Pinhoti Trail: Snake Creek Gap to Horn Mountain
Hike the Pinhoti Trail South from Snake Creek Gap to crest the rocky, mossy, boulder-strewn Horn Mountain summit on this 3 mile out-and-back adventure.
This Pinhoti Trail hike climbs from Snake Creek Gap through tumbled, moss and lichen covered boulders and young forest to the crest of a mountain summit. The adventure climbs Horn Mountain and then follows the ridgeline of the mountain south through craggy fields of rock. The beauty of this western swath of the Chattahoochee National Forest is stunning, filled with thick sections of moss covered rock, wildflowers, and new growth trees cloaked in bright green leaves.
The turkey-foot-blazed Pinhoti Trail is a 325 mile long-range hiking, horse and mountain biking trail spanning two states, Alabama and Georgia.
Share the Trail
The Pinhoti Trail is popular with hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Stay to your right, don’t block the trail, keep your dog on a short leash, and let horses and bikes pass safely.
Pinhoti Trail at Snake Creek Gap: the hike
The hike departs south from Snake Creek Gap near Dalton, Georgia (view maps and driving directions), crossing GA 136W to the trailhead on the opposite side of the road.. (A second Pinhoti hike leaves from this same gap, hiking northeast: see our review of the Pinhoti Trail from Snake Creek Gap to Mill Creek Mountain for details.) The trail begins an immediate elevation climb, hiking through a series of switchbacks as the trail climbs through a young, rocky hardwood forest.
The trail gains elevation, rocky terrain emerging from the forest floor. Light gray rock, ranging in size from large boulders to weathered grit, dominates the forest terrain. Vibrant, green mosses and silvery lichen blanket the rocky landscape.
The Pinhoti Trail reaches the Horn Mountain summit at 1.5 miles, having climbed nearly 500 feet in elevation from Snake Creek Gap. The landscape is littered with large outcrops of rock and tossed boulders, punctuated with swaths of grasses, mosses and wildflowers in warmer seasons. Vistas extend to the east, offering views of the nearby mountain ridges that run parallel to Horn Mountain across the deep-cut valley.
(For a longer hike, from the Horn Mountain summit, follow the Pinhoti Trail south, running relatively even elevation along the mountain’s ridge. Views of Johns Mountain can be seen from the summit of a second peak at 2.7 miles before the trail reaches a logging road at 3.5 miles.)
This hike turns from the Horn Mountain summit, retracing its outbound trek to the gap. The hike descends through the rocky, mossy, boulder-filled landscape to the Snake Creek Gap trailhead, completing the hike at 3 miles.