Elevation: 320 ft
GPS: 43.114, -71.177 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 698,088 total · 4,580/month
Shared By: lee hansche on Mar 10, 2007 with improvements by John Sirois and 1 other
Admins: BDalhaus, Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

Overview

Located in Nottingham, NH, Pawtuckaway State Park is the southernmost of the major climbing destinations in the state. Hundreds of glacial erratic boulders line the forests while the assorted and scattered crags stay mostly out of sight. The three small mountains of Pawtuckaway are the remains of a ring dike formed by an extinct volcano and the rock is a smooth but fully textured granite of a different quality than the climbing elsewhere in this so-called Granite State. While the park is known primarily for its bouldering, which happens to be some of the best in the country, crack climbs of exceptional quality abound on the numerous crags alongside slabs and difficult face climbs. Between boulder problems and routes there are nearly a thousand climbs to be enjoyed, put up over the years by the likes of Dave Graham, Tim Kemple, Rio Rose, Brett Meyers, John Sirois, Dean Potter, Charlie Bentley, and dedicated crews from UNH. In short, there’s plenty here for everyone. Grab a pad or a rack and come hone your skills before you unleash them on the world, or for those of you who aren't local this is a great place to take a road trip to. As with all New Hampshire crags, it is best in Autumn but fun always.

Bouldering: There are nearly two dozen separate bouldering areas within the park of varying quality. At best, the high quality rock offers up ranges of styles and difficulties from V0 to V13. Between cracks, aretes, faces, slopers, crimps, highballs, and lowballs, every style is covered. The bouldering here is unmatched in New Hampshire and the sometimes coarse, sometimes fine grained granite will quickly wear through your skin but you won't want to stop. The most popular spots are Boulder Natural, the Round Pond Boulders, and Blair Woods, although by no means is that the extent of the bouldering. Hidden gems are scattered throughout the park, most of which didn't make it into the guidebook. Check out the New England climbing documentary Uncommon Ground for a little intro to what you will be climbing on in this magical forest of rocks.
Seth having his heel pop.

Trad and Top Roping: The Lower Slabs, Upper Cliff, Devils Den and more offer great trad climbing, although you wouldn't know it on a busy day 'cause all you can see are top ropes. The Upper Cliff and Lower Slabs are very popular for summer camps and family top roping outings, so venture out to one of the other crags if things are taken. A 5-10 minute walk will get you to either the Lower Cliff, the Dome, or the Ridgeline/Small Walls. The trad climbing here is short but sweet, 50 feet on average, though Devil's Den offers longer pitches as well as a few multipitch climbs (and fewer crowds). Crack Master Dean Potter learned much of his crack climbing skill jamming the perfect cracks of P-way and so could you.

Sport Climbing: There are a few bolted sport routes in Devil's Den, the Microwave Area, and at the Yellow Dog Wall with difficulties ranging from 5.6 to 5.13. The age and quality of the bolts are questionable, some are brand new, some are decades old, so be wary.

Getting There

Getting to the park is easy...Take exit 5 off of Rt 101 in Raymond NH, then follow signs, however, none of the climbing areas are accessed via the State Park entrance.

To reach Blair Woods or the Horse Farm Parking Area, continue on 156 and take a left onto Deerfield Rd.
For Blair, turn left at the boat launch sign and continue to the parking lot.
For the Horse Farm, continue past the boat ramp and turn left on to Round Pond Road (a short dirt road) to a parking area. If the parking area is full, park on the side of the paved road or risk being towed. From the parking area walk down the dirt road for a little under a mile until you reach round pond. to your left will be round pond bouldering area. To your right is Lake Side Crag and the Hillside Boulders, Walk beyond the hillside to get to upper cliff and lower slabs as well as Boulder Natural etc. There are a few signs to help with getting to the cliffs at this point.

To reach Reservation Rd, from Raymond take Rt 27 to Rt 107. Turn right on to Reservation Rd. Reservation road will turn to dirt. Continue down a curving hill and down more flat road. The most popular areas (boulder natural, round pond, upper cliffs and lower slabs etc.) are accessed by Turning left and driving through an orange gate (Gate #5). Follow the rough road for a few miles bearing left at one point and after a fairly steep often very rough hill look for parking. then hike an obvious trail (on the left) for a few minutes to get to Boulder Natural, continue past to get to all other areas.
You may also drive right up to round pond and park there which is nice for Round pond boulders and Lakeside crag area.

Reservation Rd is closed in winter.

Bug Warning

The black flies and mosquitoes of Pawtuckaway don't mess around. They are out for blood and they will come after you like you killed their mother (and you may have on another trip.) Bring bug dope, long sleeves, pants, hats, hoods, and a shotgun to fend them off if you come in the spring or early summer. Fall is the time to be here, and by the time the kids are back in school the crowds at the popular crags and the bugs have gone away and the park is yours.

State Park & Camping Information

The State Park has a nice family style campground and even has a few camp sites with boulders on them. (Check out site #4.)

Camping is prohibited anywhere else in the park.

Pawtuckaway State Park Website
Pawtuckaway State Park Map (PDF)
Pawtuckaway Campground;contractCode=NH&parkId=270061
Pine Acres Campground
Saddleback Campground

832 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Pawtuckaway

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0+ 4+
 113
Cream
Boulder
V1 5
 119
Bolt On Top
Boulder
V1+ 5
 78
Essentials
Boulder
V2 5+
 122
E-Z Cheese
Boulder
V2 5+
 86
The Whip
Boulder
V2+ 5+
 106
Cause for Commotion
Boulder
V3 6A
 225
Hobbit Hole
Boulder
V3 6A
 97
Bring the Ruckus
Boulder
V4 6B
 155
Overlooked
Boulder
V4 6B
 65
Vintage
Boulder
V6 7A
 97
Ride the Lightning
Boulder
V6 7A
 78
Terrorist
Boulder
V6 7A
 86
Atlas
Boulder
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 88
Pete's Tree
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 74
The Roof
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Cream Round Pond
 113
V0+ 4+ Boulder
Bolt On Top Boulder Natural > Buttermilk Boulder
 119
V1 5 Boulder
Essentials Boulder Natural > Marsh Boulders
 78
V1+ 5 Boulder
E-Z Cheese Boulder Natural > Streambed Boulders
 122
V2 5+ Boulder
The Whip Round Pond
 86
V2 5+ Boulder
Cause for Commotion Round Pond
 106
V2+ 5+ Boulder
Hobbit Hole Boulder Natural > Zoo
 225
V3 6A Boulder
Bring the Ruckus Round Pond
 97
V3 6A Boulder
Overlooked Trailside Boulders
 155
V4 6B Boulder
Vintage Boulder Natural > Storm Boulders
 65
V4 6B Boulder
Ride the Lightning Boulder Natural > Storm Boulders
 97
V6 7A Boulder
Terrorist Boulder Natural > Storm Boulders
 78
V6 7A Boulder
Atlas Round Pond
 86
V6 7A Boulder
Pete's Tree Lower Slabs
 88
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, TR
The Roof Upper Cliff
 74
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
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