Trip-specific: Drive to Trailhead & Trail Guide

Drive Guide - Rock Mountain

  • Duration: 2:15
  • Google Maps URL from Ashford Dunwoody Rd and I-285 at 33.92,-84.339: https://tinyurl.com/rock-mtn-sarah2
  • Seasonal/Limited Access:
    • Rutted dirt road. 4WD recommended.
  • Directions (practical route, 4WD recommended):
    • I-285 to I-85 N, and go 17
    • I-985 N / US-23 N, and go 53
    • L on US-441 / US-23 N and go 22.9
    • R on Rickman (Wendy’s & Burger King) and go 0.5
    • R on Warwomand Dr and go 8.6
    • L on Sarah’s Creek Rd and go 1.9 to Sarah’s Creek Campground
    • Continue 0.2 through the campground, then keep Left at intersection.
    • Continue 6.8 and park. 0:35 following Pat from Sarah’s Creek campground to 2WD trailhead. Could be done in 0:30.
    • Note: If your vehicle is serious 4WD, you can drive to 34.938, -83.335 and reduce your walk.
    • Road is good (Prius-drivable) to junction with Tuckaluge Creek Rd at 34.935890, -83.318725. Past this point, there were some modes erosion gullies I had to straddle in my Corolla, but nothing scary to the “before ruts” trailhead. From the “before ruts” to the “after ruts” you need serious 4WD (we drove it with ease in a Mog. Might be doable in a Jeep. We drove over a 12” tree trunk.)
  • Alternate Route (4WD required): This page says you can get there via
    • Take Warwoman Rd out of Clayton. Left at Tuckaluge Creek Rd. Bear right onto Dan Gap Rd (155). Left onto Wilson Gap Rd. You’ll see a Dead End sign. Continue to trail head.
    • Paraphrased:
      • Rickman Dr east from Clayton and go 0.5
      • R on Warwoman Rd and go 5.7
      • L on Tuckaluge Creek Rd (at 34.8933, -83.2927) and go 0.7
      • Keep R and go 1.5
      • Bear R on Dan Gap Rd (FS-155E), leaving Tuckaluge Creek Rd and go 2.5
      • Turn left onto Wilson Gap Rd (FS-155) and go 1.3 (before ruts) or 2 (after ruts).
      • Google Maps knows this route, except a segment from 34.9016,-83.3002 to 34.9136,-83.308.
    • Pat (KI4SVM) says this is drivable (no vote on 2WD vs 4WD).
  • Infeasible alternate routes:
    • Courthouse Gap Rd passes near Rock Mountain per Garmin topo, but there’s a “Private Road” sign at 34.91567,-83.35029. You can’t get to Courthouse Gap at 34.91567,-83.35029 unless you find the owner of the road.
    • Alternate trailhead at 34.90724,-83.33531 at the end of Finney Creek Rd has a longer bushwhack. After turning off Warwoman Rd, the road turns to twin-track, so drivability in 2WD is doubtful.
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: Clayton. Poor service on weekends.
    • Penultimate McDonalds: Just before Cornelia, on Level Grove Rd.
  • Camping: Campsites 18-20 are just across a ford (crossable in my Corolla) with their own vault toilet. 34.9348,-83.2674.

Trail Guide

  • Duration: 2.7 miles. 2:00 up; 1:45 down.
  • Navigation
    • Follow Sarah’s Creek Road to Wilson Gap
    • SW (Left) on Bartram Trail
    • 0.4 past Windy Gap, bushwhack 0.3 SW up the ridge to the left of the trail
  • Trailhead altitude: 3378 (before ruts)
  • Summit altitude: 3700
  • GPS tracks/waypoints:
    • Summit: 34.9149, -83.3439
    • Bushwhack begin: 34.91931,-83.34137
    • Tuckaluge Creek Rd Junction: 34.9359, -83.3187
    • Wilson Gap Trailhead (before ruts): 34.939, -83.329
    • Wilson Gap Trailhead (after ruts): 34.938, -83.335
    • Sarah’s Creek Campground: 34.926,-83.263
    • Courthouse Gap Trailhead: 34.91567, -83.35029. Private road. Can’t get there.
    • Finney Creek Rd Trailhead: 34.90724, -83.33531. Might require 4WD.

Summit Guide

  • Hang antenna from tree: Yes
  • Space to guy mast: Yes
  • Cell coverage: ?
  • Unique features: ?

Plan-B Candidates

  • W4G/NG-027 Blackrock Mtn, north of Clayton, turn L on Blackrock Mtn Pky. Pay for parking at 34.90725, -83.41211. Activate at 34.90516, -83.41781. Summit at 34.9036, -83.4206
  • W4G/NG-002 Rabun Bald, park at 34.976, -83.3. Summit at 34.9656, -83.2998.
  • W4G/NG-015 Oakey. Same trailhead. Different trail.