Raven Cliff Falls Trail: top North Georgia waterfall hikes Waterfalls in Georgia

Raven Cliff Falls Trail

Hike the Raven Cliff Falls Trail 4.9 miles through a waterfall-filled valley to one of Georgia's most popular and beautiful waterfalls.

trail info

4.9 miles
(round trip)
moderate
Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:Chattahoochee National Forest near Helen, Georgia (maps & directions)

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

WEAR: Our ultra-soft Atlanta Trails shirts and our favorite outdoor apparel

OFFICIAL MAP: Nat Geo 778 Trails Illustrated Map

Shaded by towering hardwoods, the Raven Cliff Wilderness is home to a tumbling trout steam bordered by vibrant green patches of moss and abundant wildflowers. And packed with beautiful, cascading waterfalls, the Raven Cliff Falls Trail is one of the most beautiful (and most popular) hiking trails in North Georgia.

Hike to Raven Cliff Falls in north Georgia, exploring an enormous, blocky cliff with a tumbling waterfall inside

Hike this trail to a gorgeous waterfall that cascades through a 40-foot-tall, towering cliff, slicing the enormous rock outcrop in half. And catch wildflower and waterfall-filled beauty throughout the trail’s 2.5 miles: the hike follows a beautiful, rushing trout stream in a shady, moss-filled forest.

Raven Cliff Falls Trail: the hike

The hike climbs from a gravel trailhead near Helen, GA (view maps and driving directions), grabbing elevation along a short incline and following Dodd Creek upstream. The trail levels at .25 mile before descending toward the creek. A side trail departs trail right toward a campsite on the stream’s sharply meandering bend – the site of a 4-5 foot deep swimming hole (our dog’s favorite pre-hike and post-hike swim). The trail crosses the creek via a large wooden bridge before climbing the right creek bank, hiking through a mossy forest and crossing several small stream tributaries.

Hike the Raven Cliff Falls through a mossy, rich forest in North Georgia to a series of gorgeous, cascading waterfalls near Helen

Many steeply-banked side paths depart on the trail’s left, leading to multi-tiered waterfalls cascading beneath the forest canopy. Wildflowers line the creek’s banks, stretching to catch sunlight in the mossy, green, lush forest.

Hike through a waterfall-filled valley to the stunning Raven Cliff Falls, one of Georgia's most beautiful and popular waterfall hikes

The sound of rushing water amplifies through the valley as the hike approaches a enormous, towering, blocky cliff at 2 miles. The lower falls become suddenly visible as the trail climbs elevation, turning northwest to approach the massive cliff.

Hike to Raven Cliff, an enormous, towering cliff split in two by a tumbling waterfall near Helen, GA

The base of the cliff reveals an enormous fracture through the towering granite slab, where the creek flows deep within the sharply-angled cliff walls. Raven Cliff Falls spills, tumbles and cascades through the cliff, feeding the cliff’s moss-lined walls and the overhanging lush, green vegetation.

Departing the towering waterfall, the hike retraces its outbound steps, following Dodd Creek downstream to return to the trailhead. The hike completes at just under 5 miles, reaching the trailhead and parking area.

Nearby waterfall hikes

In the area with daylight – and energy – to burn? Catch the nearby beautiful waterfalls at Dukes Creek Falls, a short 1 mile, paved hike just south of the Raven Cliff Falls trailhead on GA 348.

Hike the Raven Cliff Falls Trail in North Georgia to a series of beautiful waterfalls in a shady, mossy creek valley

Raven Cliff Falls camping

This trail is one of North Georgia’s most popular camping destinations. Trailhead campsites offer fantastic stream-side camping just steps from the car, and a fantastic base camp for hiking the Raven Cliff Falls Trail during the day. The trail is also dotted with many backpacking campsites on the creek’s level banks, offering a little more solitude for campers willing to backpack it in.

Black bears frequent this wilderness area. Keep all food items and fragrant cosmetics out of reach in a bear canister: many years ago, we lost our camp stove, food and cookware to a trio of bears in a traditionally-hung bear bag along this trail.

Campsites are free and first-come, first-claimed. Pack out everything you pack in: this is one of Georgia’s most beautiful Wilderness areas, so please, please leave no trace. (What is Wilderness, and why is it important? Read more in our guide to Wilderness areas in the South.)

Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.

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Raven Cliff Falls Trail Map, Directions & Details

Raven Cliff Falls Trail Map
Raven Cliff Falls Trail Map
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions


Parking

Free parking is available at the Raven Cliff trailhead.

GPS Coordinates

34.709969,-83.788837     //     N34 42.598 W83 47.330

Elevation Profile

Raven Cliff Falls Trail Elevation Profile
Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails is an official Leave No Trace partner

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.

 
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, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.
 
 
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