40ft sandstone cliffs just inside the George Washington National Forest in Rockingham County. Well shaded topropes and leads as well as bouldering on decent rock.
15 miles or so from Harrisonburg, VA. Take 257 from Dayton, VA through the town of Ottobein. Continue following 257 until the route turns right at the 257 grocery. 2 miles up the road you cross a small bridge. There are houses on the right and a small grass area to park in at the end of the row of houses but before the national forest sign. There is a jeep trail that heads into the forest. Follow this trail as it crosses the stream twice and then turns hard right to cross the stream two more times. About now you should be able to see the rocks through the trees up and to your right. The trail goes there. See local guidebooks for more info on the approach. There is no dumpster anymore as indicated in the Horst book.
The approach here is a bit deceiving. From the start of the jeep trail you cross the stream 3 times. You will hike through some thick rhodo areas in between the stream crossings. After the 3rd stream crossing you will come to a spot in the trail where it has been blocked off and forces you uphill. Follow it uphill for a few minutes and then you will begin to see the rocks (lower hidden) ahead of you. It is still well hidden until you get pretty close to it. In the spring and summer you may not see the rocks until you are almost upon them, thus the name. From Lower hidden continue up the left side of the cliff for 150-200 yds and then you will see hidden cracks. Have fun, it is a nice set of crags.
The grassy area listed above is no longer open to the public. Please do not park here. Instead go just a little further past the grassy area and turn onto Hidden Quarry Road (Fireroad 62). Follow this about .4 miles to a gravel parking lot on the right. You can park here and take the yellow-blazed trail on the right into the woods. Follow this as it rises and falls for about 10 minutes until it turns sharply left. After about 50 yards you'll get to the first stream crossing. The yellow blazed trail will cross the stream three more times (four total) and right before the fifth stream crossing a trail will cut up right and take you straight to the Lower Hidden. Again, do not park in the grassy lot described in Hoerst's book. I recommend picking up "Climbing Rockingham County" by Lester Zook. It's a great guide to the area and is available at Wilderness Voyagers in Harrisonburg. The description to the cliffs are much better.
The Artz and Avatar boulders are excellent and easy to find. Pass the Hone Quarry parking lot and look for a gravel pull-out on the left. Park here and look north, uphill across the road. You should see a large boulder; this is the Avatar boulder. From the Avatar boulder, head right (east) a few hundred feet, without going up or down hill, to reach the Artz boulder. Two awesome easy highballs, slappy aretes, crimpy devious desperates, and a few burly overhanging problems. State of the Artz (arete on SE of Artz boulder) would be a classic V5 (original rating 5.12 I think) anywhere. These two boulders are the best here, but a few more exist if you poke around. Enjoy!
My fiance and I are moving into the area and have the guide book written by Horst, but can't seem to find much info of the breakdown of what problems are on what boulders, etc. Are there any locals that would be willing to trip out there with us?
And trust me Aaron, once we figure out what's out there, we will be updating it!
@fhall421 - thanks so much for your directions. Went there this morning to scope it out. Went the previous day with my daughter and gave up just shy of the first river crossing--should've checked here first because we were using Horst's book. There is some evidence of streams on the main approach but those do not constitute the streams that fhall421 kindly points out (the streams are full streams--got my feet wet in a couple) so keep going. The walls look great - looking forward to coming back. But as I said, follow fhall421's directions and you'll get there. It took us about 30 mins from trail head to the rocks - probably could've done it quicker--we took along our old dog and she slowed us down crossing the streams. One question I have is, at what end of hidden rocks does this path terminate? From what I could make out it is the far end of Lower Hidden - right around Lil Bubba. Is that correct?