Elevation: 3,709 ft
GPS: 36.612, -81.491 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 498,961 total · 3,807/month
Shared By: Aaron Parlier on Jul 1, 2009 with improvements by Dan Brayack
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Shawn Heath, Jake Jones
Access Issue: COVID 19 UPDATE: PLEASE FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF THE ACCESS FUND, AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB, STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS, AND OTHERS BY NOT COMING TO THE GHSP DURING THIS HEALTH CRISIS Details

Description

  • Get the GHSP Bouldering Guidebook today! 160 full color pages of awesomeness, and over 360 select park problems. Incredible photography from Dan Brayack and concise directions and descriptions to GHSP's best blocks:  brayackmedia.com

    *The AVP Area is now secured and open to public access! Thanks to the hard work and dedication from the Central Appalachia Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund the AVP Boulders will have permanent and lasting protection and open access for climbing and recreation. Thanks so very much to everyone who donated and helped make this happen! Follow the link Here for information and background on the successful land acquisition of the AVP Area.

    *For park news, MORE VIDEOS, a live weather webcam, grade & guidebook updates, and much more please check out the GHSP Bouldering Website at graysonhighlandsbouldering.…

    *New trails! The Contact Station Area now has an official state park maintained bouldering trail (the only of its kind in VA, possibly in the southeast) called the Split Rock Trail, which connects the Contact and Alchemy Boulders together. A Huge thanks to the Access Fund and all the volunteers who came out to the 2013 ghsp trail days event to help make it happen! The Middle & Right Boneyard also have finished black blazed marker posts and timberline trails to follow past nearly every major boulder in those fields. Read more about it on the Boneyard page and Contact Station page here on MountainProject.

    *The park now carries FOUR Misty Mountain Highlander crashpads for day rentals! Rent the whole GHSP bouldering package which is the Highlander pad, a full Misty chalk bag, and a GHSP brush for $5 a day. Also the park has climbing chalk for and new Misty Mountain chalkbags for sale! Be sure to check out the GHSP Bouldering T-shirts for sale through VA State Parks in the park office too!

    Weather Webcam! Be sure to take a close look at the Friends Of GHSP webcam that is stationed at the park office (1min walk from the Contact Station Area) for real time weather footage and a dependable and accurate current and extended weather forecast:
    http://graysonfriends.org/pages/ww.html

    GHSP Beta:

    Grayson Highlands State Park is the crown jewel of bouldering in the state of VA, and arguably the best summer bouldering in the southeast. Grayson Highlands State Park (GHSP) is best known however, for being the best of the best for all things scenic, hiking related, and basically for every facet of outdoor mountainous recreation in the state of Virginia. As a state park, GHSP is home to 4,822 acres of pristine recreational opportunities and mountain solitude. GHSP is attached to the wonderful, 200,000 acre Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. You have plenty of wilderness to experience!

    There are over 1000 listed boulder problems ranging from easygoing to advanced (VB-V12/13). The rock type found here is Rhyolite and a unique, varying conglomerate or metasandstone (elsewhere in the park). Rhyolite is a volcanic rock derived from melted continental crust that is a darker color, and if you look close, you will find it is often polka dotted with bright pink inclusions which are phenocrysts of feldspar. The metamorphic sandstone elsewhere in the park is a sharp geometric stone, so you can be sure to find ultra steep, powerful faces on many of the boulders, blades, and fins protruding from the ground. On them will be crimpy rails, flakes, edges, pinches, and picturesque angular features.

    GHSP's boulder fields have the highest altitudes in the southeast with the majority of the bouldering found in the 4,500' - 4,900' range and the Highlands Area reaching past 5,000' (the lookout at Grandmother Mountain in Boone is 4063').

    The main boulder fields in GHSP are the Listening Rock Trail Loop (LRT), the Boneyard areas, and the Highlands Bouldering Area. For many visitors, the LRT has the best bouldering in the park. It has hundreds of problems, amazing lines, a very short approach, and the trail meanders through most of the main boulders. The Highlands Area is without a doubt the poster child of the park and is the most beautiful bouldering area in VA (if not the southeast). Vast landscape settings with near endless views, a cool breeze in the warm months, and little wild ponies running around.

    The smaller areas easily hold some of the very best GHSP has to offer. The Contact Station Area is only a minute walk after you park at the Park Office just as you drive past the pay booth (if you look left as you drive up to pay you can see the True Grit Boulder). It has "True Grit" which is one of the most sought after V5s in the park, and many other amazing lines that you shouldn't miss. The Picnic Area has the massive Olympus Boulder which is worth the drive down just to see, and the Rock House Boulder. Both are literally seconds away from where you park.

    For food, there are only a few places to eat but my personal recommendation is The Grayson Highlands General Store with awesome food and beer options, and further down the road is "The Log House" with burgers and fries. You can also drive a few minutes more toward Marion to the Fox Creek General Store for delicious sandwiches or the daily special and beer. If you're looking for a warm mom & pop country kitchen, or general store type of place than these locations wont disappoint. If you time it right during the summer on Friday and Saturday nights the Log House sometime has live bluegrass music on the back deck. All the store/restaurants offer small selections of groceries so you can pick up some supplies if you're camping.

    Grayson has great trails to hike, horseback riding, beautiful waterfalls, and cool mountain streams to fly fish, breathtaking views, wild ponies, great camping, live music festivals, and relaxing nearby local cabins to rent. The Appalachian Trail also runs through the park. There is also a great gift shop and many historical sites and cabins within the park, so if it does rain you out, you will still have things to do and see.

    *Grades are all fluid (as they should be in any area) and depend on YOU giving feedback to gain a consensus. Let me know of any discrepancies and please vote to adjust the grades on the problems accordingly...  Keep in mind that some problems in GHSP have seen only one or two ascents and the person who FAd that line may think it is way harder/easier than you do. Consensus is needed, so feel free to post or vote your opinion to help GHSP have the most accurate grades possible.

    -Here is an amazing film shot by Andrew Kornylak showing a few of GHSP's finest lines and several proud ones from the Boone area (which is ~an hour from GHSP). If this one doesn't get you psyched nothing will.
    http://vimeo.com/48652054

    -This is a fantastic 2011 Sampler filmed by Daniel Caudill showcasing a handful of fun GHSP moderates. Awesome work Daniel!
    http://vimeo.com/36735154

    -a great documentary about GHSP bouldering that Daniel Caudill filmed over 2010/2011. Enjoy!
    http://www.vimeo.com/23595846Bold Text

    Check out the new "Select Boulders of GHSP" print by Aaron Parlier:
    over 200 select boulder problems, all park trails & mileage (including the AT), park buildings and cabins, and much much more! Pick one up at graysonhighlandsbouldering.… GraysonHighlandsBouldering.com Graysonhighlandsbouldering.com
    Rakkup's GHSP Bouldering Guidebook App
    Views from GHSP
    "Pastafarian"(V9/10)

Getting There

The park is on U.S. 58 midway between Independence and Damascus and is reached from I-81 at Exit 45 in Marion; turn south on Route 16 and travel 33 miles to US 58 in the community of Volney. Turn right onto US 58. Travel eight miles to the park's entrance.

From I-77, take Hillsville Exit 14 to U.S. 58. Travel west on U.S. 58, 40 miles to Volney. Turn left to stay on U.S. 58 and go eight miles to the park entrance.

Drive Time : Northern Va., 6.5 hours; Richmond, 5.5 hours; Tidewater, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, 7.5 hours; Roanoke, 2.5 hours; Winston-Salem, 2 hours; Charlotte, 3 hours; Raleigh, 4 hours

1,128 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Grayson Highlands State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0-1 4+
 52
Ranger Rick
Boulder
V1 5
 27
Cherokee Dihedral
Boulder
V2 5+
 31
Highland Highball
Boulder
V3 6A
 62
Periscope
Boulder
V3 6A
 38
Indian Outlaw
Boulder
V3 6A
 31
The Hive
Boulder
V3 6A
 4
Moonlight Sonata
Boulder
V4 6B
 9
Billy Budd
Boulder
V4 6B
 55
Ranger Rick (Sit)
Boulder
V4 6B
 15
Crazy Horse
Boulder
V5 6C
 47
True Grit
Boulder
V5 6C
 33
Front Man
Boulder
V6 7A
 16
Horizon Line
Boulder
V6 7A
 16
Thews
Boulder
V7 7A+
 16
Flying Spaghetti Monster
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Ranger Rick Contact Station… > Contact Station… > Ranger Rick Boulder
 52
V0-1 4+ Boulder
Cherokee Dihedral Picnic Area > Picnic Area Bou… > Rock House Boulder
 27
V1 5 Boulder
Highland Highball Highlands > Horizon Area > Highland Highball
 31
V2 5+ Boulder
Periscope Contact Station… > Contact Station… > Periscope Boulder
 62
V3 6A Boulder
Indian Outlaw Picnic Area > Picnic Area Bou… > Rock House Boulder
 38
V3 6A Boulder
The Hive Listening Rock… > 1. Overlook Area > Hive Boulder
 31
V3 6A Boulder
Moonlight Sonata Listening Rock… > … > Moonlight > Moonlight Left
 4
V3 6A Boulder
Billy Budd Boneyard Area > Right Boneyard > Belgrano Blade
 9
V4 6B Boulder
Ranger Rick (Sit) Contact Station… > Contact Station… > Ranger Rick Boulder
 55
V4 6B Boulder
Crazy Horse Picnic Area > Picnic Area Bou… > Rock House Boulder
 15
V4 6B Boulder
True Grit Contact Station… > Contact Station… > True Grit Boulder
 47
V5 6C Boulder
Front Man Boneyard Area > A.V.P. Boulders > A.V.P. Boulder
 33
V5 6C Boulder
Horizon Line Highlands > Horizon Area > Horizon Boulder
 16
V6 7A Boulder
Thews Boneyard Area > Middle Boneyard > Thews Boulder
 16
V6 7A Boulder
Flying Spaghetti Monster Picnic Area > Picnic Area Bou… > Olympus Boulder
 16
V7 7A+ Boulder
More Classic Climbs in Grayson Highlands State Park »

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