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^^ Summit GAs Highest Peaks: #3 - Hightower Bald (4568) ^^

The Basics:
Event Type:Explorer
Event Location: Chattahoochee National Forest, near Hiawassee, GA   Explorer: ^^ Summit GAs Highest Peaks: #3 - Hightower Bald (4568) ^^  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Apr 14 2012  8:00 am >> Sat, Apr 14 2012 8:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Apr 5 2012 9:44 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Apr 12 2012 12:12 pm
Event Duration:12 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Distance:8 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Email Trip Leader(s)
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 7 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


The North Georgia mountains may not be the Rockies (or the Himalayas), but they include many mtns that make for superb hikes and offer incredible views.  For this series, we are counting down the highest peaks in GA...

#3 - Hightower Bald

Standing 4568' above sea level with 808' of prominence, Hightower Bald is within the boundaries of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area of the Chattahoochee National Forest. It is the highest of a series of a half dozen mountain peaks all over 4,000 feet that run west to Eagle Mountain.  This ridge line lying in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness is one of the most remote areas in the state due to the rugged terrain, lack of roads, and... did I mention... NO trails. Absolutely perfect for those who like a little more free-form adventure in their hiking.

The route we will take up to Hightower Bald will be along Shoal Branch to Eller Gap, to Shooting Creek Bald and then along a ridge line with some terrific views to the peak of Hightower. After we have reached the summit of Hightower, we will head north a few hundred yards to visit Montgomery Corner, which has a unique story in the Georgia boundary definition. There is a geocache located at Mongomery Corner for any who may be into that.  We will then re-summit Hightowner, and then head south to the top of some cliffs, where we will get some other great views.  From there it will be down, down, down some very steep terrain where we will visit a hidden waterfall.  From there it will be a more gradual downward hike alsong some creeks until we get back to the cars.

Now, if the thought of going where relatively few others have gone, no trails, steep hills, extra steep hills, crawling at times, butt sliding at times, cliffs, rhododendron and mountain laurel thickets, briar patches, wild boar, and possibly a bear are your kind of adventure, then you won't want to miss this hike.

Although this hike is not incredibly long at only 7 - 7.5 miles, don't be deceived by the distance.... it is difficult.  You should have a good sense of balance, sure footing, and be comfortable hiking on some extremely steep hills, with loose dirt, leaves, and rocks.  If you do not have recent D5/D6 hiking experience your trip leader will be contacting you to determine if this hike is appropriate for you.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Water or sports drink (2.5 liters minimum)
  • Lunch and snacks to keep energy levels up for a 6 hour hike
  • Hiking shoes/boots (tennis/athletic shoes are not appropriate)
  • Gloves (leather is preferable - these are NOT to keep your hands warm)
  • Dress in layers - long pants/shirt sleeves recommended
  • Recommended Items to Bring:
    Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • Insect repellent
  • Change of clothes for the ride home... it's highly probable that you will get dirty.

  • How to Get There:
    Event Directions:

    Directions to trailhead will be given at carpool (or via email if "meeting at event").

    Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):214Mile(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 $85.60 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.

    For more information on the other hikes in the series and the methodology used in making the list, click here.

    Because this a D6 event, if you have not recently completed some tough AOC hikes, we may be contacting you to determine your level of fitness and experience to make sure this is a suitable hike for you.

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

    Cost Includes:NA

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