Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,411.00 ft (430.07 m)
Trail type
3.80 mi (6.12 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Yonah Mountain is a mountain ridge in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in northern Georgia between Cleveland and Helen. The mountain is fairly prominent, and the trail rises 1,500 feet in less than 2 miles from the parking lot. “Yonah” is the Cherokee word for bear. As a Native American legend goes, the mountain was the sight of a Romeo-and-Juliet-style death of a Cherokee maiden and Chickasaw warrior. When their love was forbidden by tribal elders, the Chickasaw warrior was thrown from the mountain, and the maiden jumped after him to her death. The Fifth Ranger Training Battalion of the U.S. Army uses Yonah as the base for the mountain phase of Ranger School for rock climbing practice. The area is popular with climbers, hikers, and campers alike.

Starting from the Yonah Mountain Trailhead off of Chamber Road, follow the marked trail up 1,500 feet of elevation gain in less than 2 miles, making it a short, but not easy, trail to the summit. The grassy bald on the summit makes for great camping with multiple viewpoints a short walk through the trees. There is little to no water near the summit, so make sure to bring extra if you plan on staying the night. Take great care near the edge, as it slopes steeply and unexpectedly. Hike down the way you came and make sure to arrive early as the lot fills up by late morning.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Great views. Good camping. Accessible.



Trailhead Elevation

1,926.00 ft (587.04 m)


Backcountry camping
Rock climbing
Big vistas
Old-growth forest


Nearby Adventures

Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia
Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia
Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia
Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia


Love this mountain! Great viewings for sunrise and sunsets. Perfect spot for camping.
Kevin, amazing photos!!! Did you get a new camera? And, as always, thanks for sharing the amazing outdoors around Atlanta.
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