If you’ve been to Atlanta, chances are you’ve heard of Stone Mountain, one of the largest exposed masses of granite in the world. (Fun fact – I worked at Stone Mountain Park for years!) We still live pretty close and visit often to enjoy the attractions and climb the mountain.
Stone Mountain’s walk-up trail is located near the west entrance to the park and is a 1-mile trek up to the top of the mountain. The trail is open from dawn until dusk, and if you decide to climb up, you’ll get to experience some amazing views of the surrounding scenery and (on clear days) views of the Atlanta skyline.
Here are 5 tips for climbing Stone Mountain:
1. Wear good shoes.
This should be obvious, but you wouldn’t believe the people I’ve seen attempting to walk up wearing flip flops or even heels! The hike is labeled as moderate, but there are lots of rocks to climb over and an area near the top that is a pretty steep incline. Also, rain makes the rocks slippery, so be extra careful if the weather is rainy.
2. Bring water.
Make sure you stay hydrated. There are water fountains and a small snack bar at the top of the mountain, but this building is only open during specific times of the year.
3. Stay on the painted path.
There’s a painted yellow dashed line that starts at the bottom of the walk-up trail and leads you all the way up to the top of the mountain. It’s best to stay on this trail because it’s the safest way up. Don’t veer off the path!
4. Be aware of the Summit Skyride location.
The Summit Skyride is a cable car that takes you up to the top of the mountain. It’s a really fun ride (my kids LOVE riding the Skyride) but make sure to note that the Skyride pick-up location is located over a mile away from the parking lot for the walk-up trail. So if you walk up the mountain and ride down the Skyride, you’ll still have to walk another 1.1 miles around the base of the mountain to get back to your car.
5. Expect crowds.
Saturdays and Sundays during spring and fall can get crowded with groups of people climbing the mountain. If you want to beat the crowds, arrive early. I love climbing up in the early morning before lots of people arrive. Sitting up at the top of the mountain in the breeze, enjoying the peaceful view is one of my favorite places to be!
If you’re visiting Atlanta and looking for some exercise and a beautiful view, make sure to stop by Stone Mountain!
Have you climbed Stone Mountain before? Do you have any other tips you’d add to my list?