Rock Climbing

Outdoor Climbing

McAfee Knob | Catawba

As one of the most heavily hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail, McAfee Knob is a very popular destination. The 3.5 mile hike is well worth your while. The panoramic view available at the knob is astounding. The fact that there are more than 75 climbable boulders at the summit is the icing on the cake. The long hike and vast expanse of boulders has kept the area fairly underdeveloped.
The rock in general, is gritty sandstone, in some areas it is smooth like HP40 while in other areas it is hard slick quartzite. There are slopers, pockets, edges, tiny crimps and glorious jugs. Most boulders on the top are vertical, rectangular and between 10 and 20 feet tall. There are a few roofs and many groveling topouts. Latitude, Longitude: 37.38020, -80.09010

Grayson Highlands Bouldering | Grayson

The road leading into the park area has a few hidden boulder fields on the left and right. Once you get into the park, check out the visitors center boulders, and then take the hike up the grassy hill at the rhododendron gap parking lot, at the top of the hill you can take your pick from three differant bouldering fields(all visable from the top) just remember to enjoy the hike! Latitude, Longitude: 36.62724, -81.49246

Mount Rogers | Damascus

There are several hundred boulders if you hike on the AT towards Grayson Highlands that could warrant some exploring. If you are looking for a backpacking destination with the occasional bouldering break look no further. If not for the climbing, this area is definitely worth the hike just to experience it.

Iron Gate| Roanoke
Iron Gate was developed in the early to mid 90’s and has some 30+ routes for every level of climber (5.6-5.12d). This area boasts 100 foot cliffs supporting lots of sport routes and a few mixed, trad and top rope routes.

Dragon’s Tooth | Catawba

Dragon’s Tooth s a unique geologic feature that consists of Tuscarora quartzite spires which outcrop on the top of Cove Mountain. The tallest “tooth" projects roughly 35 feet above the surrounding rock. The trail to Dragon’s Tooth ascends steep, rugged outcrops of quartzite which form the spine of Cove Mountain and North Mountain. The spine is known as Dragon’s Back. A difficult hike, Dragon’s Tooth summit offers magnificent views of nearby and distant peaks year-round.

Hanging Rock | Roanoke

Located just behind the Orange Market gas station at the intersection of Rt. 311 and Electric Rd. Access the rock by parking in the Hanging Rock Civil War Site parking lot, then follow trail under the highway.

Barney’s Wall | Pembroke

Barney’s Wall climbing site is accessed via the Cascade Falls trail. There is no signage. Hike the upper trail until you reach an overhanging rock on left (almost to main falls). Follow base of rock wall to climbing area. Blocky sandstone tends to provide excellent holds although overhangs provide plenty of challenges. Estimate climbs in the area to be from 5.8 – 5.12, getting difficult near the main wall that has the largest overhang.

Tinker Cliffs | Catawba

Super long cliffline. Undeveloped, very nice place to hike and hang out. The hike up is fairly strenuous, 3.5 Miles I believe. Lots of potential for bouldering and routes. It is about ten miles down the ridge from McAfee’s Knob. Use the Andy Lane trail to get there.

Bozoo | Bluestone Lake State Park

A quality stretch of sandstone rock on the border of Virginia and West Virginia. Head to Bluestone Lake State Park and you’ll discover a developed cliff known as Bozoo. Bozoo is home to 50 routes of colorful, bullet-hard faces that average vertical to overhanging. The majority of the routes follow all-gear natural lines and there are a number of climbs that are classic climbs. Climbs range from 5.7 to 5.13c/d. Driving Directions

Fools Face | McCoy

Not much for climbing here but a nice place to go to climb after classes. there are acouple of routes on the rock mostly under 5.9

Tunstall’s Tooth| Buena Vista

Take Route 60 East to Buena Vista. Turn right onto Route 501 and Magnolia Ave. Stay on Route 501 south 14 miles to the intersection with US 130. At the intersection (near the damn) continue straight on US 130 (Route 501 goes to the right to Big Island and Lynchburg. There are some very good views of the tooth from the other side of the river on Route 501. Travel 2 miles on US 130 then take the forest service road on your right If you reach the second ATV trails entrance and the Blue Ridge Parkway you just missed the turn off. You will need 4 WD on this road if it has rained recently, and fallen trees may block the road, so be prepared for a short walk. Drive on the forest service road .5 miles to an obvious pulloff on the right. Take the short trail leading down towards the James River to an old forest service road which is no longer maintained. Turn left and walk along the old forest service road until you begin to see a rock out cropping to your right. An obvious trail will lead you down to the rocks which are located just above the top of The Tooth.

Old Rag Mountain| Shenandoah National Park

Old Rag Mountain, located west of Washington D.C. and its suburbs in Shenandoah National Park in Northern Virginia, is, despite its proximity to a major metropolitan area, an off-the-beaten-path climbing area that offers great face and crack climbing on granite crags, cliffs, and slabs. The 3,268-foot-high mountain, a popular hiking destination, is dotted with rocky outcrops and is the only major granite climbing area in the mid-Atlantic region. Old Rag Mountain, with more than 100 established routes, offers lots of varied climbing including crack climbs, delicate slab routes and thin bolt-protected face climbs. It is best known for its excellent crack climbing, some of the best on the East Coast.

Hidden Rocks| Harrisonburg

Featuring 40 ft. sandstone cliffs just inside the George Washington National Forest in Rockingham County, Hidden Rocks boasts well-shaded top-ropes and leads, as well as bouldering.

Indoor Rock Climbing Courses

Crimper’s Climbing Gym | Christiansburg

The place to learn practice, perform and train the sport of climbing. Bouldering, top rope, lead climbing, training, events and youth climbing.

River Rock Climbing | Roanoke | (540) 685-2360

Our mission is to provide a community gathering space where people of all ages and all abilities,  from all walks of life can come together, support one another, challenge one another, and most of all have some fun while enjoying the fantastic sport of rock climbing.  By providing this space for the community we hope that the River Rock will be both a hub and a gateway for introducing the beautiful Appalachian outdoors to those who may not otherwise experience the abundant nature that surrounds us.

Wytheville Community Center | Wytheville |(276) 223-3378

33 ft. climbing gym featuring many different routes and difficulty levels. One portion of the wall is flat, another has custom 3-D contours and a 5 ft overhang. There are 5 auto-belays.

Hollins College | Hollins | (540) 362-6456

We welcome individuals of all abilities to come and climb with us. Whether this is your first time climbing or your 50th, a trained staff member will be on hand to walk you through it top to bottom and provide belaying. With four roped climbs and a variety of routes, almost everyone can find a challenge.

Radford University Climbing Gym| Radford |(540) 831-5369

The Radford University climbing wall is located in Peters Hall. This fully featured Nicros ART wall stands 21 feet high and boasts 8 top rope anchors. The entirety of the structure may be climbed without the use of artificial holds with the hardest natural route being graded around 5.11b on the Yosemite Decimal System. The crack system spanning the center of the wall is a popular challenge for many students.  For all others, the first visit to the climbing wall is free and all subsequent visits will require the purchase of a non-student pass. For more information or to obtain a staff/faculty or non-member pass, please visit the Outdoor Program Rental Center or purchase them online.