Hiking Yonah Mountain

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I've had the itch to hike lately and we made it happen over the weekend with a four-mile hike to the top of Mount Yonah near Helen, Georgia. The mountain rises out of the foothills of North Georgia and its granite face is very noticeable if you're ever driving in the area. Mark had pointed it out to me a few times as we were driving past, so I was excited to finally get to the top of it! Due to spotty cell service and a Google Maps glitch, it took us awhile to find the actual trail head but it is really not that far from civilization.

The hike is a steady uphill climb with some boulder scrambles closer to the top -- a little over four miles roundtrip with an incline of over 1400 feet. It was a hot day, but the closer we got to the top the cooler and stronger the breeze became. We saw two enormous king snakes making their way through the brush on the side of the trail and gave both of them a very wide berth. The real concern, though, were the falling acorns -- they were like speedy missiles!

Halfway up the mountain, there's a large clearing where the U.S. Army Rangers train sometimes. It made me glad to be sweating in my tank top and shorts and not full army gear as we climbed upward. From the top of the mountain, you can get a really good view of the mountains to the north plus the small red dirt roads that lead to Yonah. We could see the peaks of a few rooftops the different mountains, so we picked out which mountains we wanted to live on as we caught our breath. :) 

Most places I looked ranked the hike as moderate. It's a good distance for a quick hike (I think it took us around 2.5 hours) and is never painfully steep, although I did have to stop and catch my breath a few times. I've definitely been bit by the hiking bug now and am already looking up some more hikes we can do this fall. There's no shortage of beautiful places to climb in North Georgia. The problem is finding enough weekends for them all! 


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  1. Have you hiked Panther Creek yet? It's near Clarkesville, Ga. It's a very easy level hike but it skirts the creek the whole way and ends at a very pretty waterfall. Mark and I used to hike that one pretty often.

    1. No, thanks for the recommendation though! I've got hiking on the brain lately and really want to fit in some more this fall. We'll definitely check that one out!


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