Resting on the western edge of northwest Georgia’s Lookout Mountain, Cloudland Canyon State Park is more than 3,000 acres—one of the state’s largest parks—of rugged geology, and offers visitors hiking, camping, rock climbing and more along the park’s most iconic feature: the deep gorge cut through the mountain (elevation varies from 800 to more than 1,800 feet!) by the Sitton Gulch Creek. Multiple waterfalls and cascades, including the uber-popular Hemlock Falls, can be found throughout the gorge, making this park feel like a hidden gem around Lookout Mountain.
Staring at the geographic anomaly isn’t the only thing to do at this park, however. Beyond the countless miles of hiking, biking and horse riding trails, geology fanatics can find rock climbing, rappelling and spelunking across the park—cave tours are even offered for beginning cave explorers at Sitton’s Cave.
The park holds a massive variety of camping options, including 72 spots suitable for both tent and RV campers, 30 walk-in sites, 13 dispersed sites, 16 cottages and 10 yurts, each in a different area of the park. With this many options, campers can find seclusion all around.
We stayed at campsite #17 in the walk-in campground. It was easy to find the site, although it was strange that sites 16,17, & 18 were out of order. Our site was along a dried creek and it was gorgeous. We got there on a Thursday and there were only a handful of the other walk-in sites taken. The site across the creek from us was occupied and the voices of those individuals did echo right to us… however, we couldn’t see them. The second night of our stay, the campground really filled up and that’s when we got annoyed by some of the nearby campers (mostly unsupervised children who wandered right next to our site to whack trees with machetes). Our site was clean except for a lot of cigarette butts around the fire pit (they don’t biodegrade, people!). The visitor’s center is a close and easy drive and everyone there was so friendly. There is firewood there. Off of the parking lot of the walk-in site there were showers and water spigots. The walk-in campsite has a connecting trail to take you almost anywhere you want to hike in the park. The waterfalls hike was amazing, but dogs might not like the grated metal steps (of which there are 600). We were told that there are no active bear populations within the park but there definitely are some monstrous raccoons who will take off with your cooler so definitely don’t leave food at your site. It’s easy enough to walk the little bit to the parking lot to grab meals from your car. We can’t wait to visit, again! The rating of 4 out of 5 reflects our disappointment in the noise level within the campground that second night AND the fact that we never saw an attendant or ranger in that particular campground during our stay.
We stayed at the walk-in campground for tents only. Lots of space per site with picnic table and fireplace. Bathrooms were clean. Shower was available. Trails start right at the campsites, so no need to drive to a different hiking parking lot. Dog friendly. Water spigot is available near the bathhouse. Campsite was clean and level.
I actually took this trip back in 2017 with a group of random people from my university. It was an amazing campground and hiking experience!
Cloudland Canyon State Park is located in North Georgia at the end of Lookout Mountain. The views there are breathtaking! There are trails to a waterfall and several overlook spots, perfect for pics! The campground is divided into two sections- east rim and west rim, plus there are backcountry sites, pioneer sites, and a yurt village. There’s so much to explore here, I can’t imagine getting bored, but if you do, Chattanooga is just a short 20 min drive.
The campgrounds are gated, so if you will be arriving late, you’ll need to call and get a gate code. Also, there’s a two night minimum on the weekends, however if a site is only open for one night, you can call the park directly and they will book it for you.
We stayed in the west rim loop on site #47, it was a 50amp pull through. All the sites were very spacious, and I love how the fire rings were off the picnic area, and there was a charcoal grill as well. The west rim loop is heavily wooded, so there’s lots of privacy and also lots of good hammock space. The restrooms were ok, nothing special.
The east rim loop looked to be much more open, not in the woods, but it is very close to the main overlook, so there could be some really nice views there.
The yurt village looked really cool, I’m hoping to stay there sometime. The bathhouse in that area looked really nice too.
I really love this area, and the camping is great!
If you are looking for options this State Park has a little bit of everything. This is an extremely large campground spread out all over the park. We stayed in the west rim campground and the sites were giant and secluded. Bathrooms were nothing special but clean and accessible. There is plenty of canopy cover in this west rim whereas the east rim was far more wide open, without much cover. They have Pioneer/walk-in sites, a Yurt loop as well as cottages. The sight seeing and hiking is awesome in this area. There is a day use area for those who just want to checkout the main overlook and or waterfall. We are most certainly looking forward to coming back to this campground and state park to explore. If needing a campsite near Chattanooga it is close enough even though it’s located in north Georgia. Be sure to do some exploring and at least check out the overlook!
The drive is one of a lovely country side, but about 10 miles from the park, you notice you are going up… up… with an occasional clear peep at the beautiful farm valley below. Sometimes those same views are veiled with clouds.
Upon entering the park you check in with friendly, helpful staff. The store is filled with items you may have forgotten, various treats and branded goods.
The wooded campsites are roomy and comfortable with picnic tables and fire rings. Our campsite had a little unmarked path that went down to a little stream with a foot-bridge and intersected with a larger path. Close by the campsite are various well marked trailheads.
If you want to take in the beauty nearby, there are various levels of hiking available, from easy to very challenging. If it is a more easygoing level you seek, just head over to the Nature Center in the middle of the park. Right behind it the view that is stunning. When they say “pictures don’t do it justice” they mean it. You see a 800-900 ft gorge and a multilevel waterfall. You must just sit and listen to the waterfall and feel the cool breeze. If looking for a challenge, take one of the several trails to see waterfalls or overlooks. There is no lack of photo opportunities.
The park is well kept. The comfort stations were a bit disappointing and not maintained well, though this could have been an anomaly.
Whether you want to walk in, drive in, tent camp, RV, cabin or yurt, your adventure sensibilities will not be hurt!!
We travel around the country and stay at many campgrounds. This is one of the few places we would plan a trip to just for the campground/park. They have two campgrounds each providing a unique experience depending on what your looking for. The East rim campground is close to all the amenities. Very nice sites within easy walking distance of all the overlooks and playgrounds. The West rim campground is in the forest and takes a drive or hike to get to the day use amenities. We chose the West rim and it's peaceful and beautiful sites. Most the outer sites provide a raised parking pad with a private viewing area of the forest below. Our site not only had a large area for the picnic table but had a separate deck like area for looking out over the forest. Down the hill beside the retaining wall for the pad was our fire pit thus providing us three different relaxing spots in one campsite. We have already planned on coming back just for this campground.
It's a 13 mile half hour drive to Lookout Mountain
Love this campground. We stayed in the West Rim. Very spacious, wooded, private sites. Water and electric only. Nice dump station, over the air TV worked great. Nice waterfall hikes. Only reason it’s not a 5 Star is no sewer.
Kinda far from the main area of the park. Basic sites. They are nice. Yurt spots available also
This is my favorite! Gorgeous views all around! We have tent camped on site #33 and can't wait to go back!! West Rim campground is the best one, with plenty of space between large sites and most sites are shaded. If at all physically possible, hike to the waterfalls! Going down is fine but the coming back up is a challenge for this old girl from the flat lands of south Georgia, but so worth it! If you can only do one, I think Cherokee falls is the easiest and it's beautiful!