Elevation: 1,653 ft
GPS: 34.18, -85.817 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 441,043 total · 2,686/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Jan 5, 2007 with improvements by Nathan Devan
Admins: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough

Description

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 $6 per car per day. Camping is $15 per night and 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.

202 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
 110
Knob Wall
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 199
That Eight (aka Kennel Club)
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 69
Captain Ron
Sport
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 211
My Dog Has Fleas
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 86
Comfortably Numb
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 187
Oyster
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 85
Six Toes
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 76
Too Pumped Chump
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 209
Misty
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 65
Thin in the Middle
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 100
Cinco de Mayo
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 83
Pigs in Zen (Tuesday's Gone)
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 73
Rabies
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
 59
Price is Right
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 102
Dreamscape
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Knob Wall Sun Wall
 110
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
That Eight (aka Kennel Club) Holiday Block
 199
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Captain Ron New Wall (AKA Kurt Ru…
 69
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
My Dog Has Fleas Holiday Block
 211
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Comfortably Numb Pinnacle
 86
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Oyster Holiday Block
 187
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Six Toes Jaws Block/W Side Rock
 85
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Too Pumped Chump Flintstone
 76
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Misty Sun Wall
 209
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Thin in the Middle Jaws Block/W Side Rock
 65
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Cinco de Mayo Holiday Block
 100
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Pigs in Zen (Tuesday's Gone) Holiday Block
 83
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Rabies Holiday Block
 73
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Price is Right Hole
 59
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13 Sport
Dreamscape Sun Wall
 102
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Sand Rock »

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