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Backpacking Tray Mountain *** Sleeping Under The Stars ***

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Appalachain Trail - Near Helen
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Nov 25 2017  10:00 am >> Sun, Nov 26 2017 2:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Sun, Nov 5 2017 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Nov 25 2017 7:45 am
Event Duration:1 Days 4 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Trip Leader(s):
Tom Jarosz (Juh'rose)
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:9
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 10 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


This backpacking trip starts at Unicoi Gap just north of Helen, GA. We will backpack 5.1 miles on the Appalachian Trail to the summit of Tray Mountain.  Near the top of the summit, we will find a place to set up base camp and enjoy a cold-ish night sleeping under the stars.  The views will be spectacular!

"Star light, star bright,The first star I see tonight;I wish I may, I wish I might,Have the wish I wish tonight..."

Notes: It's assummed you have prior backpacking experience and ALL necessary gear and clothing.  You will also be responsible for carrying enough water for meals and hydration.

Along with Blood Mountain, it is the most panoramic view on the Georgia AT. Here you will have 360-degree view of the surrounding area.

Trail Itinerary:
Approximate Altitude Changes
Ascend 1,125 feet to the top of Rocky Mountain at 1.3 miles
Descend 975 feet to Indian Grave Gap at 2.6 miles
Ascend 1,400 feet to the top of Tray Mountain at 5.1 miles
Total Ascent (round trip): 3,500 feet
Miles 0.0 parking area, trail begins at far end
0.3 right switchback left switchback
0.6 step across small stream
1.0 trail levels off somewhat
1.3 top of Rocky Mountain
1.4 break in foliage offers good view on right (the half dome, south, is Yonah Mt.)
1.5 beginning of frequent views right, begin descent down right side of ridge
1.7 right, then left, switchback
2.6 Indian Grave Gap
3.3 cross dirt road
3.4 trail levels off somewhat
3.6 cross gap
4.1 rock outcropping on right provides good winter view grassy road on left
4.3 Tray Gap, bear right across roads
4.4 first of several switchbacks
4.9 rocky outcropping on left with good view, right switchback
5.1 top of Tray Mountain

This is an in and out backpacking trip.  Total distance is 10.2 miles to and from the top of Tray Mountain.  

Reminder:  If you're a Garmin user, please join our 'Atlanta Outdoor Club (AOC) Garmin Users' group to connect with other AOC Garmin users and track your activity.  Join us at:

Required Items to Bring:

Suitable backpacking/camping gear and clothing for cold weather conditions (Tent, sleeping bag & pad, headlamp, hiking boots, parka, etc.)

Trail food and water (4 liters +/-) for lunch, dinner, and Sunday breakfast.  Don't make any assumption that there will be a water source on the trail or near the campsite. 

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Hiking Poles - for balance
Change of shoes and shirt for drive back
Emergency rain gear (even if it is clear day with a 20 percent chance of rain)

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

North on GA 400 from the park and ride. When GA 400 ends at Chevron station. continue on GA 115. Go 4.8 miles where GA 115 meets GA 52. Turn right. Continue on GA 115 until Cleveland GA. At traffic circle in Cleveland go north on US 129.

Continue past GA 75 to Alt GA 75. Take a right on Alt GA 75. Continue until Alt 75 ends at GA 75. Take left away from Helen. Continue on GA 75 until signs you see signs for AT parking lot on right side of highway.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):140Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $56.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

Late cancellations, particularly within 36 hours of the event make it difficult for those on the wait list to attend. Please be courteous to your fellow AOC members and cancel with as much notice as possible.