11/12/17

Tallulah Gorge: a hike for the adventurous

The Mister and I always make it a priority to do some day hiking whenever we can....especially when we're in the mountains.  We had both visited Tallulah Gorge when we were young, but had never hiked down to the bottom of the gorge floor.  So while we were vacationing in the North Georgia mountains this summer, we decided we were going to cross this off our bucket list.




We all know pictures don't do places like this justice.  Plus, because if is a difficult hike, I didn't dare take my Canon.  All my pictures are with my Iphone, but this will give you an idea of what it looked like. The gorge is 2 miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep.


The overlook gave you a glimpse of what the suspension bridge looked like 😵


They only give out a certain number of permits for access to the gorge floor each day, so we had to arrive early that morning.  Then we had to sit through a little class on what to expect.

I'm not good at making out the details of these maps.  Good thing the Mister is! 


Another view of what we were about to hike down.....


The bridge was actually alot of fun!  Not as scary as I imagined it to be. 





There were lots and lots of steps to climb down most of the way.  And then you had to basically scale large boulders  to get to the actual floor. This picture below is where you have to turn around if you don't have a permit. You have to cross these large rocks to get to the other side to continue.  We took off our shoes and tied them to our packs just in case.  Believe it or not, we didn't get too wet on this part. I said this part because later on, we had to swim across to hike out the other side.


Some of the trails reminds me of the AT.  No real clear path because the terrain changes so much.


In the class we sat through, they reminded us that if we saw these markings on rocks, we needed to make sure we were on higher ground if the alarm sounded. They sound the alarm when the gates are open and water floods through.  If you're not on higher ground during this time, you could get swept away in the current.  Yeah....scary!  Thank goodness we didn't have any alarms go off while we were there.








When you get to the floor, there's a sliding rock where you can cool off.  We didn't wear our swimsuits because we didn't plan on swimming. Little did we know that we would have to swim across to hike out or make the decision to hike back out the same way we came. Being adventurous, we opted to hike the entire thing.



This is where we swam across. Once we dried off, we started the hike out.  Y'all, I've done some major hiking before on the AT, but I've never had to rock climb.  That's basically what you have to do to climb out of the gorge unless you go back up the stairs.



I wish I had pictures of the climb out to show you how steep it is, but I didn't dare take out my phone. We were hanging on for dear life in places because one wrong step and you'd be falling down hill.  

You can see from this next picture just how deep the gorge is.....and we climbed out of that!  We were exhausted and every muscle in our bodies hurt.  But boy did we feel accomplished!



I'm so thankful that the Mister loves hiking as much as I do.  We have so much fun together!  It's a great way to get exercise while being in the beautiful outdoors.


I have to tell you, if you're thinking about doing this hike, I don't recommend you take children. I supposed if you hike down the steps to the floor and come back up the same way, it might be doable, but it's still really dangerous.  There are so many boulders and obstacles to cross once you get past the steps.

But it's definitely something that you would love if you have an adventurous spirit!  It's a beautiful places and we're happy to say we hiked it 👍

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