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Caesar's Head

Caesar's Head

#9 on our Great Rides list


Caesar’s Head is a favorite ride of George Hincapie, a retired professional cyclist and local Greenville resident and a must ride if you are in South Carolina.


Greenville, South Carolina, USA

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97 miles / 156km

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Elevation Gain

7,650ft / 2,331m

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Best Time to Visit

Spring - Fall - Winter

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Paved Road

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Level 4

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Level 2

Discover this ride on our Greenville ride camp

The Pros secret training grounds

According to Hincapie, this ride “is one of the hardest climbs in the area.” and he often used it to gauge his fitness as he prepared for his 17-Tour de France participations.

The first 4-miles of the climb has a good steady gradient followed by a short reprieve, finishing with a steeper 2-miles section to the summit. The reward for conquering this challenging climb comes from the overlook at the summit of Caesar’s Head State Park, featuring breathtaking views of Table Rock State Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Keep a watchful eye out for some pro cyclists and junior development squads training in the early spring.

What you need to know

Ride details
The climb has pretty well maintained pavement and light traffic for most of the year. Traffic increases with the arrival of the fall foliage in October which attracts lots of folks who come to see the dramatic colored leaves in this massive deciduous forest. The top of the climb is at about mile 33, but you climbing isn’t over yet. While the climb up to Ceasars Head summit is the toughest climb, you’ll still have 64 miles and about 4,000ft left to ride to get back to Greenville, unless you choose to do the ride as an out and back.

Spring and Fall are definitely the best times tackle Caesar’s Head. Much of the climb is in a canopy of trees which offers good protection from the summer sun but it can get incredibly humid in the summer. Late spring and early fall you will get more variable weather but more comfortable humidity and less traffic. It is generally at least 10 degrees cooler at the summit, so make sure to pack layers.

The Mountain House Restaurant just before the summit is a great place to refuel for lunch featuring sandwiches, salads, ice cream and homemade fudge. The visitor center at the top has coffee, water and snacks available, along with a fireplace to warm up before the descent on colder days.

While you’re in town

There are tons of bike shops in Greenville which off bike rentals and plenty of gear to prepare you for the Ceasars head ride! Aside from excellent road biking, Greenville boast a plethora of other activities. Hike one of the hundreds of trails in surrounding state parks, white water rafting, waterfall tours or horse back riding. Greenville truly has it all!

Greenville is quickly becoming known as a “foodie” paradise. There are over 600 restaurants in Greenville (yes, 600!) with an enticing and diverse collection of dining experiences and cuisines ranging from traditional, to global, to downright eclectic.

Ready for Caesar's Head?

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Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

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Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

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Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

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Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

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Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

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Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

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