Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co

Cloudland Canyon is easily one the most scenic of Georgia’s State Parks. Stunning waterfalls, incredible long-range views, sheer canyon walls, and spectacular sunsets make the park one our favorite hiking and camping destinations in our state. And it’s one of three of our favorite canyons in Georgia that are fully hike-worthy.

Many miles of prime hiking and backpacking trails blanket the park’s terrain, looping and diving and climbing to the park’s most remote, most beautiful, and most popular sights. Hike the canyon’s east and west rims, catching gorgeous sunrises and sunsets and peering into the deep, steep-walled gorge floor below. Hike the Waterfalls Trail to two towering waterfalls nestled deep within the gorge, tumbling from enormous, curved rock outcrops. Hike the Sitton’s Gulch Trail under the canopy of shady hemlock trees, following a cascading creek to a series of waterfalls. Or hike them all for a serious dose of North Georgia beauty.

Hike to stunning views and gorgeous waterfalls on the top Cloudland Canyon hiking trails, and sleep under the stars at the best Cloudland Canyon camping sites. #hiking #camping #backpacking #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Cloudland Canyon: our favorite hikes

  • Hike the Cloudland Canyon Waterfall Trail, descending into the canyon's boulder-filled depths to view two beautiful waterfalls

    Cloudland Canyon Waterfalls Trail

    2 MILES

    Hike the Waterfalls Trail down 600 stairs to two beautiful waterfalls. Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls spill over massive curved outcrops into the canyon’s boulder-filled depths. The hike back to the rim is an incredible workout, but the beauty of these two falls makes it so worthwhile.

  • Hike the West Rim Loop Trail at Cloudland Canyon State Park to some seriously epic views

    West Rim Loop Trail

    4.9 MILES

    This hike scores incredible views from the canyon’s east and west rims. Steep overlooks throughout the hike offer breathtaking vistas and breathless heights, and the views are easily some of Georgia’s best.

  • Sitton Gulch Trail at Georgia's Cloudland Canyon State Park: hiking to tumbling waterfalls, towering boulders and a hemlock forest

    Sitton’s Gulch Trail

    5.1 MILES

    Hike from the canyon’s steep-walled east rim to its waterfall-filled floor. From Hemlock and Cherokee Falls, the Sitton’s Gulch Trail crosses a tall wooden bridge over the canyon, and then continues following the creek downstream. Towering hemlock shade the trail, winding through fields of massive boulders to a series of cascading waterfalls and fields of warm-weather wildflowers.

  • Hike Cloudland Canyon State Park in winter, catching views of frozen waterfalls and gorgeous wintertime vistas

    Hiking the canyon in winter

    6.2 MILES

    The canyon’s beauty is sublime year-round. Hike the Overlook Trail, Waterfalls Trail and West Rim Loop Trail in winter to stunning, frosty views. This wintertime adventure trails along icicle-covered canyon walls and visits icicle-draped waterfalls on a three-trail trio.

  • Hiking gear list: our favorite backpacks and trail essentials

    Our favorite hiking gear

    What to pack for your adventure?

    Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Our hiking gear list features our favorite, trail-tested hiking gear for day hikes on local trails and in the Georgia backcountry. We print and stitch our Atlanta Trails shirts and hats locally in Atlanta and Asheville, and they’re our favorite for trail adventures all over the South. And no matter what you pack in, pack it all back out. Please leave no trace and help preserve Georgia’s beauty.

Camping and backpacking

This park’s distance from Atlanta makes for a long day trip. But with great camping options, why not spend the night? The park offers campsites, yurts, cottages and backcountry campsites in the park with close access to the canyon’s rim.

  • Camp at Cloudland Canyon State Park to catch stunning sunsets from the canyon's west rim

    Walk-In Campsites

    The walk-in campsites on Cloudland’s west rim (fees & reservations required) offer tent camping near the West Rim Loop Trail. The campsites are scattered along a mile-long trail in level forest, and prime sites are spaced far enough away to offer privacy. Check in early for the best selection. Shared bathrooms are surprisingly clean and modern (for a campground!), offering sinks, showers and changing areas.

  • Cloudland Canyon backpacking: backcountry campsites

    Up for a backpacking trip? Check out the park’s backcountry campsites for more seclusion. Ten numbered campsites sites (fees & reservations required) are scattered around a 2.75-mile trail in the park’s backcountry and offer level tent pads, fire rings, their own outhouse and picnic tables. The sites are shaded, private and remote; not a “deep-in-the-Cohutta-Wilderness” remote, but impressive for a Georgia State Park.

    Our favorites? Backcountry site #7 is the furthest from the parking area and the most remote, offering seclusion from the other camping sites. Backcountry site #3 is less than a quarter mile from the Bear Creek Trail, a connection to the Overlook Trail allowing access via hike to the park’s main trailhead. Site #3 is also located within earshot of a small tumbling creek – and there’s just something awesome about falling asleep to the sound of trickling water.

Wondering what to pack for a great camping adventure? Our camping gear list features our favorite tents, sleeping bags, furniture, cookware, and campsite essentials.

Wherever you camp or hike, please help preserve North Georgia’s natural beauty. Always remember to pack out everything you pack in, and leave no trace.

Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

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.