Climb the Stairs to Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls Lodge

Plunging 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the South. A North Georgia favorite, a trip to the falls is the perfect way to spend the day any time of year. While the falls are only a short walk from the parking lot, hikers must ascend about 600 stairs and a mildly steep quarter-mile incline to reach the top. The climb is well worth the effort, as climbers enjoy an up close perspective of the falls and a stunning view of the mountains at the top of the falls.

Adventurers access the falls through the state park entrance. From the parking lot, hikers follow the clearly marked signs to the base of the falls. The incline begins by the pond at the base of the falls. From the pond, follow the incline along the cascading portion of the falls to the stairs. At the stairs, ascend to the first viewing platform and snap a few shots of the falls. Continue onward to the bridge for an up close and personal view of the falls. On the other side of the bridge, take the remaining stairs to the top for a view of the surrounding mountains. To return back to their car, hikers have two options—either descend the way they came, or walk down the road. The trip down the stairs is by far the better option, based on scenery alone.

The only way to get a close view of the falls is to use the stairs, but for hikers who are leery of the climb, they might have the option to park at the top and walk down. The only catch is finding a ride back to the top, so plan ahead.

For hikers looking for a more adventurous day, there is the option to continue to Springer Mountain. Nestled at the southern tip of the Appalachian trail, Amicalola Falls hosts many through-hikers each summer seeking to start their 2100 mile journey from Springer Mountain to Katadin in Maine. The hike out and back will add an additional 17 miles, but it is a very enjoyable and rolling adventure. For more on that trek, see: Hike to Springer Mountain, the Southern Terminous of the Appalachian Trail.

Pack List

  • camera (& tripod for long exposure shots)
  • backpack (for hands free climbing of the stairs)
  • sturdy walking shoes
  • lunch (if you want to have a picnic at the top)
Show More
RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 800 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Mesmerizing

Absolutely gorgeous! I just wanted to jump in and play.

Super beautiful waterfall, likely to be crowded

I have mixed feelings about Amicalola Falls. On one hand, it is one of the closer waterfall trails to Atlanta and it also happens to be the tallest waterfall in the state. The waterfall itself is spectacular, especially if you go after its been raining. A short walk allows you to see one of the most impressive waterfalls around, which is pretty cool. On the other hand, it draws a lot of Atlanta crowds and just about the entire trail is either paved or stairs. Between the constant human traffic and the structured trail, I found it a bit hard to feel like I was really hiking or in any wilderness. For some, that may be perfect, I guess I just like a little more seclusion.

Amazing!

Bucket list Must! Not for lazy people who complain even under perfect circumstances.


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