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First Hike of 2024 - Sunrise on the Rock

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Stone Mountain Park   Hike: First Hike of 2024 - Sunrise on the Rock  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Mon, Jan 1 2024  6:47 am >> Mon, Jan 1 2024 8:27 am
Registration Opens: Sun, Jan 1 2023 7:07 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Dec 30 2023 7:07 pm
Event Duration:1 Hours 40 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Distance:2.2 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 9 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No



Full Disclosure: It's my birthday and I'll hike if I want to... And yes, I've already emailed the Weather Gods requesting a mild, dry, partially cloudy morning, just so we can experience a glorious sunrise to bring in 2024!

Sunrise is scheduled for 7:42 AM so we'll start our hike up the mountain at 7:00 AM sharp, from the Whistle Stop station (near the restrooms, next to  Confederate Hall). Plan to arrive by 06:45 AM for check-in and introductions. I plan to hike at a moderate pace but you are welcome to walk as quickly/slowly as you like, so long as you make it safely up to the summit!

Once there, we'll find a suitable place to watch the sunrise and ooh and aah as the golden orb makes it debut for the New Year. Then we'll stretch, tag the geo-markers, enjoy other New Year celebrations on the Rock, and finally make our way down the mountain to the parking lot.

Please note: Entry to Stone Mountain Park is $20 per vehicle, or $40 for an annual pass.  If you want to avoid the fee, you have two options:

1. Park on Main Street in Stone Mountain Village (free) and walk into the park - see directions below, or

2. Contact me a few days before the hike to arrange a ride - I will be happy to give the FIRST TWO PEOPLE who contact me, a ride from Stone Mountain Village. I will pick you up from Stone Mtn. Village at 6:30 AM. Time is of the essence here - sunrise waits for no one - so if you arrive at the Village after 6:30 AM, you will have to walk to the Whistle Stop meeting point.

Required Items to Bring:

Boots/Shoes with good traction
Jacket/Fleece (it's chilly in the AM)
Headlamp or Flashlight for the hike up in the dark


Your sense of humor

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


How to Get There:
Event Directions:

For directions using GOOGLE Maps, go here:,+Robert+E+Lee+Blvd,+Stone+Mountain,+GA+30083/@33.8100349,-84.1630205,18z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x88f5af15b822d9d7:0xbafab7f1ffd607f0!8m2!3d33.810783!4d-84.1626025!16s%2Fg%2F11b77k50_0


Old school directions:


From the I-285 on the east side of town, take US Hwy 78 East about 7.7 miles.  Bear right at Exit #8 to the Stone Mountain Park "East Gate" main entrance where you'll pay $15 for the daily parking fee if you don't display a valid annual pass.  Suggestion, especially if you're new to the Park, ask the gate attendant for a free color map.


After entering via the East Gate, first follow Jefferson Davis Drive about a mile straight ahead past the lake, to the big fork in the road. Swing right onto Robert E. Lee Blvd and follow it for a mile. Stay in the left lane to avoid the West Gate exit (on your right) and then park in the parking lot on the LEFT, next to Confederate Hall. Look toward the mountain and you'll see the restrooms in front of you. We'll gather at our usual AOC "meetup spot," by the stone wall near the restroom building at the base of the Walk-Up Trail (about 100 yards toward the mountain from Confederate Hall).  For a zoomable map & aerial view of this spot, click on the red "Location Icon" at the top of this article.



There's no charge for pedestrians or bicyclists to enter Stone Mountain Park or to enjoy the numerous free attractions inside the Park including the nice trails.  If you don't have an annual Park Pass and wish to save the daily $20 parking fee, there are usually plenty of free parking spots just outside the Park in Stone Mountain Village.  The Village is near the Park's West Gate entrance which is a 15-minute walk to Confederate Hall and the Walk-Up trailhead.  One such free parking lot is the "Stone Mountain Visitor Center" lot on the Main Street, which has its own paved walking/biking trail into the Park, much like the Silver Comet Trail. To drive to that lot, get off US-78 (Stone Mtn Freeway) at Exit #5, then bear right to exit again about a half mile ahead, turn left onto E. Ponce de Leon Ave, go through the first traffic light onto Main Street and continue about a half mile to the "caboose lot" on your left.  In about 15 minutes you can walk or ride your bike eastward into the Park via the paved PATH trail, turn left on Robert E. Lee Blvd (for ~300 yard) and join the AOC group at the Walk-Up trailhead.


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

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

I understand that Life happens, and if you change your mind or cannot attend, please be considerate and deregister on the AOC website before the cut-off date (Dec 30) so that I can offer your spot to someone on the waitlist.

After the cut off, its either hike, or accept a "no show."