Just outside our Bavarian-inspired village, the North Georgia Mountains hold many adventures and incredible stories just begging to be discovered by you. One of these fascinating locations is Yonah Mountain, GA, a towering masterpiece of nature that stands nearly 3,200 feet in the sky. Not only does Yonah Mountain offer plenty of exploration opportunities, but it also boasts a rich history! If you’re planning on exploring the mountain during your stay in one of our luxury vacation cabins, here is everything you need to know that will make your experience even more enjoyable.
If you’re planning a getaway to the North Georgia Mountains soon, you won’t want to be without our downloadable Vacation Guide to the area! When your request your free copy, you’ll instantly receive a full list of our area’s top activities and attractions including Yonah Mountain, GA hiking trails, local dining, shopping, entertainment, and more.
History of Yonah Mountain
As Georgia’s first inhabitants, the Cherokee Indians are credited with discovering Yonah Mountain and naming it. In their native language, “Yonah” means “bear.” This means that they referred to Mt. Yonah as “Bear Mountain.” It was also often called “Sleeping Bear Mountain.”
The Legend of the Yonah Mountain Lovers
Of all the Yonah Mountain stories, one of the most popular has always been the legend of Sautee and Nacoochee.
During the time of the Native Americans, the Cherokee Indians considered themselves to be a superior race, especially compared to their Chickasaw neighbors. After a series of persistent fights, a peace treaty was finally negotiated. The Chickasaws were allowed to cross through Cherokee land, resting only at designated spots. One of these spots was at the junction of two lovely valleys. One day, as a Chickasaw band rested in the shade of a giant oak, curious Cherokees gathered around them. Soon they were trading insults and obscenities.
However, the handsome son of the Chickasaw chief, named Sautee, sought to bring peace back to the tribes. During a visit to the valley, he was in the process of negotiating another treaty with the Cherokees when he met eyes with the 16-year-old daughter of the Cherokee chief, Nacoochee. It was love at first sight!
The Tragedy of Sautee and Nacoochee
The lovers secretly met in a cave on Yonah Mountain. They knew the only way they could be together is if they convinced their fathers to make peace with each other at last. Finally, they go to face Nacoochee’s father, Wahoo. He is blinded by hate and chagrin that Nacoochee would choose a Chickasaw. He ordered Sautee to be thrown from the cliffs of Yonah Mountain and forced Nacoochee to watch. Seeing no future without Sautee, Nacoochee tears away from her father and leaps from the high cliff. The young lovers were joined again at the foot off the cliff. They dragged their broken bodies together and locked in a final embrace before dying.
Overcome with remorse, Wahoo buries their bodies together on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, there to remain for eternity. In their honor, he renamed the two valleys where the young lovers first met – one for Sautee and the other Nacoochee.
Army Ranger Training
Since 1960, Yonah Mountain has been a training site for the most elite U.S. Army Rangers. Ranger School is one of the toughest training courses for which a Soldier can volunteer. For over two months, Ranger students train to exhaustion, pushing the limits of their minds and bodies. One of these training phases includes mountaineering. During this phase, military mountaineering tasks are completed as well as techniques for employing squads and platoons for continuous combat patrol operations in a mountainous environment. During your visit to Mt. Yonah, GA, you may see traditional training exercises performed by trainees, including helicopter piloting!
The Yonah Mountain Trail
If you’re looking for a challenging yet scenic trail to hike, you’ll hardly do better than the Yonah Mountain, Ga Trail! This 4.4-mile round trip journey leads you through rocky, wildflower-filled forests before introducing you to a stunning summit view. The trail is dog-friendly and filled with several lovely overlooks for pictures. The trailhead can be found just south of Helen off Chambers Mountain Road. After winding through a grove of young hardwoods and gnarly-branched mountain laurel, the trail will begin to ascend towards the summit. Don’t forget to bring your cameras! Many of the overlooks that you’ll encounter along the way are too good not to be captured.
Experience the Ultimate Mountain Escape With Pinnacle Cabin Rentals
Yonah Mountain and its natural beauty captures your heart and feeds your soul. That’s why we offer lovely cabins that grant you with a spectacular view of the North Georgia attraction!
We also offer a wide array of luxury vacation cabins for you to choose from. That way, you can find the one that is absolutely perfect for your next family vacation or romantic getaway!
Find your ideal cabin with us today! We look forward to welcoming you to Helen, GA soon.
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