Ascent of Rabun Bald on 2000-05-24

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Wednesday, May 24, 2000
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rabun Bald
    Elevation:4696 ft / 1431 m

Ascent Trip Report

I arrived at here about an hour after I'd hiked Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. To get to the trailhead, I drove to the town of Sky Valley, Georgia. The main road is named Bald Mountain Road, which I followed for a couple miles to Kelsey Mountain Road on the right, and then a mile farther to the end of the pavement. My thanks to the nice guard at the booth at the gated entrance to the town, who told me how to get to the trailhead. Seems like they get lots of hikers.

The route begins at the dead-end where a small sign nailed to a tree points the way. Two routes start from here: a 4-wheel drive road on the right and a footpath on the left. They both meet again half-way into the hike. I chose the footpath as it was less distance than the road. Sure, it was slightly steeper but at its steepest the trail is still pretty easy. It's an excellent maintained trail in dense trees. Ferns dominated the underbrush (and ivy, too). Locust-like bugs bounced around, making a click sound each time. Some bounced into my legs but they were not a problem.

At the point where the road and footpath meet, the footpath continues past rocky obstacles to the steeper switchback portion of the hike. The trail is rockier in places, and the vegetation is so thick that it creates a canopy above, like I was hiking within a tunnel. Finally, the switchbacks cease and the path makes its final approach to the summit.

A 20-foot tall viewing deck is on the summit, but I literally didn't see it until I was about 30 feet from it, that's how thick the trees and brush were. From the deck, the views are outstanding in all directions. The rolling hills and peaks shoot off in every direction, all covered in a thick mantle of trees. Brasstown Bald is visible to the west (although I had clouds blocking the highest portions).

After 20 minutes, I hiked down back to my car. The one way mileage to the top is just over a mile and gains about 1,100 feet. It took me a little over an hour for the entire hike, including my rest up top.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1100 ft / 335 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1100 ft / 335 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1100 ft / 335 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Beegum Gap TH
    Start Trailhead:3596 ft / 1096 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1100 ft / 335 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    End Trailhead:3596 ft / 1096 m

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