Cowrock Mountain is a chunky and substantial mountain with dramatic, bald-faced slides on its slopes. It rises between Baggs Creek Gap to the northwest and Tesnatee Gap to the northeast. Numerous streams start their journey on the slopes of Cowrock Mountain. Cowrock Creek deeply carves the southwest slopes while the upper reaches of Town Creek separate Cowrock Mountain from neighboring Wildcat Mountain. The headwaters of Hatchet Creek are on the northern slopes of this Cowrock Mountain.
The namesake of the Cowrock USGS quadrant, Cowrock Mountain is the 27th highest peak in the state of Georgia. AT through Hikers and section backpackers enjoy the vistas to the southeast from the open rock just below the summit, and many day-hikers make the journey, as well, to take in the sweeping, panoramic views.
Rank: 27th peak in Georgia
Prominence: 432 feet
USGS Quad: Cowrock
Planning Map: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Chattahoochee National Forest Springer Mountain to Bly Gap GEORGIA
Rank & Prominence Source: Lists of John
The AT crosses over the summit of Cowrock Mountain, though nothing I found indicated the highpoint had been reached (such as a cairn or other marker). As with many mountains in this region, the highpoint is rather indistinct.
From the west: The peak can be accessed from the west via Neels Gap for an undulating, 9 mile roundtrip outing.
From the east: For a short but steep outing, park where the AT intersects Rt 348 for a 2 mile roundtrip with 750 feet of net vertical gain.
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. Cowrock Mountain lies within the 9,100 acre Raven Cliffs Wilderness. 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
AT Backpacker Camping
The nearest shelter to Cowrock Mountain is the Whitley Gap Shelter. This small shelter sleeps only about 6 people and requires a 1.2 mile side-trip from the main AT corridor.
The Walasi-Yi Center at Neels Gap has lodging in their historic hiker hostel. The hostel is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, lodging is available on a first come, first served basis.