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Hikes n' Climbs Rabun Bald, GA
 

Rabun Bald, GA Rabun Bald, GA Hot

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Rabun Bald, GA

Hike/Site Details

Length
3.2
Trail Type
Out-and-Back
Skill Level
Easy to Moderate
Duration
2-4 hours
Trailhead Elevation
3,300 feet
Top Elevation
4,696 feet

Location

Address
sky valley, ga
State

Geographic Location

Latitude
34.97
Longitude
-83.30

Videos

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Rabun bald is the second highest peak in Georgia after Brasstown Bald.  One of the nice things about Rabun, is that it is less touristy then the aforementioned highest peak.  It also offers one of the most spectacular 360 degree panoramas in the state.

 

Getting there is quite easy, and has supplemental 4X4 roads that can shorten the hike even more.  It's a gorgeous place, especially in the peak season of fall.  On the day I went it pretty much could be guessed at 50 miles visibility, and the weather refreshing.  The trail conditions were maintained and I would rate this as a easy to moderate hike.  From the Beechum Gap parking area, which is where the paved road ends, it's a mere 1.6 miles to the summit.

The hike was nice, and pleasant, without anything particularly interesting save a couple of rhododendron tunnels and a curious wall that seems to have been built on the trail to keep water flowing in the right direction.   Views on the trail are here and there, but nothing even worth mentioning.

You're at the top before you know it and find a fork in the road with a trail to "Three Forks Trail and Hale Ridge Rd" to the right and the "Bartram Trail and Warwoman Dell" to the left.  You then are immediately greeted by a lookout tower that was built by the forestry service that provides a great platform for viewing the panorama.    I'm curious?  This might make a fun winter campsite, right there on top of the world?  Curiously someone had kindly left a colorful message reminding the world to "Live Vibrantly".  Couldn't help but notice that :)

In any case there is approximately two camp sites right at the base of the tower, one is quite nice and the other less so.  It was quite busy the day I went, being that it was peak season and there was a troop of boys there from PA that were passing through and numerous other families and couples out for the afternoon.

Regardless, this would be a spectacular site for camping mid-week or in winter when you will most likely have the place to yourself.   Definitively a great place if you're looking for a half-day getaway from the business of Atlanta.

 

DIRECTIONS:

(Beegum Gap, 1.4 Miles From Rabun Bald) - From  Clayton, Georgia, start at the junction of U.S. 76 and U.S. 441, and head north  for 8.0 miles. Before the North Carolina border, turn right onto GA 246 where  there is a gas station and a sign pointing toward Sky Valley. Drive for 4.3  miles on GA 246 to its junction with Old Mud Creek road. (You will cross into  North Carolina briefly on this road.) There is a small restaurant located where  GA 246 meets Old Mud Creek Road. Turn right at the restaurant onto Old Mud Creek  Road and drive 2.9 miles to Kelsey Mountain Road. Here you’ll see a USFS sign  for Rabun Bald. Turn right onto Kelsey Mountain Road and drive 0.9 miles to  Beegum Gap. The paved road ends here after 0.9 miles and there are a number of  houses in this area. Many people park at the base of the 4x4 road located at  Beegum Gap. Do not park any where else since most of this area is private  property. It is 1.1 miles up this 4x4 to Rabun Gap. You can also walk about 100  yards to the left of the 4x4 road past a house and intersect with the Bartram  Trail. Turn right onto the Bartram Trail and follow it for a more secluded hike  to Rabun Gap. 

(Rabun Gap, 0.7 Miles From Rabun Bald) - To reach Rabun  Gap (which is about a mile from the summit of Rabun Bald) follow the directions  to Beegum Gap. It is a 1.1 mile hike up the 4x4 road to Rabun Gap. If you have  four wheel drive, the road is rocky but passable. However, taking a 4x2 vehicle  up this road is not recommended, especially if it is a low clearance  vehicle

 

NOTE: When you arrive for the first time, it can seem a bit confusing as there are a number of roads and driveways there.  As you come off of the pavement into the parking area,  the 4X4 trail is slightly at the 1 o'clock position with the Bartram trail at about 12:30 just straight off the road.  Took me a second to get my bearings, so I thought I would clarify here.  There is a road at about 10 o'clock, I think that may be the N. Trail but I didn't take time to explore it.  There is a driveway at around 4 o'clock that you can disregard.

 

 

Image Gallery

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Editor reviews

 
Rabun Bald, GA 2011-10-24 12:03:43 Shane Lewis
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Trail Conditions 
 
5.0
Camp Sites 
 
4.0
Water Availability 
 
1.0
Scenery 
 
4.0
Big Nuts Tilt 
 
2.0
Reviewed by Shane Lewis    October 24, 2011
Last updated: February 18, 2012
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

Definitely recommend it for a short day trip

Review

Good Points
Trail Access is very easy, 4X4 Access can shorten the walk if you want that, short walk for a huge payoff.
Bad Points
In peak season, it can be a bit crowded for a non tourist location.
Do you recommend?
Yes
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