HallM@dnr.sc.gov for road management updates or temporary roads closures during inclement weather conditions.

The Jim Timmerman Natural Resources Area at Jocassee Gorges (Jocassee) is South Carolina's premier mountain property. It is located in northern Pickens County and eastern Oconee County and surrounds Lake Jocassee. The property is heavily wooded with hardwood forests and white pine woodlands, and contains many streams bordered by large yellow poplar and eastern hemlock. Jocassee is home to many rare and unusual plants and animals. It was purchased by the SCDNR in 1998 because of the unique biology present, the special recreational opportunities it provides, and the simple fact that it is a large, rugged and remote property.


Camping In Jocassee Gorges

Camping is permitted (first-come-first-serve) at designated camp sites along the open roads in Jocassee Gorges. Designated sites are noted on the kiosk maps at each entrance. A 10-mile portion of the Horsepasture road is open year-round and has 4 designated camp sites. Primitive camping is permitted along the Foothills Trail, Eastatoee Creek Heritage Preserve Spur or the Palmetto Trail year-round and no permits are required.


Bird watching, hiking, fishing and hunting are traditional uses on Jocassee. Birds range from uncommon Swainson's warblers in the dense hemlock/rhododendron thickets to the broad-winged hawks that patrol the open woodlands.

Hikers enjoy the wildflower displays that can be seen along the Foothills and Palmetto Trails. Cold, free-flowing headwater streams support wild trout populations. Hunting for black bear, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, squirrel and raccoon has been popular in Jocassee for many decades. Jocassee is especially popular in the spring when wildflowers are blooming and again in the fall when colors are often spectacular. The area has over 200 miles of old logging roads for wandering and exploring.

See the DNR Jocassee Gorges web site for more information.