Best Rock Climbing Locations in the High Country


There are a number of great rock climbing and bouldering sites through out the High Country. Here is a list of some of our top climbing destinations with directions.

Holloway Mountain
Since it is used as a rock climbing teaching facility by Appalachian State University, Holloway Mountain is a great place for beginners. This site has a lot of short climbing routes but offers wide variety of climbs.  The rocks also get a lot of sun making Holloway Mountain a nice climbing spot throughout the entire year.

From Boone, travel down Highway 105 towards Foscoe. Once in Foscoe after passing Foscoe Christian Church, take a left on Church Rd. Travel down Church Rd. a few miles and take a left on Holloway Mountain Rd. Follow the road to a parking lot which will be on the left then follow the path along the road until reaching the trail on the left. Follow the trail straight to the climbing wall.

Ship Rock
Ship Rock is great location to rock climb on the Blue Ridge Parkway and is only short drive from Boone and Blowing Rock. Ship rock is full of moderate to advance climbing routes and also has a large number of horizontal cuts in the rock for assistance.

From the Blue Ridge Parkway head towards mile post 302.9 and park at the Rough Ridge Trail parking lot which is 2 miles north of the Linn Cove Viaduct. From the parking lot walk south down the parkway for 1/3 of a mile. After crossing a bridge and passing a a place where the rocks have been cut away from the road, look right and there should be visible trail immediately after passing the rocks. Follow the path to the Ship Rock.

The Dump
Made up of mostly metamorphic sandstone the Dump lends itself to some great climbing. The Dump is nice location during the colder months because the rock face gets a lot of sun. There is also a large variety of climbing routes with differing levels of difficulty.

Take Highway 221 from Blowing Rock heading towards Linville, NC. Once you reach the Avery/Caldwell county line there will be a large dirt parking lot on the left just pass county line sign. Once parked there is hiking trail which will take about 2 minutes and lead directly up to the Dump.

rock climbing Bouldering Locations:

Beacon HeightsThis popular bouldering spot is located at mile post 305.2 on the parkway. Follow the Beacon Heights trail making sure to take the right when reaching the fork in the trail. From there follow the path up to the boulders.

Grandmother Boulders
Grandmother is located at mile post 306.6 on the parkway and it will have a turnoff and parking area there. Grandmother has numerous climbing spots and is great place to boulder for an afternoon.

Blowing Rock Boulders
One of the most notable bouldering locations is Blowing Rock Boulders which is probably one of the busiest bouldering locations, especially in the warmer months. In order to get there take Highway 221 heading towards Linville, NC and look for the Blue Ridge Parkway turnoff. About 100 feet after the turnoff is a parking area. There is a trail at the end of the parking lot which is about a 10 minute hike. Make sure to follow the main path that is most worn by foot traffic. This will lead you to the site.

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Posted in Attractions & Sights, Blue Ridge Parkway, Farms & Wineries, Milepost Itineraries, Outdoor Recreation, Rock Climbing