What better way to spend a free day or weekend than to take a trip and get out into the great outdoors? One of the most enjoyable and exciting ways to spend free time is to go rock climbing. Rock climbing offers excitement, relaxation, amazing views (most times), and exercise. The state of Georgia is not well known for its abundance of places to rock climb. However, contrary to popular belief, the state of Georgia offers many quality places to enjoy this activity. Below we have outlined the top 6 rock climbing destinations in the state of Georgia.
- Mount Yonah
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains near Cleveland GA, this climbing gem is among the most popular climbing destinations in the state. First bolted for climbing in the 1960s, these granite rock faces were used as training sites for the army, where they were taught the art of mountaineering. There are plenty of climbing routes and rock faces to choose from. There are opportunities for trad climbing, top roping, lead climbing, bouldering, and even a few multi-pitch climbs. With over 130 routes ranging from 5.2 all the way to 5.11.
–Plenty of climbing routes and faces
–Great location with many charming mountain towns nearby
– It is perhaps too popular, which leads to limited time on the rock faces and difficulty finding a parking spot
-It is about a mile hike uphill to the top faces, which is no easy walk when carrying copious amounts of rock climbing gear
- Currahee Mountain
Currahee Mountain is located just southwest of Toccoa, Georgia. The entrance is a winding dirt road that could use a little bit of maintenance. Once you reach the top of this road, you will see a cell phone tower, graffiti, and an alarming amount of litter and trash. Do not let the uninviting appearance deter you from your mission. Once you walk down the trail and reach the climbing face, you will not be disappointed (unless you come from an area with world class climbing, in which case everything on this list will disappoint you). The hiking trails and granite rock faces have a lot to offer, including many sites for top roping, trad climbing, and lead climbing. This site has 67 routes and has a smaller scope of climbing difficulties, ranging from 5.6 to 5.11.
–Many climbing routes
-Not too crowded (usually)
-The initial impression is not good (graffiti and trash)
–Not a lot of bouldering opportunities
–Not easy to find or navigate to
- Tallulah Gorge
Tallulah Gorge is one of the most beautiful sights in Georgia. With many hiking trails, waterfalls, and a lot of beautiful scenery, it has become quite the tourist destination. Tallulah gorge has arguably the best trad and multi-pitch opportunities in the state as well as limited lead climbing and top roping opportunities. If you decide to give this place a try, I recommend going during the week (avoid weekends) or November-March to avoid the overpopulated quartzite rock faces that you may or may not even get an opportunity to climb. Even if you do not rock climb, this is an excellent place to visit due to its well-maintained landscape. This is a state park, therefore there are opening and closing times that you should check into before making the trip. Check the park website at http://gastateparks.org/TallulahGorge
-Some of the best trad and multi-pitches in the state
-Easy to find
-Overpopulated (especially on summer weekends)
– The park only offers 20 climbing permits per day
-Not for beginners, these routes may be difficult to inexperienced climbers (5.8-5.11)
- Lost Wall
Lost Wall is near Lafayette, Georgia and the Tennessee state line. This climbing destination is less known to Georgia’s climbing community, but is still worth a visit because is has several top rope, lead climbing, and trad routes to offer. The rock faces are predominantly high-quality sandstone, which are excellent for climbing. This site offers 48 routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.11.
-Typically, not overcrowded
-Hard to find
-In a WMA area, meaning it may be closed during hunting seasons
- Boat Rock
Boat rock is a bouldering area located in the suburbs of metro-Atlanta. The rock here is high friction granite and is very popular among the Atlanta outdoor bouldering community. This area has many bouldering routes, ranging in difficulty from >V1 to V10.
– Easy to find
-Great bouldering routes
-Parking lot is tiny
-May be crowded at times
-Bouldering opportunities only
- Indoor climbing gyms
There are a multiple indoor climbing opportunities in Georgia, including Stone Summit, Atlanta Rocks, Active Climbing, Adrenaline Climbing, etc. Most of these climbing gyms are located in or around Atlanta. One of the most popular, and our personal favorite is Stone Summit, which has locations in southern Atlanta as well as Kennesaw. Most of these climbing gyms offer top roping, lead climbing, and bouldering. Many have staff handy to belay customers if needed. Although you do not get the enjoyment of being outdoors and climbing actual rocks, this is a good alternative if the weather is bad or if you do not want to travel away from the city or if you do not have your own personal gear.
-Easy to find
-Many different levels of difficulty
-Staff handy to help answer questions or help you with belaying and form
-Can even climb if the weather is not cooperating
-They have all of the equipment that you need
-There are not “real” rocks to climb
-It is not free, you have to pay to enter