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Climbing Gyms 
Blue Ridge Parkway 
Charlottesville vicinity 
DC and surrounding areas 
Harrisonburg and NW VA 
Richmond/Central VA 
Roanoke/New River/Blacksburg 
Shenandoah National Park 
Southwest Virginia 


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Location: 37.6142, -78.5083 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Aaron James Parlier, Shawn Heath, Jake Jones, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Keegan Dimmick on Aug 23, 2006
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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Aaron Parlier on "Horizon Line" GHSP


Virginia is for lovers; and as climbers we are all lovers of quality stone to pull on. Whether it is trad, mixed, sport, or bouldering that you are looking for, the Old Dominion state has a whole lotta’ stone just lookin’ for love…

Summer: This time of year the weather can be terrible for climbing due to humidity, bugs, and vegetation, especially the lower in elevation you are. Regardless of the weather it’s easy to get psyched on the plethora of crags and boulder fields throughout the Old Dominion, from Great Falls to the Appalachian highlands. There are thousands of problems and routes strewn across the state of VA, so pick your poison and get on some stone!

Check out Great Falls, Old Rag, and Elizabeth Furnace for lots of fun and exciting Trad and TR routes. These fine areas, along with most of the other trad and TR areas in VA are generally located in gorgeous parks and unique settings. Keep watch for many other areas that are being established across the Old Dominion.

Also check out Iron Gate or the recently re-opened Hidden Valley for some great sport routes, and Roanoke River Gorge for fun sport, mixed, and trad lines.

There are multitudes of quality bouldering opportunities across Virginia. There are several high quality boulder fields, great local areas, and small obscure spots scattered throughout the state. Mcafees Knob has tons of great bouldering and The Cascades is an up-and-coming favorite. For the best warm-weather bouldering in VA, be sure to visit Grayson Highlands State Park.

If you're traveling to VA & planning to boulder, but not wanting to lug a crashpad and all of your junk with you, GHSP now has a rental pad, chalk, chalkbag, and brush for rent!


-The Horst guide, "Rock Climbing Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland" is a great reference for popular VA destinations like Old Rag and Great Falls.

-Grab the PATC Great Falls book for more routes and info on the area. Also available for sale at the visitor's center.

-Be sure to pick up a copy of the beautiful, full color bouldering guidebook for Grayson Highlands State Park here at: brayackmedia.com/publishing/in....

-Also, if you want to download the GHSP bouldering guide on your iPhone or Android check out the Rakkup Mobile GHSP Guidebook App: rakkup.com/grayson-highlands-b...

Local Climbing Organizations  

If you are looking for specific area or access information for VA climbing, or to get involved or support climbing access and stewardship initiatives, contacting local climber organizations is the go-to option:

Mid Atlantic Climbers (MAC): "MAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving access to climbing areas in the Mid-Atlantic region, while promoting responsible climbing and environmental stewardship. MAC serves as a liaison between the climbing community and land managers (park or private) for the crags in [the Maryland and Virginia] region." The link to MAC's website can be found here: midatlanticclimbers.org

Southwest Virginia Climbers Coalition (SVCC): SVCC is a grassroots non-profit coalition focused on preserving the natural environment through stewardship initiatives, promoting safe and ethical climbing practices, and preserving and promoting climber access over the 27 county SWVA region. Here is a link to SVCC's website: swvaclimberscoalition.com/abou...

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 5.0 miles from here

2,667 Total Routes

['4 Stars',156],['3 Stars',696],['2 Stars',1130],['1 Star',523],['Bomb',8]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Virginia:
Highland Highball   V2 5+     Boulder, 20'   Horizon Area : Highland Highball
Periscope   V3 6A     Boulder, 12'   Contact Station Boulders : Periscope Boulder
True Grit   V5 6C     Boulder, 10'   Contact Station Boulders : True Grit Boulder
Title Fight   V5 6C     Boulder, 14'   Title Fight Area : Title Fight Boulder
Front Man   V5 6C     Boulder    A.V.P. Boulders : A.V.P. Boulder
Thews    V6 7A     Boulder, 11'   Middle Boneyard : Thews Boulder
Horizon Line   V6 7A     Boulder, 20'   Horizon Area : Horizon Boulder
Moneyshot   V7 7A+     Boulder, 15'   McAfee's Knob : Roadside
Flying Spaghetti Monster    V7 7A+     Boulder, 15'   Picnic Area : Olympus Boulder
Dragon's Back   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Little Stoney Man Mountain : The Dragon Area
Anonymous Flake Right   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 100'   Elizabeth Furnace : Buzzard Rocks
I Love Big Jugs   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Elizabeth Furnace : Talking Headwall
Strawberry Fields   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Old Rag : Reflector Oven
Fortis   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Elizabeth Furnace : Talking Headwall
Lost Arrow   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 35'   Great Falls : Aid Box
Oh My God Dihedral   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Old Rag : Middle God's Area-Left
Bushwhack Crack   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Old Rag : Wall That Dreams Are Made O...
Leading Should Feel This Way   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Elizabeth Furnace : Talking Headwall
Report to Sickbay   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Old Rag : Reflector Oven
The The   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Old Rag : Wall That Dreams Are Made O...
Browse More Classics in Virginia

Featured Route For Virginia
This face has "Prodigal Son". Sit start ...

Prodigal Son V4-5 6B+  VA : Roanoke/New River/Blacksbur... : ... : Seventh Son Boulder
SDS on right face of boulder and follow the rail up and right to a top out above the downed tree....[more]   Browse More Classics in VA

Photos of Virginia Slideshow Add Photo
Fall foliage at Sugar Hollow dam....oh yeh, and a ...
BETA PHOTO: Fall foliage at Sugar Hollow dam....oh yeh, and a ...
Shane Messer working a (V-7) dyno problem in the B...
Shane Messer working a (V-7) dyno problem in the B...
Boulderbiking the Virginia Creeper trail, and ridi...
Boulderbiking the Virginia Creeper trail, and ridi...
Lanie Alfaro on a perfect GHSP crimp.
Lanie Alfaro on a perfect GHSP crimp.
Travis Melin with getting another FA while boulder...
Travis Melin with getting another FA while boulder...
Lanie on "Robot Love" (V-1) in the Boney...
Lanie on "Robot Love" (V-1) in the Boney...
Travis Melin climbing the "Horizon Line"...
Travis Melin climbing the "Horizon Line"...
Happiness Is Slavery, Irongate.
Happiness Is Slavery, Irongate.
Jason in 2004 with the FA of a GHSP test piece, &q...
Jason in 2004 with the FA of a GHSP test piece, &q...
Steve Lovelace cranking hard to get the FA of &quo...
Steve Lovelace cranking hard to get the FA of &quo...
Travis Melin taking it all in on the "Highlan...
Travis Melin taking it all in on the "Highlan...
kasi Quinn on "Cherokee Dihedral" (V-1),...
kasi Quinn on "Cherokee Dihedral" (V-1),...
Steve Lovelace making moves in GHSP
Steve Lovelace making moves in GHSP
"Thews" (v6) in the boneyard area in Gra...
"Thews" (v6) in the boneyard area in Gra...
Inside of the Cracked Egg
Inside of the Cracked Egg
Joanna Jennings on "Ranger Rick" (V-1) i...
Joanna Jennings on "Ranger Rick" (V-1) i...
Bouldering on one of several fun creekside boulder...
Bouldering on one of several fun creekside boulder...
"Parlier's Problem" (v7) in the AVP Area...
"Parlier's Problem" (v7) in the AVP Area...
Brock Hanna climbing  "Ranger Rick" (v1)...
Brock Hanna climbing "Ranger Rick" (v1)...

Comments on Virginia Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 13, 2015
By Ladd
Oct 22, 2007
Check out this climbing video from rockclimbing.com featuring climbing in Virginia.
By JonathanGerst
From: Morocco, Africa
Dec 2, 2009
Info request for Tunstall's Tooth in Big Island, VA. Route information? Sport, trad, mixed, or TR? Topo maps? Contact info for official or unofficial crag caretaker?
By S.Mccabe
From: boulder, co
Dec 17, 2009
I will be passing through VA this weekend. Is there any climbing near or within an hour of Lynchburg?
By TravisMelin
From: Roanoke, VA La Crosse, WI
Dec 17, 2009
I believe there is, but it looks like its supposed to be a snow storm from friday night into saturday so your outdoor chances are slim.... Good thing there is a great gym in lynchburg!
By VirginiaS
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 6, 2010
I've just moved to Northern Virginia for a few months and was hoping to get some information about climbing in the area, maybe even some ice this winter? I've just moved from Boulder and am hoping to find some people to climb with and until the snow melts, a good gym in the area around Shenandoah National park. Any information would be seriously appreciated. Thanks!
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Mar 13, 2010
Hi VirginiaS. If you're close enough to Sportrock in Alexandria you have to go there. Its fantastic
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Oct 14, 2010

Sorry I’m so late about getting back to you about GHSP. The dry time at Grayson is usually about a day. The park tends to have its own weather pattern, but eatherchannel.com is usually right about the conditions out there. The Listening rock trail dries in approximately one day, the Boneyard area can be stubborn to dry and takes around a day-two days, the highlands area can dry in much less than a day if its breezy... contact station area takes around a day as well.
-Aaron Parlier
By Andrew Cassidy
Feb 14, 2011
Does anyone have any beta on Apple Orchard Falls. I saw bolts there before I was a climber when I was backpacking a couple of years ago?!?
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Mar 17, 2011
Andrew Cassidy:
I tried looking the place up and I could only find hiking and waterfall information. I for one have never heard of it, but from the photos online Im sure someone has established lines there. Looks like a cool spot... I would take to the local gear shop or the closest gym for information. Good luck, and if you do find out info on the place be sure to post it on here!
By Steve C
From: Missoula, MT
Sep 9, 2011
Andrew: I also saw two bolted lines on a north-facing cliff on the trail between the parkway and Apple Orchard Falls. Looked like quality routes; 5.10-5.12 range. Always meant to get back there and try them before I moved away from VA. I say go get on 'em and let us know how they are!
By Philip McAfee
Dec 24, 2011
How did McAfee Knob get its name
By Matt L
Feb 28, 2012
Be on the lookout for an awesome gym opening in the Christiansburg/Blacksburg area! Crimper's Climbing Gym is located at 100 Central Ave, Christiansburg Va, 24073. The bouldering wall stretches 70 feet horizontally and reaches 16 feet above the padding. There are seven top rope stations around the tower ranging from overhanging to slab climbing. the lead cave starts seven feet below the floor level, giving 30 feet of lead climbing.

This gym is sweet, everyone in the area should come check it out once they open in early April. You can get more info at crimpersclimbing.com or email at info@crimpersclimbing.com

Get excited!
By Mike Mu.
Mar 21, 2012
So I have been tossing around the idea for a few years of doing a comprehensive Rock & Ice climbing guidebook for VA. VA doesn't have a great guidebook for all the stuff that exists there. The Watson guide is subpar and the Horst book while nice skipped a lot of areas. I was thinking of focusing only on roped climbing-including all of the excellent bouldering would take a lifetime to finish. Just wanted to probe the interest of fellow MP'ers that climb in VA-is this something you would be interested in using? What format would you want to see--color photos with route lines drawn in, topos, etc? Obviously SNP/BRP and the National Forests will be the meat of the guide, but are there other areas you would want to see?
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Mar 21, 2012
Mike you should go for it! Shoot me a message sometime before you get underway. Sometime before you get too involved in the formal structure of the guide. There is an area I'd like to talk to you about that would be important to include for sure. The guide sounds like a great idea!
By Becca Marasco
From: Columbia, South Carolina
Apr 11, 2014
Hey all,

I recently got offered a ranger job between George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, northwest of Roanoke VA. I am hoping to bring my mountain bike and a crash pad for the 18 weeks of solitude and wilderness monitoring. However, before I commit I want to make sure I won't go soft and bored without boulders to climb on. Any routes in the area or even enough boulder patches I can scout my own?

Thank you so much,

fellow rock crusher
By Brandon Bolt
Apr 21, 2015
Are the climbing routes near old rag lead or top rope? I am moving to DC this summer abd have never been to that area.
By Ben Cruz
May 13, 2015
Hey guys I'm staying in Hamilton Virginia and I was wondering where some sweet boulders are, located with in that proximity? Or sport climbing routes?
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