Appalachian Trail: hiking from Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain in North GA

Appalachian Trail: Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain

Hike the Appalachian Trail in Georgia from Dicks Creek Gap, climbing to stunning views of Lake Burton from the summit of Powell Mountain.

trail info

5.2 miles
(round trip)
more
difficult
Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:Appalachian Trail near Hiawassee, Georgia (maps & directions)

GEAR: Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack w/ our favorite hiking gear list and Canon 6D Camera

OFFICIAL MAP: Appalachian Trail, Trails Illustrated Map

This Georgia Appalachian Trail day hike spans 2.6 miles outbound, hiking south from Dicks Creek Gap. It’s a nearly continuous outbound climb from the gap to the summit, but rewards with some stunning, lofty views at hike’s end.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Georgia: Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain

The Powell Mountain summit is a sun-soaked, rocky peak that catches views of Lake Burton and rolling Georgia mountainscape to the South – a great mid-hike resting spot. And this hike’s return to the Dicks Creek Gap trailhead is nearly all downhill, making it a favorite stretch on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.

Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain: the hike

The hike departs south from the paved-access Dicks Creek Gap trailhead (view maps and driving directions), crossing GA Highway 76 from the parking area. The Appalachian Trail follows its iconic white rectangular trail blazes as it hikes southbound, immediately beginning to climb elevation through a towering, spindly deciduous forest. The trail passes a small, trickling cascade on trail right as it ascends. Several old-growth trees pepper the trail, their massive trunks dwarfing the surrounding, relatively young forest.

The Appalachian Trail follows its iconic white rectangular trail blazes as it hikes southbound from Dicks Creek Gap

The trail levels briefly at .5 mile, passing a large campsite on the left before descending through switchbacks over the next .3 mile. Nearing 1 mile, the Appalachian Trail continues its ascent toward Powell Mountain, passing a seasonally-available water source and a second campsite at 1.2 miles.

The Appalachian Trail unwaveringly ascends elevation, climbing nearly due South. The hike climbs through a thick grove of twisted, gnarled mountain laurel, switching back sharply at 1.9 miles and climbing northwest to the Powell Mountain summit. After cresting at 2.25 miles, the trail descends briefly through McClure Gap before ascending again. The Appalachian Trail reaches a wooden sign and blue-blazed side trail at 2.5 miles.

The Appalachian Trail reaches a wooden sign and blue-blazed side trail at 2.5 miles at the summit of Powell Mountain

The hike departs the Appalachian Trail, turning to follow the blue-blazed side trail southeast toward the overlook. Reaching the outcrop-dotted summit, the hike rewards with sweeping, long-range views to the south.

Hang out in an ENO hammock at the Powell Mountain summit, or just enjoy the view

South of the summit, the distant Lake Burton nestles into the surrounding, rolling southern Appalachian mountains. The summit is a perfect place to grab a snack and some sunshine – or hang out in an ENO hammock – before the return hike to the trailhead.

Appalachian Trail view from Powell Mountain: Lake Burton nestles into the surrounding, rolling southern Appalachian mountains

Departing the Powell Mountain summit, the hike flips to retrace its steps to the trailhead, following its outbound journey in reverse. Remember that calf-burning ascent on the outbound? The return hike is almost blissfully downhill. The hike traces the Appalachian Trail to return to Dicks Creek Gap, reaching the trailhead at 5.2 miles.

Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain: camping

Several campsites dot the Appalachian Trail’s length from Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain – all first-come, first-camp. See the trail map below for campsite locations. And whether spending the night or passing through, please leave no trace to preserve the beauty of the forest.

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Appalachian Trail: Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain Map, Directions & Details

Appalachian Trail: Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain Map
Appalachian Trail: Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain Map
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions


Parking

Free parking is available at the Dicks Creek Gap trailhead.

GPS Coordinates

34.912167, -83.618967     //     N34 54.730 W83 37.138

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.

Elevation Profile

Appalachian Trail: Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain Elevation Profile
Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, online magazines that cover the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.