November 10, 2013 · 10:00 AM
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( Anyone want to carpool ?)
Pay the entrance fee to Stone Mountain park. Actually, it's free to enter the park--what you are paying at the gate is the parking fee for your vehicle. It costs $8 for a one day pass, or $35 for an annual pass. For bicyclists and pedestrians there is no fee to enter the park. Gates are open 6:00 a.m. to midnight, but the trail to climb Stone Mountain closes at dusk.
Park in the lot next to Confederate Hall near the west gate. Cross the railroad tracks to get to the beginning of the walk-up trail. The walk-up trail is the only authorized way to climb to the top of Stone Mountain.
Meet at the trail base.......Follow the painted line on the ground 1.3 miles to the top. The mountain is made of stone and they have painted a yellow-whitish line on it, much like highway line, to keep you headed in the right direction. The trail is very steep in places and the terrain is, well, stone.
At the top there is a snack bar, a water fountain and restrooms. And, of course, a gift shop. To the west you will see the skyline of Atlanta. On a clear day you can see the mountains of north Georgia.
Cheat. There is a sky-way tram that can take you up and down the mountain. It costs extra money, of course, while walking up and down is free. The tram is located on the opposite side of the mountain from the entrance to the walk-up trail, so if you hike up and take the tram down (or vice-versa), you'll still have to walk a mile or so back to your car, albeit a flat mile or so.