Tray Mountain Road

Helen, Georgia (White County)

Last Updated: 04/06/2019
4.7 /5 ( 3 reviews )
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 2-2
Length: 8 miles
Highest Elevation: 3667 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Helen
Nearest Town w/ Services: Helen
Official Road Name: 79
Management Agency: Chattahoochee National Forest
District: Chattooga River District
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Highlight: Tray Mountain Road

Just north of Helen, Georgia lies Tray Mountain Road. Perhaps the most popular offroad trail in all of Georgia, this road climbs Tray Mountain to Tray Gap, a small parking area and an intersection with the famous Appalachian Trail. The road follows along the ridge so there are spectacular views off one side or the other for the northern portion of the trail, especially in the winter months when there are no leaves on the trees blocking the view. With so many things to do and it's close proximity to Helen, don't pass up Tray Mountain Road.



7 day forecast for Tray Mountain Road

Route Information

Advanced Rating System (BETA)

Recommended Vehicle:
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance

Technical Rating: 2-2

Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 8" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 9" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 12" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep but with good traction.

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Tray Mountain Road can be ran in either direction. Heading north is primarily uphill while heading south is primarily downhill. The road is rather smooth from the southern trailhead to Indian Grave Gap Road and suitable for most passenger vehicles in all conditions except snow and ice. From Indian Grave Gap Road to the northern trailhead, the road is much more rocky and has some small ruts. While four-wheel drive is not necessary in dry conditions, good ground clearance is needed. This trail is mostly 1.5 to 2.0 vehicles wide making for easy passing throughout.


1. Southern Trailhead

The southern trailhead is an intersection with Highway 75.

2. Camping Area (0.9 mi)

On the left is a small camping area.

3. Camping Area (2.9 mi)

On the left is a small camping area.

4. Closed Road (3.3 mi)

On the left is an unmarked road. This is not listed for motor vehicle use and should be avoided.

5. Intersection - Continue Straight (5 mi)

Continue straight at the intersection with Mule Branch Road, a private road on the right.

6. Camping Area (5.9 mi)

On the right is a small camping area.

7. Fork - Stay Right (6.1 mi)

Stay right at the fork with Indian Grave Gap Road on the left.

8. Appalachian Trail (7 mi)

Here is an intersection with the Appalachian Trail.

9. Mud Pit (7.3 mi)

On the left is a small mud pit.

10. Camping Area (7.4 mi)

On the left is a small camping area.

11. Northern Trailhead (8 mi)

The northern trailhead is a three-way intersection with Corbin Creek Road to the north, Tray Mountain Road to the west, and Chimney Mountain Road to the southeast. There is also an intersection with the Appalachian Trail, a small parking area and a very small clearing commonly used for camping.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.723100, -83.747880

Starting Point: Helen, Georgia

Head north on Highway 75/17 for approximately two miles. Turn right onto Tray Mountain Road.



Dispersed camping is available along this trail such as Waypoints 2 and 3. Dispersed camping is also available along the connecting trail Corbin Creek Road. While there are no improved campgrounds in the area, Unicoi State Park is only 2.5 miles away and offers powered campsites that are suitable for tent, trailer and RV campers along with cabins for rent and rooms at the lodge.

Camping: Tray Mountain Road


Trail Reviews (3)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The trail was soaked from rain all week with light rain day of. Not a problem on trey mountain road. some parts can get sketchy with slick mud but as long as you drive smart there won't be any problems. When you get to the top and there is a big opening with giant gravel you can continue left for the easy trail or go up and right to where I would recommend only 4x4. there should be makeshift signs on this trail saying "4x4 only!", I'd take the advice from the sign. good camping sights all along the trail once you've passed both home sight on the road. Remember to pick up your trash and make sure your fires are out and have a fun trip!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Took a ride up to the top of Tray today along this trail. Really no chance since season. 2WD okay in dry conditions (muddy if wet) but ground clearance definitely needed.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Very easy trail from the beginning (bottom of the mountain) to about half way up the road. Top half is in a bit rougher shape, but passable by most 2wd vehicles with moderate ground clearance when dry. I ran this trail N to S.

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Has anyone driven from FS283 (Indian Grave gap rd), off of 17, to Tray Mountain Rd? We drove a small portion of it to High Shilo falls and it looks like it goes through on the map. Just curious since there are not any reviews for Indian Grave Gap rd.
–Keith (12/28/2018)
A: I have been up to the high shoals waterfall area, i just wasn't sure about it going all the way through. I will definitely be doing this run soon. By the way, any idea on the trail conditions? A co-worker mentioned that Tray road was shutdown because of the all the rain, but the Forest service doesn't show any alerts for Tray rd. I was planning to go up there next weekend and hoping that hey were open. Thank you again for your insight .
–Keith (12/28/2018)
A: Awesome!Thank you so much Dave!
–Keith (12/28/2018)
A: Waypoint 7 is the intersection of Indian Grave Gap Road and Tray Mountain Road.
–Dave G. (12/28/2018)
A: Yep, Indian Grave Gap goes from 17 up to Tray Mountain Road. There is one water crossing right at the beginning if starting from 17. This road is suitable for most passenger vehicles with suitable ground clearance. There is also a small parking area off Indian Grave Gap Road that offers access to the popular High Shoals and Blue Hole waterfalls.
–Dave G. (12/28/2018)

Writer Information

Dave G.

Mapping Crew - Georgia

Dave is more of an explorer than a wheeler who loves to find remote locations to hike and kayak fish. Born and raised in Chicago for 21 years before moving to Atlanta, backroads and forests and mountains were a whole new experience and now he just can't get enough. When he's not fishing for stripers on Lake Lanier, you can find him in the mountains of North Georgia, Tennessee or South Carolina exploring and mapping backroads. Just look for the guy with the kayak on the top of the truck!