The ever so popular Yonah Mountain hike is a thigh-burning 4.4 mile round trip that is not for the out of shape or easily fatigued. The unrelenting steep and meandering hiking trail is well established and easy to follow due to consistent traffic over the years. For the most part, this hiking trail is quite steep, with a continuous incline that goes on for the duration of the hike and very few flat straight aways to catch a break. If you are up for the challenge, the view at the summit of this mountain is well worth the effort! The view from the top is 3160 ft in elevation and dominates the surrounding areas. The scenery on the way to the summit consists of a clean forest floor, staggered with boulders, wildflowers, and even some wildlife. There is a small wooden bridge that crosses a stream along the way. Around the midpoint of the ascent, there is a flat area that is usually used for camping and overlooking the surrounding landscape. You see a lot of people taking photos at this point in the hike because of the overlook, but be aware that the view from the top is even better! You will then pass the first rock wall that is usually decorated with local rock climbers or army trainees. Near the top, there will be another lookout point. If you turn to the right and follow the trail signs, the trail will lead you another rock face that is excellent for rock climbing and has some astounding views (especially for Georgia!).
Designated campsites at Mount Yonah are somewhat limited. There is the flattened viewpoint midway up the ascent that is known as a camping spot, and there is also camping at the summit. If you want to camp at these designated camping spots, we recommend getting there early, because it is a quite competitive first come first serve type allotment. Mount Yonah is located in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, and you may camp basically wherever you please. Just be sure to not disturb the surroundings too much, don’t litter, and if you have a fire, be wise and keep it small. We have hammock camped there many times. To hammock camp, all you really need is a hammock, a sleeping bag/blanket, and two trees with your desired spacing. Mount Yonah makes for a pleasant camping trip and we highly recommend giving it a try!
Mount Yonah is one of the more famous locations in Georgia for rock climbing. The state of Georgia is not really known for its abundance of rock climbing opportunities, but Mount Yonah offers a few prime rock faces to climb on. In the 1960s, the army began training at this location and bolted many different routes. The army still trains there to this day. We do not recommend trying to climb on days that the army is training. A few of the more difficult routes were bolted by a private party. The faces are composed primarily of granite, which offer trad, sport, toprope, multi-pitch, and bouldering opportunities ranging from 5.7 to 5.11d in difficulty. The main face at the top is slanted and has a few good friction climbing spots. There are thick metal cables to help climbers and explorers navigate around the area. As far as the state of Georgia is concerned, Mount Yonah is a pretty stellar place to climb and we highly recommend giving it a visit.
Trail Head Address: Georgia 75, Cleveland, GA 30528, USA
Coordinates: 34.637383, -83.725117 / N34 38.243 W83 43.507
The parking is free, but on warm and beautiful days that would be ideal for outdoor recreation the parking lot may be at maximum capacity, so get there early!