Check off “hiking part of the Appalachian Trail” from your bucket list with this short but steep hike to the summit of Tray Mountain. The Tray Mountain Summit Trail is a 0.75 mile hike from Tray Gap up to the summit of Tray Mountain.
Embark on an unforgettable journey to the top of Tray Mountain at the spectacular Tray Mountain Summit Trail in Georgia.
This short, but challenging, 0.75 mile hike from Tray Gap to the summit of Tray Mountain gives you just a little taste of hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
At the top, you’ll get stunning mountain views that are even more incredible when experienced in the fall. So grab your hiking gear and start your trek!
Tray Mountain Summit from Tray Gap
After our adventure on the Tray Mountain Road Jeep trail, we hiked the short, 0.75 mile trail from Tray Gap up to the summit of Tray Mountain. This is one of the most popular hiking spots in Georgia as it is part of the Appalachian Trail and has an incredible view.
Getting to Tray Gap can be a challenge if you don’t have the right vehicle and come from the wrong direction. The route from the west, coming from Helen and accessing Tray Mountain Road from GA 75, is the easier route to drive. This route is a gravel road that is pretty well-maintained an easier to drive for any type of car.
But if you’re coming from the east, accessing Tray Mountain Road from Chimney Mountain Road, you’ll want something with ground clearance and 4 wheel drive. This route is the off-roading Jeep route.
There is a parking area at the base of the trail at Tray Gap.
Tray Mountain Summit Trail Hike
To hike to the summit, you’ll be hiking north on the Appalachian Trail.
The trail begins by gaining elevation quickly through a series of switchbacks. At about 0.6 miles through the hike is a scenic resting point where you can sit on a rock cropping and look out over the mountains through a break in the trees.
The trail continues upward, still quickly gaining elevation. When you near the summit, you’ll pass through a tunnel of arching trees my boyfriend refers to as the hobbit hole. You’ll reach the Tray Mountain summit at 0.75 miles, having climbed 600 feet.
Wide open exposed rock covers the summit. If the texture were smoother, you could lay out and sun up there. The surrounding trees aren’t very tall and have plenty of gaps, so you can sit on the rocks and take in the views.
We timed this perfectly with the changing seasons and got to experience bright blue skies and patches of bright oranges and reds among the green of the trees.
The descent back down the trail is much easier and quicker than the ascent. We ended our 1.5 mile hike back at the parking lot at Tray Gap.
Nearby Hiking Trails
Hike these other fantastic North Georgia trails near the Tray Mountain Summit Trail:
Ready to visit Tray Mountain, Georgia? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find accommodation: You can find top cabin rentals in Helen using VRBO.
- Get packing: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need with my packing list resources.
Have you hiked the Tray Mountain Summit Trail from Tray Gap? Let me know about it in the comments!