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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for Yonah Mountain in Georgia

    I'm trying something different here and am not sure how well it will be received. So, with that in mind I have tried to put together a series of pictures identifying Yonah Mountain in Georgia from several of the locations that I could spot it from. Yonah is one of the easiest landmarks to identify on the Georgia AT and can be seen from many of the scenic vistas along a 25 mile stretch of the AT, so it is pretty unique by Georgia standards.

    Blood Mtn is 28.4 miles from Springer and Yonah is 14 miles away at a bearing of 119 degrees true (or about 116 degrees magnetic). Photo link:
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...php?photo=2983

    Levelland Mtn is 32.2 miles from Springer and Yonah is 13 miles away at a bearing of 121 degrees true (or about 118 degrees magnetic). Photo link:
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...cat=554&page=1

    Wolf Laurel Top is 34.1 miles from Springer and Yonah is 11 miles away at a bearing of 122 degrees true (or about 119 degrees magnetic). Photo link:
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...cat=554&page=1

    Cowrock Mtn is 35.4 miles from Springer and Yonah is 10 miles away at a bearing of 125 degrees true (or about 122 degrees magnetic). Photo link:
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...cat=554&page=1

    Rocky Mtn is 52 miles from Springer and Yonah is 11 miles away at a bearing of 175 degrees true (or about 172 degrees magnetic). Photo link:
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...cat=554&page=1

    Tray Mtn is 56.2 miles from Springer and Yonah is 11 miles away at a bearing of 190 degrees true (or about 187 degrees magnetic). Photo link:
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...cat=554&page=1

    I hope this helps some folks enjoy the scenery in Georgia just a little more.

    Youngblood

  2. #2

    Default

    Thanks Youngblood. Now I'll know what I'm looking at when I'm down that way next week. Nicely done.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Cool pictures. I remember watching the sun go down from Tray Mountain with Yonah right in front of me. I can't wait to get back down to the Georgia Mountains sometime.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Nice photos. What was the time period of the shots?
    I think Army Rangers did some training at Yonah...true today?
    "Just trying to keep life simple."

  5. #5
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Default Thanks!

    I remember looking at Yonah while on Cowrock, funny how your pic brings back the memory, that was my birthday hike last February.....

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy
    Nice photos. What was the time period of the shots?
    I think Army Rangers did some training at Yonah...true today?
    Chappy, I don't know what the Rangers are up to these days but I have heard the same about them using Yonah. The closest I have been to Yonah Mountain is at the intersection of US129 and GA75 in Cleveland, Georgia at the Ingles parking lot. Yonah mountain is 4 miles away at a bearing of 49 degrees true, you are looking up at the sheer rock face and Yonah dominates the landscape from there.

    You make a good point about the time period of the shots. I went back and looked up the date stamp from the original photos and will include them with the photo descriptions when I figure out how to edit the photos (I sent a pm to ATTroll). I will also list the time stamps here.

    Blood Mtn- March 26, 2004 at 3:55pm EST
    Levelland Mtn- October 19, 2003 at 1:00pm EDT
    Wolf Laurel Top- March 13, 2004 at 2:29pm EST
    Cowrock Mtn- March 6, 2004 at 1:36pm EST
    Rocky Mtn- September 30, 2003 at 9:50am EDT
    Tray Mtn- September 30, 2003 at 12:27pm EDT

    Youngblood

  7. #7
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood
    Chappy, I don't know what the Rangers are up to these days but I have heard the same about them using Yonah.
    The Rangers still use the cliffs on Yonah for advanced climbing technique training.

    Great photos!

  8. #8

    Default Yonah mountain

    Yonah is the Cherokee word for bear. It is well named.

  9. #9
    Registered User halibut15's Avatar
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    Default

    As Dances with Mice said, Yonah is used for climbing training by the Rangers. About 3/4 of the way up Yonah, there is actually a small campground used by the Rangers, complete with places to hang climbing gear, bathrooms, etc. The view from the top is just amazing, with Yonah being farther south than most of the surrounding mountains and no higher mountains nearby to obstruct the view.

  10. #10

    Default Great

    That's fascinating. One of my favorite activities on the trail is using map and compass to locate landmarks from overlooks. It gives a real sense of scale; how far you've come, how far you have to go, and maybe most importantly, where you really fit in the grand scheme of things.

    There's another pic posted here from somewhere in Virginia looking down a ridge, showing two or three days worth of walking.

    Thanks for the post.
    In training for the Chappaquiddick Triathlon "Drink - Drive - Swim"

  11. #11

    Default

    For many of us that grew up in Atlanta Yonah Mtn was our favorite place to go and play. You can sit up on the cliffs and watch hawks dance in the sky all day. The Army Rangers have used it for training for years. It has several places to rock climb and rappell from. In the early days it was a great place to meet other rock climbers and find out about new gear. People shared the space. Then rock climbing got more popular. Climbing clubs would show up early and set up their ropes on all the sites instead of leaving a couple open for other people use. The parking lot near the top became party central. It became impossible to camp out there and sleep because of the noise from blasting sound systems. The lower part of the mountain was sold for private development and the people who lived there got tired of all the noise..the trash and the traffic that was tearing up the road. So they put a gate up and cut off access to the top for everyone except residents and Army Rangers. The Rangers responded by putting their own gate up higher up to cut off access to the private residents. Nobody gets to drive up now-except the Rangers-and they have been out of town alot these past few years. So the only people who really get to enjoy this wonderful place are the ones who make the hike up..it is quite a hual and there is no water on top. There are reports from people in the climbing community that land has been purchased that would allow for easier access to the mountain but this has not been confirmed. (note:losing this place has made several of us to rethink our view on having rules and regulations in the outdoors. Preserving the wilderness areas that we have left are probably going to require them. That is a shame but I would rather have a place to play in than nowhere to go. And if that requires a permit..parking sticker..camping rules ect then I chose to accomodate those rules and work with the outdoor community to change what I think is wrong. I know some of the people in this forum promote "working around" the rules but I believe that action usually results in loss of privileges for us all.)

  12. #12
    aka Capt Salty Stache dgodwin7's Avatar
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    Smile Climbing at Yonah

    It's great to see a thread about an old memory. I climbed there several years ago on an outdoor staff training trip. Yonah is a great place for bouldering and to set some top ropes. There are several ledges with fixed cables to help you climb up and anchor your ropes. The routes are pretty fun - we were beginners at the time and found some great climbs. The views were simply amazing - especially at night. The boulders beneath the cliffs were really great too - pretty big rocks for North Georgia. I'm not sure about access now - but we just parked at the base of the mountain and hiked up the road to the camping area. It's not too bad of a hike. There was a small spring about 1/4 mile from the campsite that we could filter from - it was flowing even in December.
    Hope it stays open to the public - at least for those who are willing to hike to the top!!

  13. #13

    Default Correction

    Just a quick note...
    Your description of the picture of Yonah from Cowrock is incorrect.
    (http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...cat/554/page/1)
    You state that Yonah can be seen directly in back of Whitley Gap.
    In fact, it's not Whitley, it's Morris Gap, and the mountain you identify as Adams Bald is the mountain on the far left of the picture, not the middle - the middle moutain is actually Rocky Mountain, with Piney Moutain on the far right. Only the lower southwestern slopes of Wildcat can be seen in the extreme left foreground.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrailLover
    Just a quick note...
    Your description of the picture of Yonah from Cowrock is incorrect.
    (http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...cat/554/page/1)
    You state that Yonah can be seen directly in back of Whitley Gap.
    In fact, it's not Whitley, it's Morris Gap, and the mountain you identify as Adams Bald is the mountain on the far left of the picture, not the middle - the middle moutain is actually Rocky Mountain, with Piney Moutain on the far right. Only the lower southwestern slopes of Wildcat can be seen in the extreme left foreground.
    TrailLover,

    I see this is your first post. Welcome to WhiteBlaze!

    I pulled out my CD with the topo maps. THIS TIME I drew a staight line between Cowrock and Yonah. I see your point, that Whitley Gap is somewhat obscured by Wildcat Mtn and Adams Bald, and that Morris Gap is the gap that is very close to being in line with Yonah. I remember deciding not to mention Rocky Mtn in the description because I didn't want to explain that it wasn't the same Rocky Mtn that folks think of on the AT just south of Tray Mtn. Thanks for the interest, the education and pointing out my errors.

    If you would, would you post what you think the description ought to be as a comment under the photo? If you will be kind enough to do this, I will go back and edit the description to reflect your input. If it is possible and it makes sense, I think it would be nice to point out features that hikers might be more familiar with because they see their names in the trail guides and/or actually hike them.

    I am impressed that you noticed this. Maybe we will see each other on the trail sometime. There is one spot on Wildcat Mountain that I have been waiting to get a picture of on a clear day- I would like for you to see it. If you look back southbound from a rock ledge, you can see (at least I think this is what I see ) from left to right: Cowrock Mtn, Levelland Mtn, Blood Mtn and Slaughter Mtn... it is particularly inspiring to me after I have just finished hiking that section of the trail.

    Thanks,
    Youngblood
    Last edited by Youngblood; 10-16-2004 at 10:24. Reason: grammer

  15. #15

    Default

    Thanks for the kind words Youngblood.

    You're in luck. If the pain in my side goes away by tonight, I'll be driving up to do the Raven Cliff Falls trail tomorrow, then follow that up with a short hike to Cowrock to verify where I think you took your picture (the north peak of Cowrock, or Cowrock proper, where the AT makes a 90 deg turn to the left), since it's only 1/2 mile from the road at Tesnatee Gap. Then, if I've got any energy left, I'll finish up with Wildcat from Hogpen Gap to see the sun set - if it's not too cloudy. So...I can take that picture for you...maybe. I don't know where your "south ledge spot" is, and Wildcat's big flat summit area spans half a mile! I'll just have to guess, and that could take more exploratory time than I'll have, since it'll be very near dark when I get there. But I'll try! If you see this post in time, you can reply and give me approx map coordinates or any other tips on how I might find this spot. Or heck, you can IM me (MSN Messenger) at [email protected].

    As for the rewording of your "Yonah view" I guess I'd reword as follows:

    This is the view from the AT at Cowrock Mountain (35.4 miles north of Springer) looking through Morris Gap at the very distinguished Yonah Mountain (10 miles southeast). On the left side of the Gap just off the left edge of the picture is the summit of Adams Bald, and on the right side of the Gap in the middle foreground is Rocky Mountain, with Piney Mountain near the right edge. The lower southwestern slopes of Wildcat are what you see in the extreme foreground on the left. Most nobos take a few minutes to enjoy this view.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailLover
    ...I don't know where your "south ledge spot" is, and Wildcat's big flat summit area spans half a mile! I'll just have to guess, and that could take more exploratory time than I'll have, since it'll be very near dark when I get there. But I'll try! If you see this post in time, you can reply and give me approx map coordinates or any other tips on how I might find this spot. ...
    I don't have the coordinates for the ledge. It is between Tesnatee Gap and the sidetrail to Whitley Gap Shelter, pretty much on top. There is a campsite with fire ring near the trail, the smallish rock outcrop is practically on the trail and is directly across the trail from where the campsite is. You have to carefully inch your way near the edge of the rock outcrop to see all four mountains.

  17. #17

    Default Darn weather

    Well, Sunday started off perfect, carried along nicely into the afternoon, and then quickly degraded before nightfall. My day also started later than expected. We commenced our family hike to Raven Cliffs Falls at 1:30 and didn't get back till 5:00. Then we farted around for a while and didn't get to Hogpen Gap until 6, and by then it was clouded over and drizzling. However, my daughter and I gave it a go up Wildcat anyways. We got to the split in 10 minutes and turned right, towards the northern summit. Pretty disappointing. There was nowhere that had a view. I saw a southern spot that had a small rock ledge but there were trees in the way. Then the trail started heading downwards again towards Tesnatee, so we turned back (as we were getting rained upon). And thus the day ended; no view from Wildcat, no hike to Cowrock. Maybe next time.

  18. #18
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    Default

    I'll get coordinates next time and remember to download it. Last time I got the coordinates but forgot to download them before I flushed and reloaded my gps.

  19. #19

    Default Conquering Hightower

    Hey Youngblood, it's been a long time.
    Haven't been back to Wildcat or Cowrock, but have done Blood and Brasstown/Wolfpen Ridge, and am planning to do Tray next weekend in this lovely Winter weather we're having.
    A friend and I have set a goal for ourselves in 2006 - to summit the highest 10 peaks in GA.
    Whew! Didn't know what I was getting into.
    Actually, many are easily accessible (like Tray), but 3 & 4 seem especially daunting, especially Hightower Bald.
    I searched the Internet for 6 hours and there was only 1 website that talked about it - sherpaguides. Unfortunately, the info there was not very encouraging in that it stated that there are very few maintained trails in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness, and none in the immediate vicinity of Hightower. Yikes!
    http://sherpaguides.com/georgia/moun...ilderness.html
    The "best" options were:
    1) Approach from Loggy Branch in the North until you hit a boulderfield (and then scramble up?). The guide didn't even say what happens next.
    2) Approach from the South and then when the trails turns towards Eller Gap either:
    -A) Do a long steep bushwhack northwards to the summit cliffs and then work around them left or right to one of the ridge gaps, then the summit (with yet more nasty bushwacking if you go right).
    -B) Keep following the trail through Eller Gap to Owensby Cove and then find a possibly "indistinct" trail up Owensby Cove to Lemon Gap, at which point you need to figure out how to scramble over thousands of feet of treacherous cliffs before nearing the summit via Toms Gap.
    3) Approach from the East via the ridge connecting to Rich Knob, which can be accessed via the AT - this has two problems: getting to that section of the AT is a PIA, and the ridge trail is either poorly marked or completely unmarked (depending on other reports I found), and may not even be a trail at all.
    So I was wondering, have you ever conquered this beast?
    If so, what's your advice?
    If not, do you have (or know anyone who has) any extra information that would be of use?
    Sincerely,
    Scott

  20. #20
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    Default

    TrailLover,

    I can't help you with that, haven't done any peak bagging or bushwacking.

    I did get a photo of the 4 mountains from Wildcat, http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/...=665&userid=41 , but I didn't have my GPS with me to get the coordinates. I probably make more of it than it is... I think it is neat to look back and see the mountains that you just crossed or nearly crossed all lined up like that. Us simpletons are easily amused.

    Youngbloode

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