Tallulah Falls Georgia

6/22/18

Lisa and I

Do something every day that scares you – Eleanor Roosevelt

I found the best cabin to rent in Mountain City Georgia.  It was a 3 bedroom, 2 bath on a mountainside with beautiful views and not far from all the things we wanted to do this weekend.  If you think you want to go to this area check out this place!   Mountain City Georgia Cabin.  We Left Thursday after work so that we could hike all day Friday and Saturday.   The first hike was Tallulah Falls Gorge.  This hike is very unique.  It is called the Grand Canyon of the East.  They only give 100 permits a day.  When I called the ranger said we would have to get there and get in line at 6 am on Saturdays but Fridays would be fine.  Earlier this week the gorge floor was closed because Georgia Power was working on the dam.  I was so disappointed.  Luckily they finished and it opened again on Wednesday.  We got up early Friday and were at the park when it opened at 8 am.  We were the 4th and 5th person to get a permit!  We were the first 2 people to head down the trail.  We did not have anyone to follow so we made our way down.

gorge

This trail is only 2.5 miles to the bottom.  It has absolutely no ground.  It’s a series of boulders and rocks and river crossings.  It is rated as difficult.  I must say it was a very hard trail!  They don’t allow you down there when its wet which we thought was dumb until we were down there!  The dry rocks were slick enough!  We actually had to go barefoot just to navigate some of it.  It is 1000 feet down to the gorge floor from the visitors center!   We head down the rim trail and there is a series of steps with a bunch of overlooks.  We head to overlook which is an amazing view of the Tallulah River far down below with amazing rock walls on both sides and a view of Bridal Veil Falls.  The sign says it is 350 feet at this point.  There are a couple more overlooks then we come to a series of metal steps that lead down to a suspension bridge.   At the suspension bridge is a beautiful waterfall called Hurricane Falls.  This bridge is really a suspension bridge that sways and moves as you walk across it.

bridgeStill amazing views of the falls, the river and the huge rock walls.  At the end of the bridge the trail goes to the left to a platform below the falls.  From this point you can go to the right down a rocky trail to the gorge floor or you can go left through a series of rocks, boulders, water to get to the gorge floor.  Either way it is a hard trip.  We decide to go to the left and cross the river below Hurricane Falls.  Lisa is going to go first and climbs down and makes her way across 1 large boulder, then the 2nd large bolder and on the 3rd bam!  In she goes.  I am trying to do my own rock hop and look up and cannot find her.  I see her hand only on top of a large rock.  I think she is playing around and hiding but she is actually pulling herself back up out of the water.  She yells “you might as well take your shoes off cause you are going to get wet!”  Personally I can hike in wet shoes, no problem.  I would so much rather walk on slick rocks under water with shoes than without.  This pic is right before she went in!

lisa crossing

At this point two men reach the platform and one is trying to cross the rocks with us and his name is Bill.  His friend decides (I think after seeing Lisa fall in!) that he isn’t going any farther and will meet him after the hike.  Bill and I try crossing these rocks together and he goes in front of me and decides right off the bat to just get in the water.  Its flowing pretty good and he helps pull me across tot he next rock.  This is him after he has fallen in!  I am in also! This is the craziest thing! We all 3 finally make it across to the north bank of the river.

mouth

We all take a minute to catch our breath now that we have completed our first obstacle! There is not a real trail.  There is some signs with arrows or painted blue marks that kinda of guide you along the way.  This would have been easier if we were following someone but oh well.  Blaze your own way!  Lisa leads us the whole way.  There are high water marks every so often.  They are attached to the rocks.   If the alarm sounds and you are on the trail you are supposed to get to one of these for safety.  This is pretty much the whole trail to sliding rock!

me

This trail is crazy.  We are climbing over and around large rocks.  We get to a point where there are some super large ones that make awesome photos.  This photo is climbing along the gorge wall.  Any lower and you just slide down to the water which is a slick waterfall.

slick

This is what we are going around!falls1Lisa climbs up and end up with this nice serene photo of the river.

lisasit

viewWe just keep plucking away at this trail.  There is an area that we have to cross a sloped rock for about 30 feet.  Lisa takes here shoes off and starts to navigate it.  Bill tries to go with his shoes on and quickly slides down toward the water.  I take my shoes off and make my way across it slowly.  On the other side of this is an area that has a sliding rock like area.  Lisa stays at the top and I navigate across it to get a pic of her.  We have to climb at the top of the rock against the gorge wall.

lisa

We keep navigating our way to the bottom and finally end up at Sliding Rock!  I really want to go down this but there are no other people here and I need someone to go first!  That is just how I am.  I didn’t realize Bill had no idea what was down here because no one told him about this trail.  I tell him its a sliding rock and he volunteers to go first!  He gets in the water which is cold but not nearly as cold as it is in North Carolina.  He heads down the slide slowly at first until he gets to the middle and down he goes!  He splash lands int he big pool below and swims over tot he left and grabs a long rope that he uses  to climb out of the water.  When he thinks he is safely on solid ground he tries to throw the rope back in and slides down the rock and falls back into the pool of water below!  OMG it’s so funny but not funny you know?  So much for being thoughtful!  He pulls him self out again and more carefully climbs up that rocks towards us.  I want to know how deep it is where he landed and if there are any rocks.  He said be careful where you pull up its slick.  Now its even slicker because its wet.

sliding I asked him to go with me cause I’m a big ol chicken.  We both get in the water onto the rock.  I take off.  About half way down the rock you speed up and splash down into the pool!  its cold!  its awesome.  It’s not that deep.  I don’t like to touch the bottom when I can’t see it so i just swim over to the rope and pull my self out.  Lisa is filming us but won’t get in and try it.  She says she’s not hot and doesn’t want to get wet!  What ever! Bill and I were dying of the heat and ready to get in the water.  I say let’s do it again and he is happy too!  About this time people are showing up.  Every couple of minutes more people come down.  Some younger guys come down and they slide toward the other side of the rock where there is more water flow.  Bill and I try to head that way also but the water just send me back toward the left side.  Oh well still fun.

Now two moms and 4 kids between 10-14 come down.  I’m feeling a little insecure now since they had no problem getting here!  We ask how to get to the other side so we can go up that trail instead of backtracking.  They say to go behind the large rock at the top of sliding rock.  Lisa goes first and manages to navigate around.  Then Bill goes then me.  When I get to the big rock bill helps me climb up on the rock.  On the backside he is going down and slips and falls.  He is kinda rolling along the edge of the top of the sliding rock trying to get his bearings.

bill haha

It’s hysterical because the water is pushing him one way and he is trying to go the other. He just pulled me up the rock but we are dying laughing.  I call some other kid over and throw him my phone.  Then I throw him my back pack.  Ever the boss.  I don’t know him but make him help me anyway.  I go to climb down the rock where bill has just fallen and make it across to the other side.  Bill climbs back up on he rock and we are trying to guide him across.  He finally climbs down correctly without falling and the three of us start to head up this trail.  Funny thing is we worked so hard at this and all these kids are just running around and climbing in here no problem???????  This pic is the bottom at sliding rock.  The trails goes to the right.  It is a most beautiful gorge!  I wish I could post the rest of our 200 pictures from this hike!  So amazing!

bottom We talk to this lady from South Africa and she says this trail is short but straight up.  I think it’s about 3/4 of a mile but OH lord!  It is a rocky hard as hell trail that does go straight up.  There is no walking involved!  It is just a climb.  At this point I just realized that Bill doesn’t have a backpack.  He gave everything to his friend! He is having a hard time so I offer him some water.  Lisa already gave him some PBJ uncrustables and water.   We have been doing some crazy hard hiking lately which sure helps this situation.  It’s still super hard .  Bill hasn’t done anything like this before but he just keeps climbing like a boss! We stop every so often to rest in the shade.  While we are waiting for Bill I’m laying on a rock and Lisa takes this photo!  She is so funny!  Seriously look at her?  Does she look like she is suffering?  I am sweating to death, my legs feel like rubber bands and she is smiling and looks like she just stepped out of the shower!  WTH? Her caption, She Tired!  lol

dead

This is what the climb looks like!

climb

She is out of water and I only have a 1/2 of a Gatorade.  I give it to Bill.  We all finally make it to the top of the rocks!  YAY!  Success!  We get on the service road and pass a guy that we were in line with.  I asked him for some water for Bill and he happily gives him some!  Hikers are the nicest people.  We are finally on easy ground and have to take the rim trail either down to the bridge and back up the stairs or all the way around the rim.  Bill and I want to go around the rim but Lisa seems to want to go back to the bridge.  We win.  The rim trail takes us to the highway and we walk down the road across the damn and back down a trail toward the visitors center.  That was weird walking on the highway!  We finally make it to the visitors center and Bills friend is waiting for him.  He has been worried about him.  We probably should have called him.  They are driving back to Jacksonville FL now and Bill has to drive.  He probably needed to stop for an energy drink!  He also tells us he is supposed to golf in the morning with a friend and he can’t cancel because he will never hear the end of it.  We tell him he will cancel.  Turns out he did cancel and said he hurt in places he didn’t know he had!   Ha Ha!!  He was a trooper being completely blind sided by this trail!

It is only 12 noon now so we decide to go off on another adventure.  Lisa gets his phone number so we can send him pics from our adventure and we say goodbye and head off to somewhere else!

That was so much fun.  I’m not sure how we are going to top this hike!!

 

 

 

 

 

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