Roughly mid-way between Unicoi Gap northbound on the AT and the Blue Mountain Shelter rises Blue Mountain. Reaching 4,020 feet, Blue Mountain is both a “Georgia 4er” as well as a Georgia Top 20 summit (based on summits with 300 feet or more prominence). Blue Mountain sits on the crest of the Tennessee Valley Divide and rises above the Naked Mountain Branch of Henson Creek.
Rank: 19th Highest peak in Georgia
Prominence: 709 feet
USGS Quad: Jacks Gap
Planning Map: Appalachian Trail Conservance: Chattahoochee National Forest | Springer Mountain to Bly Gap | GEORGIA
Rank & Prominence: Lists of John
|The nearest town to Blue Mountain is Helen, Georgia, about 90 minutes north-northeast of Atlanta. This map shows you how to get there from surrounding communities, including Atlanta.|
From GA 75/17 (paved) at Unicoi Gap via the AT
• To reach Unicoi Gap, travel south on GA 75 11.6 miles from Hiawassee or north 9.2 miles from Helen.
• From Unicoi Gap (ample parking), head southbound on the Appalachian Trail.
• Follow the white blazes
• One-way distance: 1.4 miles
• Elevation Gain: 1,050 feet
There is no fee to visit this part of the Chattahoochee National Forest and permits are not required for overnight stays in the backcountry. Please be mindful of posted Forest Service user warnings, such as “problem bear” alerts and campfire bans. Note that the Appalachian Trail is open to foot traffic only. Motorized vehicles and pack animals are not permitted.
Please practice Leave No Trace principals:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
CampingAT Backpacker Camping: Blue Mountain Shelter
Blue Mountain Shelter is just 0.8 mile southbound on the AT from Blue Mountain and sleeps approximately 7. There are ample flat spots for tent camping. Note that water is downhill of the shelter. (Many head southbound on the AT briefly to a spring at Hanson Gap.) Additionally, this shelter sits someone exposed to the weather on a ridge and is known for high winds during weather events.
Unicoi State Park
Nearby Georgia State Park Unicoi State Park features a lodge (100 rooms) and camping (82 sites), plus 30 cottages and something called the Squirrels Nest, a special group campsite of 16 platforms sleeping 4 each.