Cheaha Mountain • Highpoint: State of Alabama
• Highpoint: Cleburne County
• Appalachian Mountains
• Cheaha State Park

Cheaha Mountain from afar

Building at the summit

Highest rocks around back

Date: January 7, 1997 • Elevation: 2,405 feet • Prominence: 1,445 feet • Distance: 0.2 mile • Time: 20 minutes • Gain: 20 feet • Conditions: Cold and gray


Today was the first day of a fast four-day journey through the southeast in which I planned to tag as many state highpoints as possible. I flew into New Orleans yesterday afternoon, got my rental, then drove east on Interstate-10 to Crestview, Florida, where I stayed the night at a hotel, arriving well after dark.

Early this morning, I visited Florida's state highpoint at Britton Hill, then headed northbound into Alabama, aiming for Cheaha Mountain, highpoint of Alabama. The drive toward Montgomery was tedious, with steady rain the whole way, and dense forest growing up to the sides of the highway to where it felt like I was driving in a tunnel.

Once in Montgomery, I cut toward Opelika. The weather cleared a little but it was still cold and gray. I got turned around on lesser state highways and had to retreat back to Interstate-20 and ask directions at a gas station. The lady there was helpful and told me how to get there. Paved roads lead all the way to the Cheaha State Park and to a big stone building sitting on the summit itself. I climbed the tower, and also went around back to tag the actual highest rocks. With that, I had summitted Alabama's highest mountain.

It was now about 1 p.m. and I had a few hours of daylight. I now headed westbound across the state, intending to visit Woodall Peak, Mississippi's state highpoint. The weather was sunny and pleasant by now. Near Birmingham, two big rigs had got entangled and slid down an embankment by the Interstate. People (me included) had to ease onto the grassy median to get around them. Some massive tow trucks with winches were on scene still setting up. I learned later that the interstate was closed for a few hours, so I was fortunate to get past it when I did.

I was able to visit Woodall Peak late in the afternoon as the sun was setting. That highpoint was disappointing due to its trashy and haggard appearance. However, since then, the state has refurbished its highpoint into something worth visiting. I stayed the night in Corinth, Mississippi, and the next day raced an incoming snow-storm as I visited Mount Taum Sauk in Missouri.

(c) 1997, 2021 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.