• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole

Strenuous 4.5 mile hike with 700' elevation gain. Great views from a large granite outcrop. 200' waterfall.

This is a strenuous 4.5 mile hike beginning from the Lower Parking Lot in Stone Mountain State Park (for a 5.2 mile hike, begin at the Upper Parking Lot). From the lot, take the trail by the bathroom. Keep right at the first trail intersection, then left at the second trail intersection to stay on the orange circle-blazed trail. You'll soon pass the Hutchinson Family Homestead, over a century old, which you can explore. Continue following the trail which parallels a stream and has 5 bridge crossings (can also be rock-hopped). Keep left of the trail at the Lower/Middle Falls intersection. From here the trail will climb quickly via steps to the 200' Stone Mountain Falls. People splash around at the base during summer, but do not attempt to walk on onto the top-people have died here.

Continue up the stairs (there's at least 500) for a very steep climb to the spur to the Upper Parking Lot beside the large old chimney and keep left to follow the loop trail. The trail keeps climbing via multiple switchbacks, but you'll soon emerge on the summit of Stone Mountain (elev. 2,305'), which has great 270 degree views in the S/SE/SW directions. Explore the rocky summit and find a perch for lunch, but don't get too close to the cliff face-people have died here too.

To finish the loop, follow the trail down another 300 or so stairs and switchback through the forest. Turn right at the final intersection to return to the Lower Trailhead Parking Lot. After your hike, head to Stone Mountain Country Store just outside of the state park for some delicious food and hand-dipped ice cream.

For a longer hike (6.5 miles), this trail can also be combined with the Wolf Rock and Cedar Rock Trails.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Food/Snacks
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

This is indeed a strenuous hike that put me up to the test, however I found it to be quite rewarding and even while I was being put the test I was having fun.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

my favorite park in NC by far. the park is huge and I've been there dozens of times, but each time I find a new trail. never ending beauty and exploration.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

We went camping there and decided to try the loop. Great views, the rocks are pretty amazing! Although it can get kinda chilly up there, at least during the spring.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Beautiful views from the top. We went a mildly cold today so it was perfect for hiking, not too hot. Some what of a strenuous uphill start but nice trail down and back around. I would do it again.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Elyse Clark Explorer

Explorer. Hiker. Photographer.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

7 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves