Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.73970°N / 83.9369°W
Additional Information Elevation: 4458 ft / 1359 m
Sign the Climber's Log


View from SummitFrom the summit.

Blood Mountain is located near the Union/Lumpkin county line in Northeast Georgia. It is the highest point on the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail at 4,458 feet, and offers some incredible views of the surrounding region. The mountain's name comes from an interesting Indian legend.

It has been said that long ago there was a great battle between the Cherokee and Creek Nations on this mountain. According to the legend so many warriors died in the battle that their blood ran down the sides of the mountain and into the rivers turning everything red. It is easy to see from that legend alone how the mountain got its unique name. The Cherokee also thought that Blood Mountain was home to the Nunnehi. The Nunnehi were a spirit people that watched over hunters and people hiking through the region.

Both Because it is the highest peak on the Georgia section of the AT, and has a very high, open, rocky peak it is also the single most popular hiking destination in the entire state. There is ample parking in Neel's Gap at the Walasi-Yi Inn and the hike to the summit is relatively short with a total elevation gain of about 1400 feet.

In addition, two very popular state parks are nearby: Vogel and Unicoi. Both of these offer plenty of outdoor activities, so the crowds who gather at those locations quite often find their way to Neel's Gap and the Appalachian Trail access to the top of Blood Mountain. Don't head up to the summit expecting solitude. You will find great views of the southern Blue Ridge and the highest areas in the north Georgia mountains. Most of the state's other high peaks are visible from the summit of Blood, including Brasstown Bald, Rabun Bald, and Tray Mountain.

Getting There

Blood Mountain is easily accessible from Neels Gap on Hwy 129. There is a parking area about 1/4 mile past the Store on the top of the gap. If you plan to have a fire on the top of the Mountain you must pack your own wood up, due to a moratorium of wood collecting on the trail leading up from either side--but just avoid building a fire on the summit. There is also no water available on the top on the mountain. The closest water source is about 1 mile down the South side of the peak, where there are also some nice campsites.

Alternate approach:

Park your car at the Bryon Reece Trail right off of Highway 19.

The parking area is about a half mile North of the Walasi-Yi Center. You will follow the Reece Access Trail until it connects with the Appalachian Trail. When the trails connect turn right onto the Appalachian Trail and follow the white blazes to the top of Blood Mountain.

Blood Mountain Shelter from AbovSummit shelter.

Red Tape

Shot of Me shortly before reaching the SummitExposed summit area.

No permits are can park anywhere on the local Georgia roads or the parking lots at the trailheads and leave your car for days for free.

Parking is FREE throughout the region.

The local Wildlife Management prevents fires along specified Appalachian Trial routes.

In addition, Blood Mountain is now the centerpiece of the Blood Mountain Wilderness Area. All wilderness rules apply. No large groups. No open fires (with possible exceptions for the AT route).

When To Climb

The best time to climb is March-November when weather is phenomenal and views from the top are spectacular.

During colder winter months you may find the rough trail covered in ice and possible snow. Nights can be very cold.


There is a lodge-like AT shelter on top of the mountain, which is completely free offers a brick covered housing with a chimney (supposedly cemented); it is one of the few four-sided and non-wood construction shelters on the AT and is unique in my experience. The Blood Mountain Shelter is notorious for mice. Be prepared to have them crawl over you as you doze. Be aware that there is no water on the summit. If you stay here, bring water.

You can set up a tent right outside of the highest point on the mountain where there is some flat terrain. Good enough for a 2-person tent. But there are great campsites elsewhere, closer to water sources near the foot of the peak and on the far side of Neel's Gap.

Walasi-Yi Center.

The only part of the AT that passes through a building is at the Walasi-Yi Center at Neel's Gap at the foot of Blood Mountain. A great place for all hiking and backpacking needs. Their official site can be found here.

AT at Wasaliyi InnAT through Wasaliyi Inn.


National Forest Lodging.

The Chattahoochee National Forest provides the opportunity to rent a cabin very near Blood Mountain. Information on the cabin can be found here.

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It's convenient to do a loop hike from Lake Winfield Scott to the summit of Blood Mountain and back via several options which include the AT.

Tent camping and RV sites are also available at Lake Winfield Scott if you want to use a campground as a base from which to hike.

External Links


Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-7 of 7

unclehud - Feb 19, 2005 10:03 am - Hasn't voted

About the Shelter

The Blood Mountain Shelter is a 2-room stone building with a wooden floor and fireplace. It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Personally, I was amazed when I stood at the front door and thought about the human effort necessary to build it! Woudn't have slept in it for any amount of money, though.

If you haven't seen this anywhere else ... THERE IS NO WATER ON BLOOD MOUNTAIN.


unclehud - Feb 19, 2005 10:15 am - Hasn't voted

Camp where you're supposed to, please!

Because of tremendous use by AppTrail through hikers, camping is restricted to specifically designated sites on the west/south approach to Blood Mountain. The Georgia AT club has created about a dozen well-made, level tent sites and separated them enough to allow some privacy. These are discussed on several AT websites and in AT guides.
If you're really adventurous, there are a couple of secluded tent sites near the summit, but you have to carry up all your water!


BobSmith - Feb 11, 2008 7:28 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Camp where you're supposed to, please!

This used to be the most popular stretch of the AT in Georgia. Is this still the case?


unclehud - Aug 5, 2008 11:23 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Camp where you're supposed to, please!

Probably. Lots of weekend dayhikers from Atlanta (and I am often one of them) hike up from Neels Gap. Of course, AT thru hikers haven't really had a chance to bail out before Blood Mountain, so there's lots and lots of them every March and April.

Colbywade2 - May 8, 2013 9:13 pm - Hasn't voted


The sites, are they 1st come or do i need to connect someone about getting one? Email


BobSmith - May 8, 2013 9:30 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: help

Last time I checked you just pitched your tent at any designated site. Because it's such a popular stretch of the AT, the place gets overused. If the sites are all full (and I would recommend NOT using the summit shelter), then you might be able to find good campsites further south on the other side of the summit, or you could take one of the side trails to find a campsite. This is what happens when a trail just becomes too popular.


unclehud - Oct 6, 2021 1:09 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: help

All tent sites are first come, first served. This section of the AT is very heavily used, so work towards an early afternoon (4 pm) arrival if you want a spot. Trail etiquette is to yield shelter space to through-hikers, but few day trippers and overnighters know this.

Viewing: 1-7 of 7



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.