Blood Mountain hiking, backpacking & camping guide

Hike, backpack and camp Blood Mountain's beautiful, popular and rugged summit on the Appalachian Trail north of Helen, Georgia. 

It’s the tallest peak on Georgia’s stretch of the Appalachian Trail, offering stunning summit views. And it’s one of Georgia’s most popular hiking destinations. Blood Mountain draws day hikers and backpackers to its summit by the dozens every fair-weather weekend.

Hike, camp and backpack the Blood Mountain summit on the Appalachian Trail north of Helen, Georgia

But there’s more to Blood Mountain than the often-hiked Byron Reece Trail at Neels Gap to the 4,458-foot summit. Explore the Blood Mountain summit’s beauty from all angles with this list of our favorite Blood Mountain hiking trails, and grab some serenity on the mountain’s lesser-traveled trails.

Blood Mountain: our favorite hikes and backpacking adventures

Blood Mountain on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia: video on YouTube

Backpacking & Camping

Blood Mountain’s high elevations and rugged beauty make it a popular backpacking and camping destination. Camp fires are not permitted in the Blood Mountain Wilderness, and its popularity (and irresponsible campers) have drawn black bears to frequent the forest. Food storage in bear-resistant canisters is required from March 1 through June 1 – and strongly suggested year-round.

Grab some solitude under the stars by backpacking in to one of the many trailside campsites on the Appalachian Trail or Slaughter Creek Trails (free, first-come first-camp). Most day-hikers scale the mountain from Flatrock Gap via the Byron Reece Trail, so find the most serenity on the Appalachian Trail on the mountain’s western face. The sites are most directly hiked via the Blood Mountain Loop Trail.

Prefer car camping at a campground? Tent camp on a glassy mountain lake at the Lake Winfield Scott campground (fees – view reservation info) and hike to Blood Mountain via the Jarrard Trail and Slaughter Creek Trail. Or spend the night at one of Vogel State Park’s cabins, electric or tent camp sites and hike to the mountain’s summit via Vogel’s Bear Hair Gap Trail, Coosa Backcountry Trail and Duncan Ridge Trails.

Where ever you camp, preserve the beauty of the Blood Mountain Wilderness. Pack out everything you pack in and leave no trace.

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