Trip-specific: Drive to Rocky Mtn T-head & Trail Guide

Note: Shorter distance and much less climb from the Indian Grave Gap trailhead.

Drive Guide - Rocky Mtn (NG-011) via Unicoi Gap from Rocky Mtn (NG-050)

  • Duration: 1:05
  • Google Maps URL:
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: All seasons; all weather.
  • Directions: * Head out on FS 236 and go 0.4 * R on Cavender Gap Rd and go 0.8 * L on GA-60 S and go 7.5 * R on SR-80 and go 11.2 * L on US-129 and go 2.4 * R on SR-180 and go 12.6 * R on GA-17 S and go 2.5

Drive Guide - Rocky Mountain via Unicoi Gap from Atlanta

NOTE: Do not follow Google cell phone map through Helen!

  • Duration: 1:45
  • Google Maps URL from I-285 at 33.91819, -84.33747: http://goo.gl/maps/u85WX
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: All seasons; all weather.
  • Directions: * GA-400 N and go 47.
    • At GA-400 end, go straight on GA-115 and go 4.8
    • R on GA-115 and go 11.5
    • L on Tesnatee Gap Valley Rd. There’s a left turn lane. Go 2.8.
    • Go straight onto McAfee Rd. (Tesnatee turns left.) Go 0.2
    • L on US-129 and go 0.8
    • R on GA-75-Alt and go 8.1
    • L on GA-75 and go 7.9
    • Park in the big lot on the right at Unicoi Gap. The gap is marked with a roadside sign.
    • There are no dirt roads involved in getting there. High ground clearance vehicle is NOT required.
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: GA-53, Dawsonville
    • Penultimate McDonalds:

Drive Guide - Rocky Mountain via Indian Grave Gap from Blue Mtn

  • Duration: 0:15
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: All seasons; all weather.
  • Directions:
    • North (R out of parking) on GA-75 and go 2.0
    • At green mile post 2, sharp R onto Indian Grave Gap Rd and go 3.5
      • The turn is too sharp for an SUV. You may have to go past and turn around.

Drive Guide - Rocky Mountain via Indian Grave Gap from Atlanta

  • Duration: 2:15
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: All seasons; all weather.
  • Directions:
    • TM Road (USFS-79) could be a problem when muddy. Not listed as seasonal on USFS maps.
    • IGG Rd (USFS-283) ford could be a problem after heavy rain. Seasonal close Jan 1 - Mar 9.
    • Gates at both ends of IGG Rd. Season is unknown. No gates on TM Rd.
    • If roads are bad, park at Unicoi gap and skip the dirt road altogether.
  • Directions:
    • Getting to near the destination:
      • N on GA-400 and go 47 miles.
      • At end of 400 (@ GA-60) go straight onto GA-115. Go 4.8
      • GA-115 turns R. (About 60 minute drive to this turn.) Go 11.4.
      • L on Tesnatee Gap Valley Rd. There’s a left turn lane. Go 2.8.
      • Go straight onto McAfee Rd. (Tesnatee turns left.) Go 0.2
      • L on US-129 N at T. (About 1:15 total drive time to this turn.) Go 0.8.
      • R on GA-75A. Go 8.0. (Pass Richard B Russell Scenic Hwy at 1:25 from trip start.)
      • From intersection of GA-75A and GA-75, on GA-75 go north
    • Final approach (60 minutes - tell Google Maps iPhone app to take you to 34.79921, -83.69089. This is much slower than Google estimates.):
      • Watch for mile marker 8. ~ 0.2 to TM Rd.
      • Watch for brown house on left, close to road, with no windows. TM Rd imminent.
      • R on Tray Mountain Rd. Small, thin sign “Bison View Lodge”.
      • After about 15 minutes, large gate made of black logs on right. “No trespassing”.
      • 5 more minutes to junction w/IGG Rd. Keep left on Indian Grave Gap Rd and go about 2 minutes to the trailhead.

Drive Guide - Rocky Mountain via Unicoi Gap from Tray Mtn

  • Duration: 0:30
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: All seasons; all weather.
  • Directions:
    • SW on Tray Mtn Rd, back toward Indian Grave Gap. Go 1.8
    • At fork for Indian Grave Gap, you have two choices: The 15-minute faster route includes a ford. I’m 4-for-4 in successfully crossing it in my Corolla, but it always gives me the sweats. The 15-minute slower route bypasses the ford.
      • Fast, ford route: * At the fork for Indian Grave Gap, turn R and go 4.1 * At GA-17/GA-75 go sharp LEFT and go 2.0
      • Slow, no-ford route:
        • At the fork for Indian Grave Gap, turn L and go 6 on Tray Mtn Rd.
        • At GA-17/GA-75 go RIGHT and go 7.1

Trail Guide - From Indian Grave Gap

  • Duration: 1.2 miles. 1:00 up, 0:45 down
  • Navigation
    • Head west on AT.
  • Trailhead altitude: 3050
  • Summit altitude: 4014
  • GPS tracks/waypoints:
    • Trailhead: 34.79314,-83.71422
    • Summit: 34.79835, -83.72978

Trail Guide - From Unicoi Gap

  • Duration: 1.5 miles, 1:25 up, 0:40 down
  • Navigation
    • Head east on AT. (Stay on parking lot side of the road.)
  • Trailhead altitude: 2941
  • Summit altitude: 4014
  • GPS tracks/waypoints:
    • Trailhead: 34.80210, -83.74285
    • Summit: 34.79835, -83.72978

Summit Guide

  • Hang antenna from tree: YES
  • Space to guy mast: YES
  • Cell coverage: Good AT&T and Verizon; APRS text worked
  • Pretty views along the way to Rocky

Miscellaneous Notes

I drove Indian Grave Gap Rd and Tray Mountain Rd in a Corolla with no problems in dry weather. Don’t drive too fast - there are some surprise potholes and runoff gullies. The ford on IGG Rd went OK in a dry week. Don’t try it after heavy rain. Maintain momentum crossing the creek, to avoid trouble climbing out.