Ascent of Cowpen Mountain on 2017-04-26

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cowpen Mountain
    Elevation:4151 ft / 1265 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my second attempt on Cowpen Mountain. I was bagging Georgia summits earlier in the year and I discovered the road to the trailhead for Cowpen Mountain was closed Jan. 1 - March 31. This time the same sign read road closed Jan. 3 - March 1, so I guess the limited access changes from year to year. During my first visit to the area, I parked my car at a locked gate and made the long hike to Bald Mountain (the Murray Co. HP) and back, but Cowpen Mountain's trailhead is too far away to have that option. So, here I was back again in April to finally bag the Fannin Co. HP. Be prepared for an extremely long drive on slow, winding, unpaved mountain roads. It is a long drive to the trailhead at the Three Forks parking lot. From there it is only .72 air miles to the summit and it is fairly direct, since my GPS showed I only climbed .88 miles to reach the highpoint. Although there is a good trail for most of the hike, you will have to bushwhack for the last part of the climb. I left the trail with .25 miles to go and climbed up the south ridgeline to the summit. This was a fairly easy bushwhack, since there had been a recent fire and it was like hiking in an open forest, except for the grade. I reached the top in 40 minutes, which was slow because I did a lot of photography during my ascent and was surprised to find that the greatest amount of vegetation was directly around the highest point. I was unable to find the summit benchmark as a result, but there was a pile of large rocks that I chose for my summit victory photo. I made a much faster descent and reached my car again in 25 minutes. This was a very special climb for me because it was the last highpoint I needed to finish climbing every single named county highpoint in Georgia and, according to Peakbagger, this was my 900th successful ascent. I hope to hit 1000 lifetime summits before the end of next year.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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