Ascent of Cowpen Mountain on 2013-09-29

Climber: Tom Layton

Others in Party:Charles Zerphey
Date:Sunday, September 29, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cowpen Mountain
    Elevation:4151 ft / 1265 m

Ascent Trip Report

Previous COHP trip reports will get you to the trailhead.

My GPS plotted a route of 1.6 miles: 1.2 on the old East Cowpen road to a saddle where it showed an 0.4-mile trail backtracking to the summit. The first part went well, but the summit trail is long gone, and the narrow ridgeline is a briarpatch.

You'd be wiser to take the road to due east of the summit and then bushwhack up the side of the hill. The less you have to walk along the ridge, the better.

We trampled a lot of brush looking for BM Cohutta and finally found a reference mark. Sure enough, it pointed us through a thicket to a small cairn with the remains of a little hand-made sign. We looked under the rocks but couldn't find the actual BM.

The Cohutta Mountains are not particularly high but form an impressive range. Look at a Georgia state highway map and you'll see no paved roads crossing the Cohuttas. Cowpen Mountain is the highest peak on the Georgia side, and Big Frog Mountain in Tennessee is the highest in the range. The 40,000-acre Cohutta Wilderness is said to be the largest wilderness area in the eastern U.S.

My 116th COHP and 11th in Georgia.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:644 ft / 196 m
    Total Elevation Loss:644 ft / 196 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:644 ft / 196 m
    Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Route:East Cowpen trail
    Start Trailhead:3507 ft / 1068 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:644 ft / 196 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:East Cowpen trail
    End Trailhead:3507 ft / 1068 m

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