Trip-specific: Drive to Trailhead & Trail Guide

Drive Guide - Wildcat Mountain from ATLANTA

  • Duration: 1:45
  • Google Maps URL from Ashford Dunwoody Rd and I-285 at 33.91998, -84.33898:
    • http://goo.gl/maps/wtGrc
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: All seasons, paved roads, BUT Richard B Russell sometimes gets closed for repairs or ice. Check with GDOT. Plan an alternate.
  • Directions:
    • 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 5.9.
    • L on Richard B Russell Scenic Hwy (GA-348). (About 1:25 from trip start.) Go 7.0
    • Parking lot on right, at AT crossing.
      • Note: If lot full, there’s another, 1/10 mile farther on GA-348.
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: GA-400 at GA-53.
    • Dinner: 5 Guys in Home Depot shopping center, just south of GA-53, or there’s a barbecue joint with a pink pig across from the McDonalds at GA-53.

Drive Guide - Wildcat Mountain from Sassafras Mtn (W4G/NG-040)

  • Duration: 1:00, 30 miles
  • Google Maps URL:
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: All seasons, dirt and paved roads, BUT Richard B Russell sometimes gets closed for repairs or ice. Check with GDOT. Plan an alternate.
  • Directions:
  • Travel ESE on Coopers Gap Rd and go 5.2.
    • This will be the mostly level road, moving away from where you just left the AT and toward the continuation of the AT. (The AT briefly joins the road.)
    • Note: Google Maps on the phone often wants you to go downhill on the cross street. This is wrong!
  • Keep L as road merges from R and go 3.5
  • L on GA-60 North and go 0.5
  • R on GA-180 and go 11.2
  • L on US-129 North and go 2.4
  • R on GA-180 and go 0.9
  • R on GA-348 (Richard B Russel Scenic Hwy). Go 6.9
    • Parking lot on left, at AT crossing.
  • Food: None on the way
    • Dinner: 5 Guys in Home Depot shopping center, just south of GA-53, or there’s a barbecue joint with a pink pig across from the McDonalds at GA-53.

Drive Guide - Wildcat Mtn to Atlanta (partial)

  • Left out of the lot and go 7
  • R on GA-75 Alt and go 5.9
  • L on US-129 S and go 0.8
  • R on McAfee Rd / Testatee Gap and go 3
  • R on GA-115 S and go 11.5
  • L on GA-115 S and go 4.6
  • Straight onto GA-400 S

Trail Guide

  • Duration: 0.8 miles / 0:30 up (if fresh), 0:20 down
  • Navigation
    • Take the AT on the south side of GA-348. Trail crosses highway SE of the lot; it is obvious and well-marked.
    • Climb steeply (w/switchbacks) for 0.2 miles.
    • Turn left (south) on Whitley Gap Shelter trail. Blue-blazed ridge trail.
    • Reach summit in 0.6 miles.
  • Trailhead altitude: 3472’ @ parking
  • Summit altitude: 3780’
  • GPS tracks/waypoints:
    • Parking lot: 34.726, -83.84
    • Left turn to Whitley Gap Shelter Trail: 34.72479, -83.84104
    • Summit: 34.71740, -83.83820
    • Grid: EM84br

Summit Guide

  • Hang antenna from tree: Yes, but they aren’t very tall. You’ll need to string it through multiple trees.
  • Space to guy mast: Yes.
  • Cell coverage: Yes (Verizon); I was unable to get an SMS out with AT&T.
  • Unique features: Nice views near summit. Hard to see if trees are in full leaf.

Plan-B Summit(s)

  • Blood Mountain