Elevation: 1,965 ft
GPS: 37.38, -80.09 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 48,757 total · 327/month
Shared By: Jeffrey Gardner on Feb 22, 2007
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Shawn Heath, Jake Jones


Mcafee's Knob is one of Virginia's premiere bouldering areas. The knob is also one of the most breathtaking hiking destinations in Virginia and holds the the reputation as having the most photographed point on the Appalachian Trail (which you use to get to the bouldering). The climbing at M-Knob is comprised of free standing and channeled sandstone blocks and labyrinths. Hold types vary from crimps to slopers, and from kind to aggressive. The developed bouldering at M-Knob is all on quality stone and you likely wont find choss unless you go looking for it.

The hike to the top can be lengthy, being 3.5 miles long and taking an hour and a half, but the pay off is substantial. the best time to climb at The Knob is in the cooler months (especially the late fall). The summer can be quite hot and buggy, but still enjoyable if you time it right.

-check this cool video/photo compilation out to get you stoked on some Knob bouldering: facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3…;h=6a88fHe5FHWwmDthYU6m6s_b9wQ

Getting There

From I-81 take exit for Rt. 311 just south of Roanoke. Follow 311 S and park at the top of Catawba mountain, where the AT crosses the road. There is a large gravel lot on the left.

For roadside and approach boulders cross 311 at the southern most corner of the gravel lot and walk up fire road until it joins with the AT at approx 2.5 miles. You will see the roadside boulders immediately on the right as you start up the fire road. You can also walk the AT from the northermost corner of the gravel lot to the summit boulders. Please refer to guidebook on Dr. Topo for more details concerning the problems.

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Classic Climbing Routes at McAfee's Knob

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


dude...this is sweetness...thanks for your work on this area!
keep rockin'! Mar 30, 2011
Aaron Parlier
Boone, NC
Aaron Parlier   Boone, NC  
slowly adding all the goods! Mar 30, 2011
Atkins, VA
Smirdok   Atkins, VA
I can never emphasize enough just how truly amazing this place is. Thanks again Aaron for letting me know this page exists... Apr 6, 2011
Aaron Parlier
Boone, NC
Aaron Parlier   Boone, NC  
No prob Curt, its pretty spectacular! Even though we barely missed the thunderstorm of the century on the way out... Apr 6, 2011
Aaron Parlier
Boone, NC
Aaron Parlier   Boone, NC  
Thanks for the heads up Travis! sounds horrible... hopefully that will soon pass. Apr 11, 2011
Jay Shultis
Oneonta, NY
Jay Shultis   Oneonta, NY  
We tried to climb on Saturday the 23rd and the gnats or whatever they are were pretty horrible at the top... really it was the wetness that made us quit because evrything is seeping, but we managed to get on a couple things. The prime season has ended pretty early it looks... wet spring now bugs, hopefully fall will be better for you guys! Apr 26, 2011
Aaron Parlier
Boone, NC
Aaron Parlier   Boone, NC  
Thanks for all of the updates and info Jay. Keep em coming!

You should really try to make it out to GHSP this summer. Perfect camping, temps, and features. There are also plenty of attraction and trails to keep anyone occupied whether they climb or not. Apr 27, 2011
Michael Albanese
Lafayette, Co
Michael Albanese   Lafayette, Co
The link to the guidebook isn't working for me, here's the url if anyone else is having the same problem.

drtopo.com/submitted/mcafee… Feb 19, 2012
Aaron Parlier
Boone, NC
Aaron Parlier   Boone, NC  
Thanks Michael! Feb 19, 2012
I'm going to be going here on a massive trip I'm taking in a few weeks. I noticed the drtopo link didn't work so here's an update for anybody else who needs to get excited about this awesome area! drtopo.com/north-america/un… Aug 30, 2015
Any one have camping beta for this area, considering taking a stop through here for some bouldering on a road trip to PA from Chattanooga. Jun 29, 2016