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Areas in Sand Rock

Basement, The 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Fireplace Rock 0 / 1 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Flintstone, The 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Grotto 3 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Hole, The 0 / 5 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Holiday Block 11 / 9 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 20
Islands, The 1 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Jaws Block/West Side Rock 4 / 4 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
New Wall (AKA Kurt Russell Block) 0 / 13 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13
Pinnacle, The 14 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Redneck Rhino Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Sandtrap, The 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Sun Wall 17 / 27 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 45
Turtle Rock 8 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Elevation: 1,653 ft
GPS: 34.18, -85.817 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 271,840 total · 1,882/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Jan 5, 2007
Admins: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough
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A long-time Alabama climbing institution, Sand Rock has had a colorful and sometimes dubious history. For many years, it seemed that lowlifes were in direct competition with climbers. Sand Rock was a destination for ATV riders, drunken late-night partiers and other examples of southern stereotypes. Broken beer bottles and overturned portapotties were common sights, and the cliffs were despoiled with spray-painted graffiti.

In recent years, the aesthetics of Sand Rock have vastly improved. Ownership of the site was taken over by Cherokee County which turned it into a county park. Sand Rock now has on-site managers, improved parking, picnic areas, a playground for kids and a nice bathhouse. Much of the litter and graffiti has been cleaned up.

Sand Rock is an excellent destination for climbers at any skill level. Its free-standing pinnacles offer an amazing variety of climbing, ranging from easy toprope jugfests, to crimpy face routes, to fine crack lines. Sport routes run side-by-side with tough trad climbs. Beginners can get easy access to set up topropes, and there's a plethora of good bouldering problems. And the many different areas are spread out enough that you can almost always find a place that isn't crowded. The approach is one of the shortest and easiest in the south -- walk about 100 feet from your car and you'll find yourself at the Pinnacle or Holiday Block.

Climbing at Sand Rock goes back to 1972, when the prolific Rich Gottlieb and friends began snagging FAs on routes like the classic Comfortably Numb. In the 80s, climbers like Curtis Glass, Gene Smith and others established numerous trad lines. Later, bolted routes became more acceptable, and poorly-protected sections of cliff began sprouting sport routes, including the Sun Wall favorite Misty. Johnny Arms has been a major source of new routes since the 90s.

Admission to Sand Rock is currently $5 per car. Camping is abundant near the parking lot and along the entrance road; be sure to register at the park office if you plan to camp.

Getting There

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 almost three miles, watching for signs for the village of Sand Rock. Turn left on County Road 36 and continue about a mile and a half to CR 70 (you should see signs for Cherokee Rock Village). Turn left on 70 and continue up the mountain ridge to the Sand Rock parking lot.

169 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sand Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Knob Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
That Eight (aka Kennel Club)
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
My Dog Has Fleas
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Comfortably Numb
Trad, TR
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Six Toes
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Too Pumped Chump
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Thin in the Middle
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Cinco de Mayo
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Pigs in Zen (Tuesday's Gone)
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Price is Right
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Knob Wall Sun Wall
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
That Eight (aka Kennel Club) Holiday Block
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
My Dog Has Fleas Holiday Block
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Comfortably Numb Pinnacle
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Jaws Jaws Block/W Side Rock
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, TR
Oyster Holiday Block
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Six Toes Jaws Block/W Side Rock
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Too Pumped Chump Flintstone
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Misty Sun Wall
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Thin in the Middle Jaws Block/W Side Rock
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Cinco de Mayo Holiday Block
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Pigs in Zen (Tuesday's Gone) Holiday Block
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Rabies Holiday Block
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Price is Right Hole
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13 Sport
Dreamscape Sun Wall
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Sand Rock »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
This is a nice place to clip bolts on dry rock in the pouring rain. Especially the sunshine wall. Jan 6, 2007
Birmingham, AL
BirminghamBen   Birmingham, AL
Unlike most spots in our great state, Sandrock is used and abused to the point of detracting from what would be an otherwise nice place to climb. Sandrock is typically crowded and loud...there are many nearby alternatives. Mar 12, 2007
Ben Griffin
Durango, CO
Ben Griffin   Durango, CO
Ben Lyon is definitly wrong in my book. Sandrocks is a fun easy approach area for climber of all skill levels. A climber can find easy to hard everything at Sandrocks. The bouldering is fun, sport climbing is fun, and the trad is great. Sandrocks is very unique, when you look at the geological features of the area. My favorite spot to climb in the area is hole in the wall. Every route is overhanging and in the 5.11 to 5.12 range. Mar 27, 2007
Birmingham, AL
BirminghamBen   Birmingham, AL
RIP Cinco De Mayo. Mar 29, 2007
bbrock   Al
I've lived and climbed in some of the most beautiful and quality areas this country has to offer. Sand Rock is NOT a world class destination climbing area. On the other hand it is so far from the crapfest you mentioned. The scenery is actually quite beautiful and the quality of the rock and routes is very good. There's just something about that place that keeps me coming back. If you don't like clipping bolts in a crowded, dirty, loud, crapfest, there's always Little River Canyon. Apr 9, 2007
This place is a total shit fest all topped off by the local young clansmen spray painting and destroying anything good this place has to offer. While the climbing is not that bad, it is just really hard to get over the total disrespect for one of the only cool places bama has to offer. AS for LRC that place is totally amazing and I understand why it is kept such a secret. Coming from Colorado I can say that place is ten stars. May 11, 2007
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
I'd say that Sand Rock is a fine place to climb. Just ignore the graffitti and the trash (which wasn't that bad anyway) and focus on the climbing. I found the climbs to be really worthwhile; with Misty and Dreamscape being some of the best of the grade I have ever done.

Don't let the above comments disuade you. In my opinion, Sand Rock is definitely worth a stop. Jan 18, 2008
Rhett Burroughs
Salt Lake City, UT
Rhett Burroughs   Salt Lake City, UT
I'm ready to crack some rednecks skulls! The last comment from a fight in the parking lot by the yokals " I hit him right upside the head I did#%!" You must wear blue jean cut offs and a wife beater. Feb 6, 2008
chris mcclendon
Gardendale, Alabama
chris mcclendon   Gardendale, Alabama
Recently I found a ton of climbs with very little traffic. bolted routes, cracks, and what seems to be some amazing bouldering all at sandrock. if u r that antisocial just go to a route that all the ignorant newbies like myself dont know about and or cant climb. there are plenty at sandrock Mar 24, 2008
Brad "Stonyman" Killough   Alabama  
Sand Rock is what you make it, it hasn't changed in years. The burning of the porta-john is childish and I thought S.R. was going to get a Ranger checking on the place? Maybe they need to step-up their rounds a bit.....! Mar 31, 2008
On March 21, (a few weeks ago) I was at S.R. partcipating in the annual clean-up fest. Where were all of you? I personally do something about things that concern me and therefore have very little respect for those who just sit back and complain!
I do agree that alot of visitors disrespect the place. This damage is brought on by kids, non-climbers or very immature climbers to say the least. I try to pick up as I move from one climb to another , every time I go. A bunch of us are going up and painting over the graff. with a faux paint techique as best at we can.
Since you show so much concern...can we expect to see you there? I hope so, we would love to have you. SCC lists the dates of all the clean-ups etc. if anyone is interested in helping.

Sandrock will be destroyed (just like the rest of the earth) if everyone "TURNS UP THEIR NOSES" and DO NOTHING to help preserve it. It is a beautiful place. My brother taught me to climb there, he passed away last year. Some of his ashes were scattered at our fav campsite at that "shitfest" as you so politely put it.
  • ************DO something nice for our planet today**************
Apr 4, 2009
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
I just went to Sand Rock for the first time last weekend. Its not pure and isolated, but it is very good climbing. I'll go back. Jun 29, 2009
I haven't been to SR yet, so what walls can you climb at in the rain that will have dry climbs in the below 5.10 and up to soft 5.12 ??? At sunshine wall this is the case? how many lower grade routes stay dry?? and what other walls are options? Mar 14, 2010
Birmingham, AL
BirminghamBen   Birmingham, AL
Sun Wall is your best bet. There's a wide range of routes on that wall. Other nooks and crannies stay dry. Focus your attention there and branch out. It's not like it's an overwhelming place. Mar 17, 2010
Fun area that's not too far from much of Georgia....about 3 hours from Fort Benning. Lot's to choose from and is a nice area if you can put up with the locals.

I would recommend camping just down the road a bit (perhaps a few hundred meters) from the end of the road to avoid the late night parties that show up. Jul 5, 2010
karl vochatzer
Cedar City, UT
karl vochatzer   Cedar City, UT
Made a slight detour from Atlanta on a cross-country express trip in the car to check out this crag. Sampled a couple of good lines with some friendly climbers. Very enjoyable rock here, and yes, there was plenty of local flare on this Saturday. Noted the elevation and coordinates on the GPS: 34 degrees 10.82' N by 85 degrees 49.03' W at 1630 feet elevation at the parking lot. Nov 28, 2011
Adam Lazaro
Hiram, Ga
Adam Lazaro   Hiram, Ga
i found an illumination device near "my dog has fleas" on the holiday block on 1/5. anyone missing one? Jan 6, 2012
David Horning
Savannah, Georgia
David Horning   Savannah, Georgia
Does anyone know of a way to find a topo for this location? I've tried to find a copy of the Dixie Craggers atlas, but the only one I can find is for some ridiculous price on amazon. Mar 6, 2012
Swamp Cookie
da Bayou
Swamp Cookie   da Bayou
Just a heads up to anyone who loves Sandrock. Texas-based corporation Pioneer Green has come up with what they call “The Shinbone Ridge Energy Project,” a plan to build up to twenty 450-foot turbines along the crest of the mountain. Part of the facility will be located at Cherokee Rock Village on land leased by the Cherokee County Parks and Recreation Board. In addition to being an eye sore, they pose a danger to wildlife. There are also health concerns related to ultrasonic noise. The beauty of the area which attracts us all has attracted Pioneer Green who figured if no one was living there, it would be an idea place to build a wind farm. Oct 14, 2012
I love Sand Rock. It is probably the closest decent place to climb if you live in Florida. If you camp at the cliff, you will wake up with a absolutely beautiful morning view of the river.
There are tons of sports routes with varied difficulties. Climbers are nice. Johnny just set up several routes in "New Wall", which is not presented in new Dixie guidebook. Sand Rock is definitely a valuable spot. Dec 30, 2012
Swamp Cookie
da Bayou
Swamp Cookie   da Bayou
Here is the link for the new permit fees at Sandrock. Effective Aug 1,2013 Mar 11, 2013
I am going to be in Alabama for work in April 2013 and was wondering if anyone wanted to do some climbing the weekend of the 20th? Hit me up if you are interested. I have all my own gear, and have been climbing for a couple of years. Mar 26, 2013
Shani Magosky
Shani Magosky   NY, NY
Looking for Huck from Atlanta. I have 2 of your quickdraws. Email me what color tape is on them and what pitch I cleaned for you so I can confirm it's you, along with your address, at, and I'll send them to you. Sorry, obviously didn't mean to take them :). Apr 15, 2013
If anyone finds a pair of Evolv Shamans near Jaws, please contact me. I can't believe I lost them :( Jun 26, 2013
Leann Hill
Leesburg, Alabama
Leann Hill   Leesburg, Alabama
Hi everyone! I'm attempting to create a central location for information specific to climbing at Sand Rock. I live about 8 mins from Sand Rock and plan to be up there a few times a week. A lot of the INfo out there is way outdated. There is a ton of stuff scattered across the web on different forums but no single place where a climber interested in Sand Rock can connect with others or find updated info about the routes, bolt conditions, etc. I've created a group on Facebook called Sand Rock Climbing. Friend me or find the group and join! I'm eager to connect with other climbers who frequent Sand Rock, especially those who are already familiar with the area or even live nearby. Thanks! Jun 5, 2014
Will Carney
Tallulah Falls, GA
Will Carney   Tallulah Falls, GA
Love Sand Rock! Park and camp next to climbable rock(for a fee;see prior post). Port-o-Johns onsite. Showers with HOT WATER! A nice pavilion with ample picnic tables. Potable water onsite. Climber friendly staff. Dumpsters onsite so there's no excuse for leaving junk. Great place to camp/climb with the whole family. Sep 2, 2014
Marcj Mentrak
Charleston, SC
Marcj Mentrak   Charleston, SC
So uber excited about the new bath house!! It is awesome! The caretakers and SCC have done a fantastic job! Thank you! Sep 9, 2014
Tyler Jones
Arlington, VA
Tyler Jones   Arlington, VA
Hey everyone, I'm thinking about trying this place this weekend. Can anyone weigh in on whether or not the "Coyote" restaurant mentioned in the description is still around? I couldn't find anything online.

Thanks! Oct 16, 2014
I noticed in the introduction it said climbing started at Sand Rock in 1972. The first time I climbed there was about 1974 with Graham Wilson and Tommy Taylor and I know they had been there several times before that over the years. I always thought the climbing and the scenery were great. Spray paint , trash, and avoiding confrontations with the locals was just part of the deal climbing anywhere in Alabama back then. It's a bummer if that's still going on now. Dec 2, 2014
Kinda bummed to see my first 5.12, Rave, isn't on here. I did it a few years ago, and came back to see if it had maintained it's rating. Regardless, it's an excellent route, and should be added, along with it's brother, Rant.

EDIT: Thanks for adding them! Jun 2, 2015
I just stopped in again this last weekend and I found that most of the anchors here are in dire need of replacing. I found many rusted cold shuts and ancient bolts on popular climbs. I myself would like to help but I am just a visiting climber to the southeast.

I really hope someone in the SEC steps up to the plate to help update the hardware at Sand Rock. Feb 7, 2016
Birmingham, AL
BirminghamBen   Birmingham, AL
The park is a profit center...they should foot the bill. Otherwise, look to none other than The Duke if you want to talk about SR bolting practices. Feb 10, 2016
Leann Hill
Leesburg, Alabama
Leann Hill   Leesburg, Alabama
Update: I'm the Chairman of the park board now over Sand Rock. We have an ongoing discussion with SCC members and reps to find the best solution for replacing old, outdated, broken bolts and hangers. Cherokee Rock Village is not for profit. All of the money taken in at the gate goes back into the park, its staff, etc. We are working very hard to keep the park clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. If you're visiting Sand Rock, stop by the cabin at the entrance and speak with the park manager about any concerns you have and we will do our best to address the issue and solve it. As an SCC member and climber, I want to make sure we are doing what we can to make the climbing experience at Sand Rock a great one! May 28, 2016
James Lee
Mobile, AL
James Lee   Mobile, AL
My daughter and visited here for the first time last spring and will be going back this fall. This place is a nice place. If you don't know, the county took it over and turned it into a gated park. The fee is small, and for that, you get a secure safe location to camp and climb. They have a bath house, large pavilion, and a multitude of camping spots. The locals take pride in the place and keep it clean. You can camp on the edge of the ridge with great views of Lake Weiss and western GA. There is some sketchy hardware on the rock, but my impression is, now that it is a destination for professional guide services, it is getting some upgrades and new routes. I saw plenty of shiny new bolts. Aug 30, 2017
Hey guys I have been to Sand Rock multiple times and for some reason I cannot find that entrance/exit trail that the Dixie Craggers book states comes down right at Muffins are burning? Basically trying to find Midget Digits without having to go all the way around Sun Wall. Oct 16, 2018

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