Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Georgia Trails

Chattanooga, TN: Cloudland Canyon via West Rim Trail

Scale switchbacks to scope spectacular views of Cloudland Canyon from the West Rim Trail on this 4.6-mile dayhike near the Georgia/Tennessee/Alabama border.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

One of the most popular trails in Cloudland Canyon, the West Rim Trail strolls alongside the canyon rim, taking in various overlook points along the way. From the parking area, descend steps along the east rim down to the canyon floor. Cross Daniel Creek and then begin a switchback climb up to the top of the west rim (where the West Rim Trail heads north). The return trip strolls through a mixed deciduous forest dotted with boulders and the occasional stream crossing.
-Mapped by Scott Sanders,


Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.4



Location: 34.8348209, -85.4804315

At the beginning of the West Rim Trail, walk towards the canyon, and turn left on the gravel pathway following yellow blazes (throughout the hike). Ignore all side trails to campsites, cottages, etc.


Location: 34.834963, -85.4808303

Pass an overlook of the Cloudland Canyon. Ahead, the trail descends steps into the canyon.


Location: 34.8337676, -85.4830388

Turn right @ 3-way junction.


Location: 34.8336376, -85.4834531

Make the first of two left turns at consecutive 3-way junctions.


Location: 34.8331704, -85.4846274

Turn right @ 3-way intersection.


Location: 34.8325117, -85.4848189

Cross a wooden bridge over Daniel Creek. Just ahead a switchback to the right starts a series of turns up to the canyon rim.


Location: 34.8331133, -85.4861194

Turn right @ 3-way intersection. To the left is to the primitive campground area.


Location: 34.8361426, -85.4837949

In this tricky area of trail intersections, continue on the West Rim Trail following yellow blazes.


Location: 34.8389213, -85.4842973

Cross a wooden bridge over Whiteoak Spring and bear right. Do not go upstream at this point; the trip back returns through this waypoint.


Location: 34.8491636, -85.4889724

At an observation point at the northern tip of the West Rim, the trail loops back to the south.


Location: 34.8467819, -85.4900368

Turn left @ 3-way junction.


Location: 34.8461617, -85.4895616

Cross the paved road and continue south.


Location: 34.8409821, -85.4856864

Turn left @ 3-way junction; from here, continue on to waypoint 9, turn right at the intersection and then backtrack to the trailhead.

Cloudland Canyon

Location: 34.8349916, -85.480805

Canyon Steps

Location: 34.8348089, -85.4811001

West Rim View

Location: 34.8382873, -85.4814434

West Rim View

Location: 34.8436411, -85.4820871

A broad view of Cloudland Canyon

Observation Point

Location: 34.8491002, -85.4889965

The northern tip of the West Rim

How to Pack for Backcountry Skiing

Get to know the winter safety gear you need in your pack.