Rocky Mountain Loop Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, GA
miles
LENGTH 5.1 MILES
DIFFICULTY 12.5 Medium
DURATION 2-4 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
1700
feet
TRAIL TYPE
Lollipop
Loop
Rocky Mountain Loop

Hike northbound along the Appalachian Trail to incredible views atop Rocky Mountain from Unicoi Gap in Georgia. The trail begins with a bang, gaining over 1000 feet in just 1.3 miles. At 2 hours from Atlanta or Asheville and 2.5 hours from Chattanooga, this makes a perfect half day adventure.

The large gravel parking lot is immediately off of GA-17/GA-75. Although it can accommodate 50-60 cars, it can still fill up on weekends so don't get there too late. Begin this hike at the southern end of the parking lot. Looks for a post with a white blaze.

The hike up to Rocky Mountain begins to climb immediately and doesn't let up until you reach the summit. The trail varies from slightly rocky to very rocky with several sections of stone steps making the journey just a bit more challenging. Several minor creek crossing should be easy to traverse, just mind slick wet rocks.

At .8 miles you'll come to the intersection of the blue-blazed Rocky Mountain Trail. This will be the return trail for this loop if taken counter-clockwise. From here, the trail gets steeper before leveling off at 1.2 miles. After another tenth of a mile you will come to the first view at the summit.

Framed by trees on both sides, you get a long range view of the mountains to the south, including Yonah Mountain. Continue along the AT for another view at the 1.5 mile mark. This view is less crowded by trees. For a shorter hike, you could turn around here for an out-and-back of Rocky Mountain.

Descend the mountain, heading down as sharply as you came up, until you reach Indian Grave Gap. Here several trails and roads come together. For this loop, you'll be leaving the AT from this point, turning left and heading north along the gravel Indian Grave Gap Road for over half a mile. Look for blue blazes on the trees on the opposite side of the road for confirmation you're going the right way.

After .65 miles the trail re-enters the woods on the left at the sign for the Rocky Mtn Trail. Sticking tightly to the contours of the steep hillside, the trail is laced with fern and moss covered rocks. After a rocky creek crossing, the trail begins it's climb to join the AT back at the intersection on the way up Rocky Mountain. Turn right here, backtracking down the AT to the parking lot to end out this hike.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length5.1 miles
difficulty12.5 Medium
duration2 - 4 hours
features Dog Friendly  Summit  Views 
trail typeLollipop Loop
blazeWhite (AT), Blue (Rocky Mtn)
elevation gain1700 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestChattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtBlue Ridge Ranger District
2042 Highway 515 West
Blairsville, GA 30512
706-745-6928
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 34.801558, -83.742879 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°48.09, W 83°44.57 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°48'06'', N 34°48'06'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.801558, -83.742879 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°48.09, W 83°44.57 most GPS units use this one
N 34°48'06'', N 34°48'06'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
The large gravel parking lot is directly off GA-17/GA-75.
Notes
Consider this for a winter hike for even better views.
The trail varies from slightly rocky to very rocky. Some bare rock sections can be slick when wet.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-4 months ago
Take the Challenge
The first mile of this hike is a real challenge, but you are rewarded with two excellent views. Even if the parking lot is crowded, you won't see too many people at the top. The section along the gravel road gives you a nice break before heading back up the Rocky Mtn Trail.
Medium | Hiked Summer 2018
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