Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
820.00 ft (249.94 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
3.10 mi (4.99 km)
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Each day that the Tallulah Gorge Floor is open to the public, up to 100 lucky hikers have the chance to claim a permit to go down and explore its beauty and wonder. Tallulah Gorge is a true gem. Contained inside Tallulah Gorge State Park, the gorge rises nearly 1,000 feet in places, up sheer cliffs, from the Tallulah River. This is a geological rarity in the state of Georgia and the region in general. Experiencing the gorge from down below is simply an unforgettable and breathtaking experience.

As only 100 permits are issued daily, first-come, first-served, if you want to experience the Gorge Floor on a sunny summer weekend, arrive early. Some people come as early as 6:30 a.m. to stand in line at the visitor center. Generally speaking, if you arrive by 7:15 a.m., odds are in your favor to be among the first 100. Be sure to have $5 in cash ready for parking. The visitor center opens at 8 a.m. sharp, and those lucky enough to get a permit are escorted into a conference room for a safety talk before the permit is issued.

Stock up on plenty of water at the visitor center, and if it’s warm enough, put on your most durable and comfortable bathing suit. You will begin by hiking past a simply stunning view of Tempesta Falls at the overlooks as you begin to descend down the stairs to the suspension bridge. Take your time crossing the bridge to soak in the spectacular scenery as you feel yourself floating along. Once across the bridge, continue downward until you arrive at the gate that requires you to have a permit to cross.

At this point, you must cross the Tallulah River. There are large boulders that you can hop around on to attempt a dry crossing, but most people get three-quarters of the way across and decide to just take off their shoes and get their feet wet. Overlooking the river crossing is the spectacular Hurricane Falls. Once across the river, the trail dissolves into a tangle of boulders and tree roots as you scramble your way toward Oceana Falls. Hiking alongside Oceana Falls and down deeper into the gorge is a highlight.

Once arriving at Bridal Veil Falls, go ahead, take off your shoes and make some use of that swim suit. Bridal Veil Falls is a natural water slide that dumps you in a perfectly refreshing swim hole at the bottom. The scenery here is absolutely sensational, as you zoom down the water slide with all your best buddies in tow.

To complete the loop, cross over the top of Bridal Veil Falls, and find the Sliding Rock Trail. This trail travels pretty much straight up for a quarter mile and then right past the spot where the 65-year-old daredevil Karl Wallenda did his high-wire walk across the gorge back in 1970. From here, the trail walks you across the South Rim for more amazing views, over Tallulah Dam, and back to the visitor center.

Check the Tallulah Gorge State Park website before you arrive to see if the Gorge Floor is open. The Gorge Floor is generally closed when there is rain or other weather events, and during dam releases. Even if you can’t get a permit to hike the floor, you can hike most of the rest of the loop and experience the views from the overlooks and the suspension bridge.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Spring
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Car fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Natural water slide. Waterfalls. Extremely scenic.

Cons

Difficult hike. Hard to get permits.

Trailhead Elevation

1,577.00 ft (480.67 m)

Highest point

1,640.00 ft (499.87 m)

Features

Potable water
Flushing toilets
Waterfalls
Near lake or river

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

Yes

Permit self-issue on site

Yes

Location

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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