Hiking Tallulah Gorge

06 Jul
July 6, 2019

On our trip to Franklin, NC, we ventured down into northern Georgia for a very special adventure – hiking Tallulah Gorge. This is a 3.4-mile hike down into the very steep 1,000-foot gorge. This was a serious hike, extremely difficult in parts, with a lot of boulder climbing. There’s a regular (fairly easy) trail that ends at a suspension bridge, but if you get a special permit (they only issue 100 per day, so you have to arrive early), then you can proceed off-trail and continue all the way on down to the gorge bottom, navigating along unmarked rock walls and trails along the river. Eventually, you come to a big sliding rock formation that dumps into a refreshing pool of water at the very bottom! You have to climb back up a ridiculously steep boulder trail to get back to the top, but it’s well worth it! My daughters, Kendall and Kaelyn led the way for our crew! Here are a few pics from the hike. I’ll post a video of the rock slide, next.

Warning signs about hiking in Tallulah Gorge in north Georgia.
Tallulah Gorge with waterfalls between steep large canyon walls
Heading down the stairs into Tallulah Gorge
Suspension Bridge inside Tallulah Gorge
Family standing on the suspension bridge in Tallulah Gorge in north Georgia
People walking across suspension bridge over Tallulah Gorge
Watering Hole at the bottom of Tallulah Gorge
Hiking up the steep trail in Tallulah Gorge
Hiking bear crawl-style up to the top of Tallulah Gorge
Top of trail looking down through forest in Tallulah Gorge
Couple - selfie in Tallulah Gorge
View from top of Tallulah Gorge looking straight down into rivier and boulders and rushing water.
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2 replies
  1. Dori says:

    I am going to camp here next month. I am taking my 12 and 10 year old boys and want to hike the gorge floor. We do not hike much, but they are active…. should I be worried this will be too difficult for us?

    Reply
    • Tim Hamby says:

      Dori, Yes! I think that active 12-year-old and 10-year-old boys could make this hike. I saw children (boys and girls) about that age do it. You can get a pass to hike to the floor, and then just see how you guys are feeling when you get to the end of the regular trail. Going from there to the bottom, I can’t call it easy, but again, not overly difficult for active people. On the way down, the trail isn’t super-well marked in some places, but there’ll typically be people around to provide good visual clues about the direction of the trail. There’s one place on the descent where you can choose to wade through the river to shorten the hike. It’s a little nerve-wracking, but totally do-able. Just go slowly and deliberately and be careful not to let the current make you slide/fall on the rocks. Just help one another across. (You can also skip it and hike the slightly longer path that leads to the bottom, on the side you start out on.) One other area headed down requires a little balancing on a semi-steep rock wall. It’s what I would call just enough adventure to make you nervous / be a genuine adventure, but not excessively dangerous, in my opinion. On the way up is when the hike gets a little more strenuous. It is pretty steep (just don’t be careless) and one’s weight may factor in, along with the heat of the day. But of course, you can stop any time you feel the need to rest. It is a bit of a challenge, but a very fun one, and the sliding rock at the bottom is a really fun, unique experience that your kids will love, and never forget. There will be plenty of other people around, including other families with younger children, So go with confidence and have a great time! Let me know when you get back, what you thought! ✌️

      Reply

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