According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Sky Valley has a total land area of 3.0 square miles. The elevation of the valley floor is approximately 3100 feet above sea level, while some areas within the city limits exceed 4200 feet. The elevation of Sky Valley puts it as Georgia's highest incorporated city and one of the highest municipalities in the eastern United States.
Due to its high elevation, Sky Valley has a temperate oceanic climate, a rarity in the southeastern US. The city is also one of the coldest locations in Georgia with 34.0 °F (1.1 °C) as the January average temperature and 69.0 °F (20.6 °C) as the July average temperature.
During the late 1960’s, a pair of investors purchased several hundred acres of land located in the northeastern corner of Rabun County. At that time it was being used as a cattle ranch, but had previously been inhabited by farmers, settlers, loggers and Native Americans. The two purchasers, Larry McClure of Rabun County and Dr. Miles Mason from Duluth, Ga, were interested in the property in hopes of developing a ski area to give their Kingwood Country Club winter guests a winter activity. During the 1969-70 winter, they assembled a rope tow slope as an experiment to test if snow making was possible and if there was interest for such an activity. That winter proved to be so successful that the men decided to expand. By the end of 1970, an adjacent site had been selected for the new lodge and ski slopes and given a new name: Sky Valley Resort. The Resort continued to develop and by 1978 had grown enough to be incorporated as the City of Sky Valley.
Through the years, the Resort amenities changed ownership several times. By 2004, under the leadership of an Atlanta developer, the focus became improving the golf course and removing all snow making equipment, the rental shop building and the chairlift. Today (2020) the only traces of the former ski area are the grassy slopes and memories held by all who once skied down them.