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.
My first experience with Cloudland Canyon State Park was on a day hike, and my second was photographing a wedding here--which should set the stage for what type of place this is!
The park can be spoken of in two separate sections; the East Rim and the West Rim. The East Rim is home to several cabins, the group lodge, one of the full service campgrounds, and the main trailhead, as well as the ADA accessible overlook trail which is where many of the iconic photographs of this park come from. This side is very popular for day use as the one mile out and back hike to Cherokee Falls draws in campers and people from Chattanooga coming in to enjoy the towering waterfall and the swimming hole below. The campground here is smaller, and less private than the west rim loop, offering 24 tent/RV sites that have 30A electrical hookup, gravel tent pads, picnic tables, and fire rings, along with a bathhouse and playground. The main road to the trailheads and day use area runs past this loop and while there are trees for shade they do not offer any privacy.
The West Rim side houses the pioneer camping, west rim loop, the yurt village, and the remaining cabins. We have not been able to see the inside of the yurts, but they are spaced away from each other and off the road, and offer a lot of privacy; the loop that serves the yurts it not connected to any other road, and has a shelter, playground, and bathhouse.
The West Rim camping loop has a total of 48 tent/RV sites with 30 or 50A hookups, water, gravel tent pads, picnic tables, and fire rings. This loop is far more wooded and offers a greater variety of site size and privacy, and has an extremely quiet and peaceful vibe to it. If the east rim is good for those using their campsite as a home base for exploring, the west rim is perfect for campers who want the convenience of a bathhouse with running water and/or the ability to run electric in their RVs, but without giving up the feeling of being immersed in nature. Sites 4-9 are well spaced from each other and great for tent campers and families who want their kids to have room to play, and while site 37 does not have as much privacy being in the center of the loop, it does have one of the most perfect climbing trees I have ever seen in a public campground.
There are 16 cottages/cabins, and Georgia State Park cabins really cannot be overstated; they are well appointed, well maintained, and absolutely beautiful, and are spaced out to offer a feeling of seclusion: perfect for winter getaways, or for people who enjoy total creature comforts at night with nearby adventure during the day. Word of advice; cabins 1-5 are on the east rim and the waterfall trail runs almost directly behind them, so there is a loss of privacy there, especially on busy weekends.
Finally, the park offers 4 pioneer sites and 30 walk-in backcountry sites. I have not seen these in person yet, but it is worth noting this park has accommodations for every type of camper out there.
There is not enough good I can say about Cloudland Canyon. About 45 minutes from Chattanooga, it is a must-see for anyone traveling from out of state who want to add adventure to their tour of the city, a home base for the many hiking and climbing opportunities within the park, or just a beautiful and peaceful place to spend a few nights out in nature.
We stayed in #43 it was awesome we had water and electric, a picnic table and a fire pit. . We had an end spot with woods on one side and behind the site very private. It's a big site I think one of the better in this loop. Nice wooded site very quiet. The camp host was great he helped us figure out a few things the TV for one. It was chilly out we had a nice fire and had our water resistant blanket on the keep us warm. They are one of the best items we bought. Dark sky just beautiful.
Great hikes in our loop we walked the rim, checked out the walk in sites they are cool. The trail started near our site and went through the primitive camp along a creek to the rim where there are lookouts with great views.
The waterfall across from the other rim is nice we hit it perfect timing there was a rainbow across the falls towards the bottom. Just sat there, relaxed taking it in. We checked out the entire park I like this side better. There was a visitor center there but it was closed. It was in the 40's to low 50's.
Beautiful park I would stay here again.
We stayed for a week at site 31 in the west rim. I will not pick that site again because it floods when it rains. Other than that it was a nice site close to 2 grey water dump stations and the bath house was really close. The sites are gravel with only electric and water hook ups .Also there was a washer and dryer in the middle of the bathhouse as well as a play ground .There was a open field behind the site so you could have some where to play football or corn hole or what ever you would like to do. Firewood you can buy on site 6.00 bucks. You can get it from the camp host or get it delivered if you buy a lot. Plenty to do within the park with amazing views or head to Chattanooga for the day as we did! Great park will definitely be back
This is our first time at the park and we love it! I would highly recommend staying on the west rim. You are really packed in on the east rim and it’s just off the entrance to the overlook so there’s a lot of activity throughout the day. The sites at the west rim are a little spread out so you will have some privacy. We stayed at site #8 and it was perfect. There’s one site to the right, site #9 and nothing but trees to the left. It’s not close to the bathroom so do not wait until the last minute if you have to go lol. Cheers!
I’ve been here many many times Over the past 15-20 years. Grew up going here and been to many other state parks. This is by far the best experience I’ve ever had in GA. The views are gorgeous! The hikes are amazing! Has a nice disc golf course if that’s something you are interested in.
This is a 3,500 +/- acre State Park. It’s well maintained with nice amenities. The site seeing and hikes were great. The camp sites were mostly level and easy to access. We were parked next to an ADA site. Their was plenty of space between sites for privacy but not totally isolated that you were alone.
The bathrooms were clean and warm which is a plus for winter months. The staff was friendly and helpful.
The waterfalls were the best. The walking paths were well marked and maintained as well.
My brother and I booked several nights on the backcountry loop - the views were spectacular, and the campsite was awesome! The grounds are well taken care of, and no matter what kind of outdoor adventure you’re into, you’ll find it at Cloudland Canyon!
The only thing I do have to warn you about is the hiking path down to the waterfalls - I enjoy hiking, but stairs are hard for me due to some health problems. And there are a lot of them in this path.
Our criteria for a good campground was met at Cloudland:
Level sites– check
On-duty hosts– check (there were three in the west rim loop)
Clean bathrooms– check
Reasonable separation between sites– check
Wow, we were surprised when we arrived here at 2:30 pm on a Tuesday in November to find only four available campsites still available (out of 72), so I would recommend making reservations! This is our second Georgia state park, and both have been consistently good in terms of quality. The sites are all level with water and electric and gravel pads. Each site has a very large picnic table, lantern hook, bbq, and fire pit with a grate. Two of the sites in the west rim loop were clearly defined as ADA accessible. There are also 10 yurts and 16 cottages in the park.
Cloudland is a very large park with lots to do, including hiking, biking, fishing, caving, and disc golf. There is also a nice visitor center/store where you check-in. You can buy firewood at the visitor center or there was a number you could call to have it delivered to your campsite. The person checking us in was very friendly.
We appreciate a campground where you can directly access trails, and this automatically earns an extra star in my reviews. The West Rim campground has access to several trails (it did not look like direct access was available from the East Rim campground). The trails were very well marked with signs and blazes. We hiked to the two waterfalls, likely the most popular trail in the park. Note that there are 600 steps down to the bottom of the canyon to view the waterfalls (and 600 steps back up) and during droughts, the waterfalls can all but disappear. The All Trails app indicated they were dry a week before we were there but the recent significant rainfall just before we arrived had both falls flowing again.
The bathrooms/showers were clean although one shower looked a bit worn.
As with many other campgrounds, you will hear the mournful wail of the train whistle at times throughout the night, but it was not as loud at Cloudland as in other campgrounds where we have recently stayed.
Have a very nice view mountain to die for. Campground is nice it’s just they had plumbing problem when we were there so we didn’t have water running. Other wise I would give 5 stars
This is the second year in a row for us visiting Cloudland Canyon in the fall. Cloudland Canyon is a large state park with 72 water and electrics campsites, 30 walk-in primitive campsites, and 13 backcountry campsites. There are also cabins and yurts to rent. The RV sites are split between the east rim where the sites are close together and are in more of an open field, and the west rim, where the sites are in a wooded setting, shaded, and slightly separated. All of sites include a picnic table and fire ring.
Check-in was easy at the office at the entrance of the campground. We stayed on site 36 on the west rim. This site was mainly level and close to the bathhouse.
The bathhouse is centrally located and older, but functional and cleaned daily. There are also laundry machines available between the men’s and women’s area..
Firewood, ice, limited supplies, and souvenirs were available at the office. At the office, you can also pick up the phone number to a local that sells firewood by the cord or half cord and will deliver right to your site. We got a half cord(equivalent to about 6 bundles) for$23.
We found good cell phone service with Verizon throughout the property. The campground did not have wi-fi.
There is tons of hiking in and around the state park. On this visit, we hiked about 14 miles on trails in different areas of the park. The west rim campground also has connector trails to some of the main trails and we had our own personal connector off of site 36 to the trail system. The view on both the west and east rims area amazing, and if you decide to take on the 600 stairs to the bottom of the canyon there are two impressive waterfalls.
With this being our second year to stop here, we have fallen in love with the area. We recommend this campground and will keep returning to this area. I really like that it is less than 2 hours away from home, so we can visit this park often.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At this campground, I tested the RovR RollR 60 Cooler. This cooler from RovR is a new addition to our standard camp gear list. The RollR 60 is a sturdy cooler that has the ability to hold temperature for long periods. During our 5 days of use, we did have some ice melt, but the ice water stayed super cold, kept our items very cold, and some ice remained the entire time. The all-terrain tires and handle made it easy for moving throughout the terrain found at our campsite. The wagon bin that fits on top is great for storing miscellaneous gear and the dry bin inside the cooler is perfect for keeping those items you want cold, but not wet. I also like the fact that is has heavy-duty rubber latches to keep the lid closed tight and the critters out. I highly recommend this cooler and am excited to have this as part of our gear loadout.