Cowrock Mountain via Tesnatee Gap Raven Cliffs Wilderness, GA
DURATION 1-2 hours
There And
Back Again
Cowrock Mountain via Tesnatee Gap

May 18, 2020 - Many parks and hiking trails are open but some are still closed or limiting capacity. Call ahead to verify status if possible. While hiking, continue to follow social distancing practices. Stay safe people.

Travel along the Appalachian Trail to an epic view on this short but challenging hike to the summit of Cowrock Mountain. This is another hike I find great in winter as you get better views on the way up. For a longer hike check out Cowrock Mountain via Hogpen Gap.

The parking area at Tesnatee Gap is small so get there early in the warmer months. This hike starts on the west side of parking area about halfway back. Look for the trail that goes straight up. Steep and rocky are the two words that describe this hike best and it begins right away. Parts of the trail can be wet and slippery and many of the rocks are loose so pay attention to your footing. This is a heads down trail.

After a quarter mile, the trail evens out for a bit, giving you a nice reprieve, but ultimately just delaying the continued onslaught. At just before .4 miles in, the trail begins a series of switchbacks that continue until the summit. At one of these turns, the trail looks like it splits, but it rejoins immediately.

At .84 miles, hike out onto a large exposed rock viewing area at the summit of Cowrock Mountain to take a well deserved break. A fantastic view rewards your hard work. Look for Yonah Mountain in the distance. Trek on along the white-blazed AT directly behind the view a short distance to another expansive view at just under a mile total distance. Be mindful of loose rocks and take it easy on the way back down. If you want more, from the summit continue hiking along the AT to Wolf Laurel Top for another great view and to extend your hike to 4.4 miles roundtrip.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
length2 miles
difficulty5.6 Easy-Medium
duration1 - 2 hours
features Dog Friendly  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
elevation gain670 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestRaven Cliffs Wilderness
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtChattooga River District
9975 Highway 441 S
Lakemont, GA 30552
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 34.725998, -83.847686 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°43.56, W 83°50.86 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°43'34'', N 34°43'34'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.725998, -83.847686 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°43.56, W 83°50.86 most GPS units use this one
N 34°43'34'', N 34°43'34'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
The trail begins on the west side of the parking lot (on the right as you enter).
In the spring you will pass numerous AT thru-hikers. Say hello.
The trail is very rocky and can be wet and muddy. Be careful along slick wet rocks.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (2)
Coachshot99-1 year ago
Story Time Rock
I have been to Cowrock several times and was up there last week. I went up by myself for a sunset. I came across a guy near the top and we chatted for a few minutes. He let me in on a secret. When you get to the rock face at Cowrock, there is a small side trail below that goes approx a quarter mile to possibly the best overlook in North Georgia. I was skeptical but had enough daylight to check it out myself. Once on Cowrock, walk down the rock face itself and to your right you will see a subtle trail. It is not marked but once you find it it’s easy to follow. I walked the short trail and it comes to a grassy clearing to your left and a really cool fire pit. The overlook at this point is called Story Time Rock and it’s AMAZING. It would be a perfect spot to camp. Check it out next time you hike to Cowrock. You will be the only person at Story Time, I can assure you of that. I was amazed that I didn’t know about it as I hike that area regularly.
Medium | Hiked Spring 2019
hikethesouth-2 years ago
Challenge Accepted
Although this is an Easy-Medium hike, don't let that fool you. At less than a mile to the summit, this short hike will make you work for the view. But it's worth the effort. Great views from two sides of Cowrock Mountain.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Spring 2018
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