Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Pickens Nose

Select Area...
Cameron's Wall 
Rock House Knob  
Top Rope Wall 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Bare Hare
Bare Hare is either a grueling climb or a super fun descent depending on which way you're headed. Near Dahlonega, Georgia
Bull Mountain Connector
Rolling singletrack through big pine and hardwood forest. Near Dahlonega, Georgia
Bull and Jake Mountain - IMBA Epic
Get ready for some red clay singletrack in the North Georgia Mountains. Near Dahlonega, Georgia
Jake Mountain
Up and down with a fording of Jones Creek. Near Dahlonega, Georgia
Central Loop
No unavoidable obstacles. This is an all-access trail to other optional trails Near Hiawassee, Georgia
Jackrabbit Mountain
Approximately 15 miles of very flowy loops. All very well-maintained with great scenic vistas. Near Hiawassee, Georgia
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Pickens Nose Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,900'
Location: 35.023, -83.458 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,466
Administrators: Ryan Williams, ShockSLL, Aaron James Parlier, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Mark O'Neal on Dec 24, 2013
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]


Pickens Nose is located at the southern end of the Nantahala Mountains within the Nantahala National Forest near the border of North Carolina and Georgia and the town of Otto, NC. It is most easily accessed off US 441 but can also be accessed from the Standing Indian campground.

The climbing history at Pickens Nose may be relatively long, but based on the amount of information available about said climbing it is likely not very storied. It has some easy top rope climbs, some hard sport climbs, and what looks like some bold trad climbs. But overall not a ton of established climbs. I wouldn't classify this as a destination but it can be a fun place to try out with an easy short approach. Most routes are single pitch, but there may be a multi pitch option out there somewhere.

There are three main areas of climbing here; Cameron's Wall, the "Top Rope" Wall and the Nose. All three are near the end of the approach trail. If you keep walking until the trail ends you will be on top of Pickens Nose proper. Turn around and walk back a little if you intended to find the other walls or access the bottom of the Nose. Directions to each area are on the area pages.

There is also a fairly large boulder on the left about 2/3 of the way down the approach trail. It's currently covered in plant growth but could have a few decent problems on it if someone was inspired to clean it up.

I have been unable to find too much documentation about the established climbs here. If anyone has any actual route names, ratings, FA's etc, about anything I've posted please let me know and I'll update things.

Getting There 

From US 441: Look for the forest service sign for the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory on the west side of the road approximately one mile south of Otto, NC. Turn onto Coweeta Lab Road and follow it about 3 miles coming to a forest service sign for Ball Creek Road - FS 83. Climb for 5 miles on unpaved FS-83 to reach the trailhead. The road forks once on the way up, be sure to stay on FS-83 by bearing to the right and uphill until the roads flattens out.

From NC 64: Take the Wallace Gap Road toward the Standing Indian Campground. Pass the campground on Forest Service Road 67, passing first the campground entrance (where the road changes from hardtop to gravel) and beyond the Backcountry Information Center (a glorified bulletin board). Drive on this well maintained gravel road for about six miles until you come to a fork with a sign indicating "Albert Mountain" on the left and "Coweeta" on the right. 67 is on the left and the right turn is Forest Service Road 83. Drive until you see a gate. If the gate is closed, park there and continue on foot for about fifty feet to the Pickens Nose Trail which will be on your right.

Both sides of the road access can be closed in the winter time so plan accordingly

Look for the brown Pickens Nose trail sign and the parking area that can accommodate several cars. The trail is about 0.7 mi and is only slightly uphill so it makes for an easy approach. The east side of the trail is on Coweeta Lab property and the west side of the trail is on National Forest property. Depending on the time of year you go, you may find hunters around running dogs with radio collars.

Camping is allowed on National Forest land (i.e. the west side of the trail). There is an established car camping spot adjacent to the parking lot and there is an established back country site about half way down the approach trail on the west side. There is no water source here, so bring your water.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 3.3 miles from here

14 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Pickens Nose

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Pickens Nose:
TR Warrior Right   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Top Rope Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Pickens Nose

Featured Route For Pickens Nose
Rock Climbing Photo: Cole on the initial crack before the split.

If the House is Rockin'... 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a  NC : Pickens Nose : Rock House Knob
This is the main line up the wall. It starts on the left side beneath a bolt about 15' up, and a crack above. The technical crux is at the bolt, but the redpoint crux is hanging on through the pump.Two variations:1. If the wall above is dry, climb to the sloping ledge about 50' up and move right then continue up the left diagonaling line of bolts to the top. This is the classic way to finish the route. Bring a finger/thin hand size cam, but otherwise all bolts.2. If wall above is wet, then from ...[more]   Browse More Classics in NC

Photos of Pickens Nose Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A nice 12a/b on Rock House Knob near Pickens Nose....
A nice 12a/b on Rock House Knob near Pickens Nose....
Rock Climbing Photo: Pickens Nose map
BETA PHOTO: Pickens Nose map
Rock Climbing Photo: Pickens Nose trail sign
BETA PHOTO: Pickens Nose trail sign
Rock Climbing Photo: Coweeta Lab sign off US-441
BETA PHOTO: Coweeta Lab sign off US-441
Rock Climbing Photo: With the extra steep extension.
With the extra steep extension.

Comments on Pickens Nose Add Comment
Show which comments
By nbrown
From: western NC
Jan 19, 2014
Does anyone know if this place in accessible right now? I've heard something about the road being gated at times; is that for the winter? And if so, where exactly is the gate? Thanks for any info.
By Mark O'Neal
From: Nicholson, GA
Feb 8, 2014
The access roads from both sides (FS-67 and FS-83) are usually closed from Jan 1st until April 1st according to the forest service website. This link changes every year, so Google Nantahala Ranger District Seasonal Road Closures. I don't know for sure where the gates are.
By nbrown
From: western NC
Apr 1, 2014
Thanks Mark for the link. The FS tends to not do very well with updating their info around here -- which was the main reason I was wondering. Thanks again.

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!