Lookout Mountain Georgia [From History to Hiking]

view from lookout mountain georgia

Have you ever yearned for a place where time stands still, and the world reveals its most awe-inspiring secrets? 

A place where lush greenery cascades down ancient cliffs, where echoes of history resonate through the air, and where panoramic vistas ignite a sense of wonder within your soul? 

Look no further than Lookout Mountain in Georgia as it beckons you with its irresistible allure.

In this post, let’s explore together the things you can do in Lookout Mountain and its beyond.

Ready to jump in?

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What's covered in this post

General Information about Lookout Mountain, Georgia

  • Opening hours: Each attraction varies, best to check individually
  • Driving:
  • Parking: All the attractions have parking spaces, and might be subjected to a fee.
  • Entrance fee: Each attraction has its own ticketing rules
  • Dogs: There are several dog-friendly spots on Lookout Mountain, including Rock City and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center. Most of the trails on the mountain are suitable for dogs too. You can also visit Play Wash Pint before heading home for a cold beverage with your dog too!

13 Best Things To Do In Lookout Mountain Georgia

Lookout Mountain is an enchanting destination nestled on the border between North Georgia and Tennessee. 

With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and abundance of attractions, Lookout Mountain is a haven for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and history enthusiasts. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through the 13 best things to do in Lookout Mountain, ensuring you make the most of your visit. 

Let’s dive in!

P.S. My favorite spot is Rock City Gardens!

1. Ruby Falls: Witness the Majesty of an Underground Waterfall

ruby falls below lookoout mountain georgia

Prepare to be awestruck as you start on a journey to Ruby Falls, one of the tallest and deepest underground waterfalls open to visitors in the United States. 

Located 1,120 feet below the summit of Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls offers a captivating experience like no other. 

Explore the stunning cave system as you make your way to the majestic waterfall, named after Leo Lambert’s wife, Ruby. 

Marvel at the beauty of nature as you witness the cascading waters in a truly awe-inspiring setting. 

A guided tour will take you through the cave, providing fascinating insights into the geological wonders of Ruby Falls.

Cost: Various options are available. Check here.

2. Rock City Gardens & Fairyland Caverns: A World of Natural Beauty

Rock City Gardens and Fairyland Caverns

Prepare to be mesmerized by the natural wonders of Rock City Gardens & Fairyland Caverns. 

This world-renowned attraction has captivated visitors from all over the globe. 

As you explore the gardens, you’ll encounter stunning rock formations, vibrant gardens, and breathtaking views. 

Immerse yourself in the whimsical realm of Fairyland Caverns, where you’ll be transported to a magical underground world filled with gnomes, mythical creatures, and enchanting sculptures. 

A visit to Rock City Gardens & Fairyland Caverns is an absolute must for anyone exploring Lookout Mountain.

3. The Battles for Chattanooga Museum: Relive History’s Pivotal Moments

Step back in time and find yourself in the pivotal battles that shaped the course of history at The Battles for Chattanooga Museum

Located near Point Park, this museum offers a unique and immersive experience, bringing the Civil War battles to life through panoramic projections, sound effects, and captivating displays. 

You will surely gain a deeper understanding of the significance of the Battle of Orchard Knob, the Battle of Lookout Mountain, and the Battle of Missionary Ridge during this visit. 

Really, this is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking to learn more about the region’s rich past.

4. Lookout Mountain Incline Railway: Ascend to Spectacular Heights

Embark on a thrilling adventure aboard the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. 

This historic railway, dating back over a century, offers an unforgettable journey up the steep slopes of Lookout Mountain. 

As you ascend, be prepared to be amazed by the stunning panoramic views of Tennessee and Georgia. 

At the top, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Point Park, where you can delve into the rich history of the Civil War Battle of Chattanooga. 

The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is a must-visit attraction that combines history, natural beauty, and adventure.

5. Point Park: Explore Historic Battlefields and Breathtaking Views

Nestled atop Lookout Mountain, Point Park is a historic site that offers a blend of natural beauty and historical significance. 

Take a leisurely stroll along the wheelchair-accessible paved loop trail, which provides access to cannons, monuments, and plaques that commemorate the Battles for Chattanooga. 

Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and soak in the serene atmosphere. For the more adventurous, venture down to Sunset Rock, accessible from Point Park via a metal staircase at the bottom of the trail.

6. Hike to Sunset Rock: A Scenic Hiking Trail with Beautiful Views

For nature lovers and hikers, a visit to Sunset Rock is a must. 

This popular hiking trail on Lookout Mountain offers stunning panoramic views and is especially captivating during the fall season. 

You can access Sunset Rock from various Lookout Mountain attractions, including Point Park, Ochs Gateway at Covenant College, and Ruby Falls. 

Just be sure to bring a trail map to ensure you stay on the right path and enjoy the breathtaking vistas.

7. Lula Lake Land Trust: Nature Conservation and Scenic Beauty

Discover the natural beauty and conservation efforts at Lula Lake Land Trust

This 8,000-acre park is dedicated to preserving the pristine landscapes of North Georgia’s Rock Creek watershed. 

Take part in educational programs, enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and bird-watching, and support the trust’s conservation initiatives. 

By visiting, you contribute to the preservation of Georgia’s natural heritage.

8. Hang Gliding at Lookout Mountain Flight Park: Take to the Skies

Located in Rising Fawn, Georgia, Lookout Mountain Flight Park is a premier destination for hang gliding enthusiasts. 

Whether you’re a seasoned glider or a beginner, you can book tandem flights or participate in hang-gliding classes. 

Soar above the picturesque landscapes and experience the thrill of free flight. 

If you want an exciting adventure and are seeking a unique perspective, this is the right activity for you.

Prices start from $149 per person. Check prices here.

9. High Point Zip Adventure: Thrilling Zip Lining and Climbing

Located at Ruby Falls, the High Point Zip Adventure offers an adrenaline-pumping experience for thrill-seekers. 

This climbing and zipline adventure features approximately 700 feet of ziplines and a 40-foot climbing tower. 

You will be soaring through the air and enjoying the breathtaking views of Ruby Falls and its surroundings, a fantastic way to add excitement to your visit.

Price per person: $21.95

10. Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Preserve: Nature and Wildlife Sanctuary

bald eagle at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Preserve

Visit the Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Preserve for a peaceful retreat amidst nature. 

This expansive area encompasses an arboretum, an educational center, outdoor recreational spaces, and a wildlife sanctuary. 

You can get to explore the trails, admire the diverse flora, and keep an eye out for resident wildlife such as Red Wolves, Bald Eagles, Cranes, and Bobcats. 

The Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Preserve offers a serene environment for relaxation and learning.

Non-members have to reserve a ticket here (a donation is requested).

11. Raccoon Mountain Caverns: Fascinating Underground Exploration

Discover the wonders beneath Lookout Mountain by visiting Raccoon Mountain Caverns, one of the highest-rated things to do in Chattanooga by TripAdvisor.

These limestone caves were first discovered by farmers seeking refuge from the heat. 

Today, you can explore the caves on guided tours and witness the stunning natural formations within. 

This area also offers a campground and cabins for those who want to extend their stay where you can immerse yourself in the subterranean world and appreciate the beauty of these geological wonders.

12. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park: Historical Exploration

Delve into the rich history of the region by exploring the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. 

This park commemorates the battles that happened and the pivotal moments during the Civil War. 

You will get to see the historical sites, monuments, and plaques that tell the stories of these significant events. 

As you explore, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the area’s role in shaping the nation’s history.

13. Local Restaurants: Savor Delicious Cuisine on Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain and the nearby neighborhood of St. Elmo offers a wide range of local restaurants to satisfy your taste buds. 

Whether you’re craving Southern specialties, Appalachian dishes, or international cuisine, you’ll find diverse dining options. 

Visit Rock City’s Café 7 for stunning views and regional delicacies like Fried Green Tomatoes and Shrimp & Grits. 

Nearby, don’t miss The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe, a funky lunch spot that serves up excellent ribs. 

St. Elmo is also home to Mr. T’s Pizza & Ice Cream, a kid-friendly spot near the Incline Railway’s lower station. 

These are all great options to explore the culinary scene and indulge in a memorable dining experience!

Beyond Lookout Mountain Georgia Tennessee

There are several other nature spots to explore both in the state of Georgia and Tennessee, including Foster Falls, Fiery Gizzard Trail, and Greeter Falls, as well as many other activities that can appeal to the whole family.

In the following sections, we will be talking about 3 distinct ones you shouldn’t miss out.

Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery

For a change, go experience Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery, a must-visit for whiskey enthusiasts and heritage explorers. 

Located in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, this unique distillery blends history, innovation, and the art of whiskey-making.

Renowned for its premium, handcrafted spirits and innovative techniques, Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery pushes boundaries and embraces experimentation. 

This is where you can witness the creative process on an immersive tour, guided by its knowledgeable staff who share insights into Chattanooga’s whiskey heritage and the distillation process.

Some of the highlights include the distillery’s unique aging approach, accelerated maturation, resulting in distinct and flavorful whiskeys. 

And of course, you will get to sample a variety of Chattanooga Whiskey expressions, guided by experts who reveal their flavor profiles and production methods.

Cloudland Canyon State Park: Nature’s Spectacular Playground

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Located just 16 miles south of Lookout Mountain, Cloudland Canyon State Park offers a breathtaking outdoor experience. 

This expansive park encompasses a 1,000-foot-deep canyon, providing visitors with stunning vistas and a variety of recreational activities. 

With 64 miles of hiking trails winding through the park, nature enthusiasts can explore its rugged beauty and discover hidden gems along the way.

One of the most popular trails in Cloudland Canyon is the West Rim Trail, which offers panoramic views of the canyon and the surrounding forest. 

Another noteworthy trail is the Hemlock Falls Trail, a 1.1-mile hike that leads to a picturesque waterfall. 

Starting at the Main Overlook, visitors can capture memorable photos and experience the echoing wonders of the canyon.

Camping options abound within Cloudland Canyon State Park.

You can choose from cabins, yurts, tent camping pads, RV campsites, backcountry campsites, and even a group lodge. 

I advise you to make reservations in advance, especially for weekends when the park tends to get busy. 

Camping at Cloudland Canyon also allows you to soak yourself in the tranquility of nature and easily access the attractions of the Lookout Mountain area.

During the summer months, the park comes alive with visitors seeking refreshing adventures. 

Splashing in the creeks and exploring the waterfalls are popular activities to beat the heat. 

Cloudland Canyon State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, mountain biking, picnicking, and more. 

No matter your preference, I think this natural playground will provide an unforgettable experience.

Chattanooga Helicopters Tour: A Bird’s-Eye Perspective

For a truly unique and awe-inspiring view of Lookout Mountain and the surrounding area, embark on an air tour with Chattanooga Helicopters

This family-owned company, established in 2021, offers a range of tour options to suit different interests. 

Here, you get to experience the thrill of soaring 1,000 feet in the air as you take in the breathtaking sights from a helicopter’s perspective.

Chattanooga Helicopters provides various tour routes, including flights over Lookout Mountain, downtown Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Nickajack Lake, or a combination of these attractions.

From the heights, you’ll witness the beauty and grandeur of Lookout Mountain in a way that few get to experience. 

As you soar through the skies, take advantage of the opportunity to capture stunning photos and videos of the landscape below.

It’s important to note that the combined weight of all passengers should not exceed 600 pounds. 

Chattanooga Helicopters also offers specialized flights for gender reveals, custom events, and even egg drops, allowing you to create unique and memorable moments from above.

I highly recommend that you make advance reservations that are required and book your tour through the Chattanooga Helicopters website to secure your preferred time slot. 

Whether you’re seeking a thrilling adventure, a romantic outing, or a memorable group experience, a helicopter tour with Chattanooga Helicopters will leave you with lifelong memories of Lookout Mountain’s breathtaking vistas.

Rides for Lookout Mountain start from $218 per person.

Lookout Mountain FAQ

What is special about Lookout Mountain?

Lookout Mountain is known for its role in the Civil War battles of Chattanooga and Chickamauga. It offers stunning views, reaches an elevation of 2,393 feet, and is the southernmost extension of the Appalachian Plateau.

How much does it cost to get to Lookout Mountain, Georgia?

While visiting Lookout Mountain itself is free, some attractions such as Rock City, the Incline Railway, and Ruby Falls have entrance fees. Combo tickets and season passes are available for those interested in multiple attractions or frequent visits.

How long does it take to explore Lookout Mountain?

The duration of your visit to Lookout Mountain can vary depending on your interests. With numerous attractions, hiking trails, historic sites, and dining options, you could spend anywhere from a weekend to a week exploring everything the area has to offer.

How long is the drive to Lookout Mountain Georgia?

The drive to Lookout Mountain, Georgia depends on your starting location. However, if we consider a common starting point like Atlanta, Georgia, the drive typically takes around 2 to 2.5 hours, covering a distance of approximately 125 miles. From Chattanooga, it’s only a 15-minute drive.

Is Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls the same thing?

No, Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls are not the same thing. Lookout Mountain is a mountain ridge located on the border of Tennessee and Georgia, offering scenic views and various attractions. Ruby Falls is a popular underground waterfall located within Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

How hard is the walk to Ruby Falls?

You first descend 260 feet through an elevator before starting the walk. It measures around 1-mile round trip and includes slight inclines, stairs, and uneven surfaces. Most will find it an easy walk and participants should be able to do so for up to an hour and a half.

How many states can you see from Lookout Mountain?

From Lookout Mountain, you can see up to seven states on a clear day. These states include Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. However, this information has never been scientifically verified.

In Conclusion: Lookout Mountain Georgia/Tennessee

As our journey exploring Lookout Mountain, Georgia comes to an end, we can’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude for the captivating experiences it has bestowed upon us. 

This majestic sanctuary of nature has proven to be so much more than a mere destination; it has been a gateway to tranquility, discovery, and a renewed connection with the world around us.

Have you visited yet? If not, it’s time to pack your bags, zip up, and go!

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