Camp in Cloudland Canyon State Park, one of our favorite camping spots in Georgia, for easy access to the park’s stunning waterfalls, great trails, and exceptional views.
The centerpiece of Cloudland Canyon State Park is an incredibly vast, wide, deeply cut canyon with nearly vertical rock walls. Waterfalls cascade deep within the canyon’s depths, spilling into pools below mossy boulders and shaded by towering hemlock trees. The park’s beauty is simply incredible, and it has long been one of our favorite places to chase down a North Georgia adventure.
And there’s no better way to explore the park’s many trails than a solid long weekend of adventure and an overnight (or a few!) in Cloudland Canyon’s campgrounds. Our favorite place to camp is the park’s cluster of walk-in campsites near the canyon’s picturesque west rim. The campsites are peppered along a one-mile loop trail, offering easy access and a bit of serenity between the sites. And their close proximity to the park’s incredible hiking trails scores them a spot as one of our favorite places to camp in Georgia’s State Parks.
A stay allows plenty of time to leisurely explore the park’s hiking trails, and the chance to catch a stunning sunrise or sunset over the canyon’s chiseled walls. Wondering what to pack for a great night under the stars? Our camping gear list features our favorite tents, sleeping bags, furniture, cookware, and campsite essentials.
Cloudland Canyon walk-in campsites
The park’s walk-in campsites are set in a forest of oak, mountain laurel and wind-blown grasses, and are scattered between large rock outcrops. Though they’re spaced relatively close together, most offer a modest amount of privacy, thanks to the natural buffers of vegetation and rock that wind between each site. It’s fairly easy to hear your neighbors, and catch glimpses of them through the trees. But with Cloudland’s incredible terrain just begging to be explored, we usually spend very little time in the campground itself.
A relatively level trail blazed with white diamonds leads from the walk-in campsite parking area, looping in a circle to the sites. Check-in is at 1pm: arrive early for the best choice sites on weekends and in peak season. The walk is moderate, regardless of the site: the parking area is a short half mile, or less, from the majority of the campsites.
Each site features a level dirt tent platform that easily accommodates moderately-sized tents. And each campsite features a picnic table, perfect for pre-hike and post-hike meals, and stone campfire ring, a perfect venue for our favorite nighttime activity.
The campground’s comfort station is located near the parking area. It offers fresh water, showers and restrooms, sinks, and changing stations. The facilities are convenient and modern, and basic but, most importantly, clean.
Which site to pick? The sites closest to the parking area offer ease of making and tearing down camp. But our favorites are on the northern side of the campground: they offer a bit more privacy, since they’re spaced a little further apart, and they offer access to the park’s trails, with a nearby spur trail that leads to the West Rim Loop Trail with some of the park’s most incredible views.
Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.
Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.
Parking at at the park is $5 per vehicle, or included with a Georgia State Parks annual pass. Campsite reservations are strongly encouraged due to the park's popularity, and are available online through Georgia State Parks.
34.839538,-85.489429 // N34 50.3718, W085 29.36520