Route: Brasstown Bald (GA)

Georgia, US
32 mi
Vertical Gain
8,700 ft

Brasstown Bald, GA, rising 4,784 feet above sea level, is Georgia’s tallest mountain. Its incredible 360 degree view allows you to see Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina on a clear day. The changing seasons on Brasstown Bald offer visitors the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature for most of the year. You’ll have the opportunity to shop at our unique gift shop, tour a visitor center that focuses on Georgia history, geology and the natural world, and watch a 15-minute movie about the incredible changes to the Brasstown landscape during the year. Brasstown Bald is close to the towns of Helen, Blairsville, and Hiawassee, GA. Atlanta is only a few hours away, which makes it the perfect place to visit on your next Georgia camping trip. For mountain scenery and fall color, look no further than Brasstown Bald Visitor Center!

There are numerous routes on Brasstown Bald.  Evan Dare explains, followed by some discussion:

"There are three trails in the area that lead to the paved summit access trail. The Arkaquah Trail, Jacks Knob and Wagon Train. The Brasstown Bald - Soup to Nuts is a combination of all three trails, with each ending at the summit of Brasstown Bald via the summit access trail. The sequence of trails doesn't matter.
-Arkaquah Trail is a 5.5 mile long trail that runs westward from the Brasstown [summit] parking area to Track Rock Rd.
-Jacks Knob Trail to Highway 180 is a 2.5 mile long trail that runs south from the Brasstown [summit] parking area to the parking area at Highway 180. (the trail actually ends 2 miles south of Hwy 180 at the AT, but for purposes of Brasstown Bald FKTs the end is at the highway).
-Wagon Train Trail is a 6.5 mile long trail that runs north from the Summit trail to Young Harris College. Wagon Train intersects with the Summit Trail a couple hundred feet north of the parking lot. (Wagon train technically starts/ends about 2 miles north of Young Harris at FS gate in the middle of nowhere. The unnamed section of trail between that gate and Young Harris is heavily used and still considered "wagon train" by most people, and is included for FKT purposes).
The Summit is not from the observation deck. Go there if you want for a picture. The summit is the at the sign denoting the elevation right before the road.

Soup to Nuts includes all 3 trails.  Start at the top and run down and back up each one in any order.  31.8 miles total, 9,000' vertical ascent."  (As shown on the map below.)

Thanks Evan for clarifying this and providing the GPX of all 3 trails!


ptothec (2/19/2012): 

Best I can tell the record for the 5 kilometers to the top of the mountain is held by Adam Pinkston in 24:40 set back in the 90's. Does anyone have any info that backs this up or beats it? The course is from the gate at the bottom to the building on top, which is the course for the annual Brasstown Bald Buster held in December.

Run Bum (10/26/2012):

There are multiple ways to summit the mountain. The road, the road to the paved path, jacks trail to parking lot to road or trail.

This the the road.
I ran 36xx via jacks trail to parking lot to paved path to the top of the wooden deck

Run Bum


Eli Dickerson (6/18/2016):

Just did an effort up Brasstown Bald via the Jack's Knob trail (I'm saying the official start is at the trailhead sign), across the parking lot at the top, then up the paved path, finishing at the top of the wooden deck.

Who: Eli Dickerson from Atlanta, GA
Date: Saturday, June 18th, 2016
Time of Day: 12:59pm start time
Total Time: 38:26 (no stoppage)
Strava link:

Would love to see some more strong efforts posted on this route. I created a Strava segment for it, but only 12 folks have done it. Let's make it official and see how low we can get the time!

Gavin McKenzie (1/10/2017):

March 20th, 2016 - After a few days of peak-bagging I ran a decent early-season effort up and easy down via Arkaquah Trail. I had never been on the mountain or trail. I didn't know there was a paved path to the summit and missed it just before the summit. Because I was in a hurry to get to the summit, I just took the road. I was quickly turned around by a shuttle van driver. So, to make up the time I hustled over to it just behind the bathroom building. Trailhead to summit time: 1:09:13 ( ). I know this time can and will be considerably reduced. Just wanted to get something on the 'board' for it. The Georgia high point deserves that much. (Note that there is a Strava segment for this route.)

GPS Track


I’ll be going for the Soup to Nuts FKT on 4.23.2022. I’ll be starting at the parking lot behind the college instead of at the top of Brasstown Bald though.

User Picture
Profile picture for user Justin - Ultra Dad - Hamilton

I could not find any known times for and out and back effort on the Arkaquah Trail on here or strava. Is it safe to assume there isnt one?  I plan to give the Arkaquah out and back a go in the next few weeks. I’m new to this, sorry. 

I found a time on strava for the out no back posted by Evan Dare of 2:17:13 for the Arkaquah out and back. I’ll be waiting for colder weather before trying to tackle that! 

User Picture
Profile picture for user Justin - Ultra Dad - Hamilton

Going for the full Soup To Nuts effort on 03/07/23 at approximately 7am. 

Amazing!  you shaved off nearly 3 hours by "self-supporting"!  So impressive!