This is the backside of Rhododendron Gap (looking ...
-Not in Guidebook-
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (MRNRA) is the longest approach that you will experience in the Grayson area and it is limited only by your motivation to hike in. The actual hike to the Highlands Area on GHSP property isnt very long (30min if youre going slow and playing with ponies), but the walk past the gate into the MRNRA is a bit further, rocky, and all uphill on the way in (on the upside, it's all downhill on the way out!). The distance is ~2mi but once you hike a little into the MRNRA you pass boulders and blocks continually.
I havent covered this area well at all yet on this website but it is a focus that I will continue improving well into the future and as more folks explore the area. This place is vast and the directions will be quite vague, but the landscape is open and obvious. I will only cover the most obvious and straight forward lines and areas as of now, but know there are lots of already explored and established lines throughout. When you go, you will no doubt find awesome obscure blocks. Just have fun and climb everything you can!
There are three "peaks" described here (they aren't real "peaks" but they are visually prominent off of the mountain ridge horizon in three distinct areas): Feral, Rhododendron, and Paradise... Feral and Rhodo comprise the popular destination called "Rhododendron Gap" which is an open saddle in the landscape between the bouldery clusters on either end which I have called Feral (the first cluster) and Rhododendron (the second). After Rhododendron Gap you will pass through another low, grassy saddle in the landscape (lots of ponys congregate here, and you cannot see the third peak from the first peak) and then you will hike further to reach the third bouldery cluster called Paradise Peak. Rhododendron Peak is the tallest (over 5,000ft of elevation), middle peak. All three peaks have many amazing boulder problems to choose from.
Dont start into this area if you are limited by time. This place will encompass an entire day or more. You can camp ANYWHERE in the MRNRA and this is a spectacular area to do so. You will find breath-taking views, ponies, wonderful trails and a vast amount of bouldering. There are many highball lines, steep & vertical faces, slabs, and all around awesome climbs.
If you dont want a long approach however, stick to the endless fields and easy approaches in GHSP proper. If youre spending a while in the park though, take a light pad and pack, food, some water, and enjoy the place... its an area that you wont soon forget.
stay straight on the trail past the intersection to the horizon area. hike to the walk-through fence. hike up the mountain trail to the rocky natural bald on top.
The Appalachian Trail meanders throughout, around, and nearby these three peaks and crests and allows for easy access once you arrive. There are a myriad of other side trails and pony paths that facilitate access to many boulders and faces. Take time to explore and climb on the many blocks and boulders and enjoy your time while youre up here.
Climbing Season For the Grayson Highlands State Park area.
Weather station 6.8 miles from here
11 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For M.R.N.R.A.
Field, ponys, boulders. Paradise Peak, GHSP
Aaron James Parlier on "Swept Away" (V6F...
Puzzler and Chiral Boulders, Paradise Peak, GHSP
Aaron James Parlier on "Earthly Paradise"...