With less than 30 known routes, Griffin Falls is not what you'd call a major climbing destination. But if you're camping at nearby Sand Rock anyway and want a little variety, this crag is definitely worth a visit. The climbing at Griffin's is mostly hard sport, but there are also a number of spicy trad lines, most notably the outstanding Knife Crack (5.9+).
Griffin Falls is just up the road from Sand Rock, near Collinsville. From Atlanta, take I-75 north toward Chattanooga and exit at Hwy. 411/20 (exit 290). Follow 411 toward Rome, bypassing that city; outside of Rome, turn right on Hwy. 53 (and 411). Continue through Cave Spring and Centre, AL to the town of Leesburg. Turn right on Hwy. 68 and follow this road past the turnoff for Sand Rock; continue on through Collinsville. After crossing under I-59, continue a few miles on 68 until you can see the cliffline ahead of you, then watch for a bridge over a creek at the bottom of a hill. Immediately after crossing the bridge, turn left onto a gravel road and follow it a short distance to a small bridge over a creek. Park in a pull-off on the right and follow the trail past graffiti-covered boulders up to the cliffline, where you'll see the waterfall. Continue right (under the waterfall) to the climbing area.
From Chattanooga or Birmingham, take I-59 to the Hwy. 68 exit. Go west on 68 and follow the directions above.
Even if this was the only outstanding route at this little crag (and it isn't), Knife Crack alone would make a visit to Griffin's worthwhile. Finger crack climbing at its finest with plentiful protection; the only thing wrong with Knife Crack is that it's too short.Follow the jagged crack, using finger locks and foot jams, to a ledge with anchors below the roof. The crux is down low; things ease up some with better feet further up the crack....[more]Browse More Classics in AL
If you visit Griffin Falls following some time at Sand Rock, be prepared to re-adjust your rating scale...Sand Rock is soft in comparison. We did a few routes on the Breakfast Wall, and they were certainly challenging, requiring good footwork and slab climbing technique on lichen covered rock...not my cup of tea.
Knife Crack is really fun, and the bolted routes to the right (Power Windows, Smashing Pumpkins) are good. If I go back, it will be to try Steeplechase, a good looking line on the best looking rock there. Still, I can't really recommend this place based on the quality of other nearby areas.
The compact, high quality nature of the climbs and rock here are not to be overlooked. The next closest spots of high value are closed to the public. Next to those, it's Little River for sport or Jamestown for trad and sport...on up the road a ways. Griffin offers a variety of both sport and trad lines. I agree that the ratings are stiffer than S.R., but so is nearly every other place in the S.E.
Great place. Saw no one else on a weekend, unbelievable! Grades are more true to grade than Sand Rock but none are extremely sandbagged(that I saw). There are many climbs not in DCA or MP.com that are to the left of Knife Crack, some are nice moderates.
Griffin Falls is a great climbing area when you need some time away from the crowd at sand rock. Theres some really challenging routes there and hope everyone remembers to put a sign in your window simply saying CLIMBING. Per the landowners request.