Elevation: 1,653 ft
GPS: 34.18, -85.817 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 651,245 total · 3,484/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Jan 5, 2007 · Updates
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 $7 per car per day. Camping is $18 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.

213 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
 143
Knob Wall
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 250
That Eight (aka Kennel Club)
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 97
Captain Ron
Sport
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 250
My Dog Has Fleas
Sport
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 78
Walking the Dog
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 104
Comfortably Numb
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 241
Oyster
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 105
Six Toes
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 96
Too Pumped Chump
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 292
Misty
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 127
Cinco de Mayo
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 103
Pigs in Zen (Tuesday's Gone)
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 96
Rabies
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
 73
Price is Right
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 138
Dreamscape
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Knob Wall Sun Wall
 143
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
That Eight (aka Kennel Club) Holiday Block
 250
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Captain Ron New Wall (AKA Kurt Ru…
 97
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
My Dog Has Fleas Holiday Block
 250
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Walking the Dog Holiday Block
 78
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad
Comfortably Numb Pinnacle
 104
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Oyster Holiday Block
 241
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Six Toes Jaws Block/W Side Rock
 105
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Too Pumped Chump Flintstone
 96
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Misty Sun Wall
 292
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Cinco de Mayo Holiday Block
 127
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Pigs in Zen (Tuesday's Gone) Holiday Block
 103
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Rabies Holiday Block
 96
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Price is Right Hole
 73
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13 Sport
Dreamscape Sun Wall
 138
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Sand Rock »

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