Hike the Arabia Mountain Top Trail through massive exposed granite fields and past shallow basins of rare plants, climbing to stunning summit views.
It’s incredibly beautiful, and easily one of our favorite adventure destinations in metro Atlanta. The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area covers enormous fields of exposed granite, several glassy lakes, and two weather-worn granite mountains, and boasts more than 30 miles of fantastic hiking, walking and running trails.
This hike on the Arabia Mountain Top Trail is one of the park’s most popular, climbing to a crater-dappled summit to catch stunning 360-degree panoramic views. While the trail’s length is relatively short, it’s a beautiful, view-packed, kid-friendly hiking adventure that’s seemingly worlds away from the nearby metro sprawl of concrete and traffic.
Arabia is stunning in every season: abundant wildflowers soak up the sun in spring, water pools collect on the summit in summer, autumn’s showy leaf color paints the summit’s wide-open vistas in fall, and the mountain’s chilly, wind-swept summit offers stunning views in winter. This trail has quickly become one of our go-to spots for an escape near Atlanta, with a generous dose of natural (and almost unworldly) beauty.
Arabia Mountain Top Trail: the hike
The hike departs from the park’s trailhead off Klondike Road (view maps and driving directions), trekking eastbound and climbing gently through vast fields of exposed granite, pockets of wildflowers and a fragrant coniferous forest.
Cairns, tall cemented piles of rock, mark the trail in this rock-dominated landscape. Please protect Arabia’s unique ecology and stay on the cairn-marked trail: many tiny, fragile lichen and plants thrive on the mountain, and they crush easily underfoot.
At just under a half mile, the trail arcs to the north, continuing to follow the trail cairns and beginning the climb to the summit. Small clusters of wind-swept trees and scattered clusters of wildflowers and grasses dot the rocky landscape. The mountain’s barren surface is weather-worn, and wide open, with rutted channels left by millennia of water erosion and runoff.
Hike the trail after a rain shower to see the barren granite mountaintop transform into a beautiful array of shallow, water-filled pools. These water-filled craters reflect the wide, open cloudscape above and feed moisture to the otherwise barren landscape of grasses and vibrant plant life on Arabia’s slopes.
At .6 mile, the hike reaches the mountain’s summit, catching outstanding, 360-degree panoramic views from the summit, 180 feet above Arabia Lake in the forested valley below.
Departing the summit, the hike retraces its outbound steps to the trailhead, completing the view-packed hike at 1.3 miles.
More adventures in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
Have daylight and energy left, and ready to explore some more Arabia beauty? Hike the blue-blazed Mountain View Trail, which departs from this same trailhead and catches reflections of the mountain in a glassy lake. Or up for even more mileage? Explore beautiful forest, a lake, a winding boardwalk, and the mountain’s summit on our favorite 5-mile hike on Arabia’s most popular and scenic trails.
This incredibly scenic National Heritage Area, including nearby Panola Mountain State Park, has recently opened over 30 miles of meandering, beautiful PATH Foundation trails. Catch a great run or bike on the nearby, paved Panola Mountain PATH Trail and Alexander Lake PATH Trail, exploring Panola Mountain’s beautiful landscapes and a glassy lake. And check out our Arabia Mountain trail guide for more adventure inspiration in one of Atlanta’s favorite outdoor destinations.
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.
Free parking is available at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area trailhead on Klondike Road.
33.660294, -84.123704 // N33 39.618 W84 07.422