Sawnee Mountain Sunset
So you're probably thinking, another post about Sawnee Mountain? Isn't she tired of Sawnee Mountain? Well, honestly, no. It's one of those hikes whose view you never really tire of. Moreover, when you've got a nifty mountain just 15 minutes away, you're bound to visit it pretty often. This time was different though. I actually did this hike with a women's hiking group I am a member of, Girls Who Hike GA. And we did it at sunset, which is something I had been wanting to do for a long time. I've never hiked in the dark before, other than very short distances while backpacking, so I figured it would be good to start with a group of people.
We started the hike around 6:15 pm from the Bettis-Tribble Gap parking lot and hiked southwest from the parking lot following the Indian Seats Trail. We took the "long route" winding along the trail until we reached the Indian Seats. We hiked toward the visitor's center on Spot Road but didn't actually go so far as to reach the center. The route we took is about the longest way to extend the Indian Seats trail from Bettis-Tribble Gap, to my knowledge. It came to a little over 3.5 mile loop. The parking lot "closes" at 9:30 pm during the months of March thru October, so if you want to watch the sunset during those months, you should have enough time to hike back down after dark.
With a larger group of people, of course, the hike took a little longer, so we reached the top around 8 pm. We took some pictures, ate snacks, and rested until the sun was starting to set. For a minute, we thought our plan to watch the sun set would be derailed by a pop-up thunderstorm but fortunately the rain held off for the most part. The clouds were quite dramatic though. I always say, who needs filters when you have North Georgia weather? The sunset ended up being not as stellar as I would have liked, but we had such a good time just sitting, laughing, and striking crazy poses. Just after dark, we quickly headed back down the mountain, this time taking the "short trail" back to the parking lot. Of course we had headlamps and this trail is pretty easy, so we all made it safely and continued to have lots of laughs as we traipsed down the trail.
Since I hike alone so often and needed a new spin on Sawnee Mountain, going with a great group of ladies was a fun way to break up my routine. And here's a little secret- it was a co-ed hike, so James was able to go with me (along with one other husband) and it made a great date night! He also had a great time and the ladies gave him his very own trail nickname- Martha! And in the picture below, he's wearing his very own Girls Who Hike sticker. You can't make this stuff up...
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