Sunday, October 11, 2015

Stone Mountain (Atlanta Metro Area)

Stone Mountain Memorial State Park,
Stone Mountain,
DeKalb Co., 

Hiking Trails:
Walk Up Trail: Yellow markings
White Trail (top only): White markings
Service Road: Unblazed

Total Time: 1 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.6 Miles (includes additional exploration on top)
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended for hike in the area

Points of Interest: Incredible geology and excellent views
Cons: Way too many people here

I was in Atlanta for the weekend attending a friend's wedding. Atlanta is mostly flat, though Stone Mountain in the suburbs juts out of the surrounding area as a giant granite rock. I found the geology most interesting, as much of the rock is exposed and some parts are a sheer cliff wall. Being in the area, I had to visit the mountain and climb it.

The weather was great. It had just rained overnight, but the rain moved out and and the clouds were breaking through. I parked at the bottom parking lot where the Walk Up Trail starts. I don't know why they couldn't give a more original name to this trail, but so be it. I couldn't believe the volume of people taking this trail up climbing the mountain. The fact that is was a weekend certainly added to the population.

I found the climb up to very moderate. It wasn't all that steep, though much of it was walking on exposed rock face. Only at the end near the summit did the trail become quite steep, though there were railings at some of these steep spots. Upon nearing the summit, I went on the southern side of the ridge, and then went around back on the northen side for a loop of all the different views. I then went down on the service road all the way down back to my car.

Map of the Route

Information Sign at the Beginning of the Trail

Large Rock Mass Which the Trail Follows, at the Beginning of the Hike

Hiking Up. Note the Pine Trees Interspersed on the Solid Rock Face

First View

Steep Rock Wall (Pictures Don't Relay Steepness)

Downtown and Midtown Atlanta from Stone Mountain

Zoomed Out to Downtown and Midtown

Me at one of the Views

Walking up the Last Ascent, Which is Steep

View of Buckhead in the Distance

Rock Face and View in the Distance

Climbing the Final Ascent

Nearing the Top

View at the Top

View from the Summit, Looking Down at the Lake and Cable Car

Large Open Rock Area at the Summit

Me at the Summit

View from Back at the Bottom of the large Engraving and Sheer Cliff

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