Rabun County High Point Trip Report

Rabun Bald (4,680+ ft)

Date: May 2000
Author: Scott Surgent

From the county seat of Clayton, drive north on US-23/441 about 7 miles into the town of Dillard near the GA/NC state line. Turn right at a light with signs pointing to the town of Sky Valley. Follow the road and the signs for about 3 miles as it gains elevation. You will pass the Sky Valley city limits and the city hall. Cross briefly into North Carolina. About 0.25 mile inside NC a sign points back to Sky Valley. Follow this road, called Bald Mountain Road, for a few minutes to Kelsey Mountain Road on your right. Make a hard right turn and follow Kelsey Mountain Road about a mile to the end of the pavement. Park in the dirt area.

A sign nailed to a tree points to Rabun Bald's trailhead. There are two options: the left trailhead is a footpath, while the right is a 4wd track. I followed the footpath. The two routes meet about halfway into the hike (the footpath appears much shorter in distance). At this junction is the continuance of the footpath (signed). Follow it to the summit. The trail switchbacks at the top and the vegetation is very dense. At the top is a stone and wood lookout tower offering tremendous views, including Brasstown Bald to the west.

The route I took is just over a mile one way with about 1,080 feet of gain. It appears to get much use and is very well maintained. There were two others on the trail the I met. The trees are so thick at the top that I didn't see the lookout tower until I was literally feet away from it.