Tray Mountain via Unicoi Gap Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, GA
DURATION 4-6 hours
There And
Back Again
Tray Mountain via Unicoi 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.

Conquer two mountains along the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia for an epic day hike! From Unicoi Gap, hike up and over Rocky Mountain to then take on Tray Mountain, capturing great views from both. Bring your sense of adventure and plenty of water on this one.

Begin the hike at the large parking area at Unicoi Gap. You'll be taking the AT northbound which leaves the parking area on the right (south) near the info sign and the AT marker.

The trail immediately heads up Rocky Mountain. The trail is quite, well... rocky, making the journey all the more difficult. Not to mention the near 1000 feet per mile elevation gain. At just over .8 miles you'll pass the blue-blazed Rocky Mountain Trail on the left and at 1.3 miles you summit Rocky Mountain. Enjoy two views to the south spaced a tenth of a mile apart before heading steeply down to Indian Grave Gap. Keep in mind you'll be ascending this section on the way back when you're nice and tired.

Cross the road and continue following the white blazes. The next mile is easier, gaining at a more moderate rate of 550 feet/mile. Cross over Tray Mountain Road, pass a blue-blazed side trail and a couple campsites along the way. After this you'll hike up two ascents at around 800 feet/mile. The first before you reach Tray Gap and the second from Tray Gap to the summit. Just before the gap, a small view opens on the right giving you a view of Tray Mountain in front of you just behind the trees.

Cross the road at Tray Gap, passing a blank (at the time) info sign and soon entering Tray Mountain Wilderness. Just before the summit, another small view opens up to the north. At the top of Tray Mountain, a view opens up to the south and a few feet down the trail another to the north giving you good views on both sides of the mountain. Stop and take a break, you earned it. All that's left to do is head back the way you came.

Other shorter options for Tray Mountain include beginning at Indian Grave Gap and beginning at Tray Gap.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.8 mi
72 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
1.1 mi
404 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
1.2 mi
763 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
1.1 mi
944 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
1 mi
1209 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
length10 miles
difficulty23.9 Hard
duration4 - 6 hours
features Dog Friendly  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
elevation gain3350 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestChattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtBlue Ridge Ranger District
2042 Highway 515 West
Blairsville, GA 30512
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.
Parking Capacity
30-40 vehicles.
Heading up Rocky Mountain is the rockiest section of this hike. Overall, rocky/rooty sections and some slick wet bare rock sections.
A few easy creek crossings.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-1 year ago
Challenge Accepted
This is a tough hike. Right from the start you'll summit Rocky Mountain, a good hike on its own. As you head down before climbing Tray Mountain, keep in mind you'll be climbing back up here near the end of the hike, you know, when you're nice and tired. Good views from both mountains. Once you pass the first summit, you won't see too many people, which is always a plus.
Hard | Hiked Fall 2018
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