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Tray Mountain Early Morning Hike - 360 Degree Panoramic View

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Appalachain Trail - Near Helen
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Nov 16 2013  8:00 am >> Sat, Nov 16 2013 2:15 pm  (Carpool Departure: 6:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Sat, Nov 2 2013 10:00 am
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Nov 15 2013 11:59 pm
Event Duration:6 Hours 15 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Trip Leader(s):
Tom Jarosz (Juh'rose)
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:9
Minimum Group Size:6
Number Registered So Far: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


Join me for a long day of hiking on the AT Trail to the top of Tray Mountain.  Estimated time of finish can vary, so please be flexible.  This is a group hike so we will carpool together (2-3 cars) to the event and hike & finish as a group.  Our trekking speed will be as fast as the slowest person on the hike, or determined by the trip leader, so if you're a fast or slow hiker, this may not be the hike for you.   As a group, we will also have a brief 10-15 minute stop near the top of Tray for a snack.

This is a strenuous trail and only those in excellent physical condition should participate. This hike is recommended for only advanced hikers with previous long distance hikes of 10 or more miles in the mountains or recent D5 experience.

This hike starts at Unicoi Gap just north of Helen, GA. We will go 5.1 miles on the Appalachian Trail to the summit of Tray Mountain. 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. This is an excellent training hike for those preparing for longer and more extensive hiking, backpacking, climbing trips, or simply wanting to take a scenic hike in the mountains!  We will plan to have a snack at the top of Tray.

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 hike. Total distance is 10.2 miles to and from the top of Tray Mountain.

Previous experience hiking in mountain conditions is recommended. For those that have hiked a trail similar to Blood Mountain with one summit over 1000 feet, this one has three. So you should have been able to complete a less strenuous hike fairly comfortably.


1. This is not a beginner's hike and it's geared towards hikers with previous and recent D5 and/or D6 hiking experience.  If you're not 100% certain you can complete this hike, please do not sign up. 

2. Schedule and itinerary are subject to change at the discretion of the trip leader. 

3. The Trip Leader reserves the right to remove anyone from the list that he feels cannot handle this trip.

Required Items to Bring:

3-4 liters or more of water
Trail food/lunch for the top of Trey Mountain
Hiking boots or shoes

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)


Positive attitude, sense of humor, and an appetite for good conversation & social interaction

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: 6:30 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.