Lookout Mountain has its base in Alabama 50 miles south and west of Chattanooga, TN. It straddles the Tennessee/Georgia state line. It drops precipitously several hundred feet from a plateau nearly 1,100 feet above the Tennessee River. It is surrounded by steep nearly perpendicular cliffs and is noted for it's unusual geological formations.


Rock City Gardens

is a 4100 foot walking trail among rock formations, caves, and gardens which boast over 400 species of flora and fauna. It includes a 100 ft waterfall and a swinging bridge. Seven states can be seen from strategic viewpoints: Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky

The original owners, Frieda and Garnet Carter opened up their 14 acre estate to the public as an attraction during the Great Depression on May 21, 1932.

Ruby Falls

Lookout Mountain Cave which was well known to cavers, had a natural entrance on the banks of the Tennesee River. In 1923, Leo Lambert, a spelunker, decided to open up Lookout Mountain Cave to the public. While putting in an elevator shaft, he discovered many beautiful rock formations and an underground waterfall which falls from the top of the shaft 145 feet into a pool on the cave floor. He named the falls, Ruby Falls, after his wife. He decided to open up both caves to the public. The lower cave is 50 feet above the Tennessee River. The Ruby Falls cave is directly above that one. In 1935, the original cave was closed to the public, but Ruby Falls continues to attract tourists. Ruby Falls is located in the limestone layer of Lookout Mountain.

Incline Railway

gives access to Pointe Park, the site of the Battle Above the Clouds. The railway starts to the east of Lookout Mountain and rides to the top. It was built to cut down on travel time.

A little history:

Lookout Mountain was the site of a battle during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln thought that the war could not be won without its capture. It took the Union Army three tries to finally gain control of the city of Chattanooga.

Battle Above The Clouds

November 23, 1863
estimated casualties 1231
Union 710, Confederate 521

The Confederates held the mountain, feeling it was an impenetrable fortress. The Union fighters did the unexpected and attacked from the side, instead of trying to take the top. This strategy worked. A fog began to cover the mountain around 10:00 in the morning the day of the battle,( hence the name Battle Above the Clouds). Fighting commenced around Robert Craven's Farm. The fog that day helped the Union fighters capture the plateau from the unprepared Confederates. The next day a contingent from the 8th Kentucky scaled the mountain and planted the Stars and Stripes where it would be visible to Grant's troops below in the valley.

This was the beginning of the end for the Confederates. The next spring, Sherman used Chattanooga as a base from where he moved against Atlanta. Pointe Park atop of Lookout Mountain commemorates this engagement.

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avalyn says re: Lookout Mountain: Just a bit of randomness (since I found this in Random Nodes): Lookout Mountain (particularly Rock City Gardens) were featured prominently in Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods.

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