Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Blue Hole Falls

Select Area...
Highball Area 
Lower Blue Hole 
Upper Blue Hole  
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Flag Rock Area Trails (FRAT)
This is a series of trails that are a work in progress connecting to old backcountry style trails. Near Norton, Virginia
Front Hollow Road
A connector to Leadbetter Gap and points south. Near Kingsport, Tennessee
Chestnut Trail
A new singletrack with little elevation gain. Near Mount Carmel, Tennessee
Cross Ridges Loop
A loop through the backcountry, climbing to the high point in the park at the firetower (~2,400'). Near Mount Carmel, Tennessee
Lake Road
A gravel and dirt road around the lake with a climb over Cherry Knob Ridge. Near Kingsport, Tennessee
Bays Mountain Park
Tour of Bays Near Kingsport, Tennessee
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Blue Hole Falls Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 36.43362, -82.07639 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 7,224
Administrators: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aaron Wright on Oct 28, 2013  with updates from Greg Timm
This Afternoon

54° | 35°

66° | 45°

67° | 36°

66° | 42°

68° | 45°

63° | 47°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Panoramic of the Levitation boulder


Blue hole falls is a series of 4 waterfalls located in Cherokee National Forest, close to Elizabethton, Tennessee. Blue hole hosts a decent amount of boulders with a wide variety of climbing. Slopers, crimps, pockets, steep roofs, massive arêtes and highballs can all be found jam-packed within a relatively small area. The longest approach is around 5 minutes from the car. The upper Blue Hole and Highball areas have the most climbing to offer by far, with boulders ranging anywhere from 10-25 ft. There is also a small amount of roped climbing at the end of the highball trail with a couple of routes having double bolts for an anchor at the top. Go to the specific areas and boulders to find more detailed directions on how to get to these areas.

The waterfalls (and climbing) boast very easy access, which is probably the biggest problem for the area. A healthy amount of non-climbing traffic, especially in the summer, inevitably has led to a small amount of spray paint on the bigger walls as well as broken glass and other trash in certain areas. With that being said, solitude can be found within this climbing area if you look for it. Most of the rock here rarely receives sunlight, so if it has rained recently you can count on at least some of the rock being wet. If it has rained recently, the highball area is your best bet because it receives the most sunlight. This also means that climbing isn’t too bad here in the summer, but the friction is much better in the colder months.

Camping is permitted here, so this area can serve as an awesome weekend getaway where you can camp 5 seconds away from some nice climbing. I urge anyone coming here to climb to pick up and pack out as much trash as you can, especially in the “trash garden” area of the upper blue hole. Unfortunately, locals have dumped a huge amount of trash in this area and I’m hoping that having more climbers visit the area will have a positive impact on the land.

I am aware that climbing has happened here for quite a while but I am not sure of the history of climbing in the area. If someone has some info on that please feel free to let me know and I’ll gladly post it on here. Also, I know I didn’t FA most of these problems, so consider the names given on here as placeholders for now. If you think you had the first ascent and have a different name for the route, please let me know and I will change it.

Getting There 

Located in Northeast Tennessee with easy access from Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina

Around 30 minutes from Johnson City, Tenn
35 minutes from Damascus, Va
and around an hour from Boone, Nc

From Elizabethton, take route 91 to stony creek for around 10 miles. Turn left on Panhandle Road and continue for less than a mile to the main parking on the left. If you see Rico’s pizza, you’ve gone too far.

From Boone, take 421 North until it intersects with Highway 91 South. Follow for 20 minutes until you see Rico’s pizza. Take the next right, Panhandle Road up the hill for less than a mile.

This link is to provide specific directions to the area. It is actually to Rico’s Pizza, which is just before the turn onto Panhandle Rd if you’re coming from Damascus and Boone, and just after the turn if you’re coming from Elizabethton.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 10.3 miles from here

26 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Blue Hole Falls
Rock Climbing Photo: Tanner James on the FA of La Cascada

La Cascada V5 6C  TN : Blue Hole Falls : ... : Levitation Boulder
SDS underneath the arête and slightly left. Make your way out to the arête and right, grabbing some good slopers, and climb the towering arête using pockets, crimps, and sloper holds on the left and right sides. Crux is high at about 15 feet, committing top moves. Proudest line at the Blue Hole, Classic....[more]   Browse More Classics in TN

Photos of Blue Hole Falls Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Shell Station Swing (v4), Shaky Knees Boulder, Hig...
Shell Station Swing (v4), Shaky Knees Boulder, Hig...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tiny Roof Crack (v4-5), Shaky Knees Boulder, Highb...
Tiny Roof Crack (v4-5), Shaky Knees Boulder, Highb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Long Division (v4), Empty Pockets Boulder, Upper B...
Long Division (v4), Empty Pockets Boulder, Upper B...
Rock Climbing Photo: Good pic of the Tennessee Pusher Boulder
Good pic of the Tennessee Pusher Boulder
Rock Climbing Photo: Empty Pockets (v3), Empty Pockets Boulder, Upper B...
Empty Pockets (v3), Empty Pockets Boulder, Upper B...
Rock Climbing Photo: Speakeasy boulder
Speakeasy boulder

Comments on Blue Hole Falls Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!