Elevation: 2,489 ft
GPS: 38.518, -79.04 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 7,345 total · 66/month
Shared By: Ronin Gray on Dec 2, 2009 with updates from J.F
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Shawn Heath, Jake Jones
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Private property all along the old access road. Access from Rocky Run ATV trail is all on NF land. Details


A set of incredible boulders on top of a scenic knob just off Rte 33 W, about 15 miles W of Harrisonburg in Rawley Springs. Some hunter and ATV traffic, seasonally, but a beauty location especially in the late summer and fall.

Getting There

Take Rte 33W from Harrisonburg to Rawley Springs. Wind through the S curve above the river. Park as for Blue Hole and walk west along Route 33. About 50 yds before the clearing and home on the north side of the road, climb the bank and cut through the forest to intersect an old game and hunters trail heading right. This will bring you out past the Dyno Cave, Rook Towers, and the Stigmata cracks to reach the Satellite Ranch.

According to the Dr. Topo guide, the boulders are divided into two main groups: the 2nd Mountain Proper Boulders and the Ridge Boulders. During the summer the Ridge Boulders are harder to find through the thick canopy, though only a few minutes further up the fire road on the right.

Second Mountain Boulders

Take Route 33 West out of town to Rawley Springs, passing the little store and rounding a large curve to pass Second Mountain Road.

Turn right on Rocky Run Road, several hundred yards past Second Mountain Road, and follow this to the end, a parking loop. The trail to Second Mountain begins at the back of the loop and soon climbs onto the ridge to the right or east.

Hiking from Rocky Run parking loop to the intersection with the fire road takes 30 minutes, with an additional 15 minute hike up the fire road to reach the Satellite Boulder.

The boulders are divided into two main groups: the 2nd Mountain Proper Boulders and the Ridge Boulders. During the summer the Ridge Boulders are harder to find through the thick canopy. They are only a few minutes further up the fire road on the right.

17 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Second Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1 5
Gettin the Groove
V3 6A
Big Gulp?
V7 7A+
The Bird
V7+ 7A+
Worm World
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Gettin the Groove
V1 5 Boulder
Big Gulp?
V3 6A Boulder
The Bird
V7 7A+ Boulder
Worm World
V7+ 7A+ Boulder
More Classic Climbs in Second Mountain »

Sun & Shade

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Prime Climbing Season
www.drtopo.com/submitted/2nd_mtn.pdf Jul 20, 2011
The Dr. Topo guide is good there have been twenty or so good problems done in the area since it was put out, but there are still a lot of projects to go. If anybody is in the area and wants to get out there let me know. Mar 8, 2012
Eric D
Eric D   Gnarnia
The Dr. Topo link is broken. If anyone wants a copy of that guide message me here. Better yet, if someone has a place to upload it to, that would work best. Feb 16, 2016
Dr. Topo rearranged their website, the topo is now available at drtopo.com/north-america/un… Mar 29, 2016
Hiking from the Rocky Run parking loop to the fire road takes about 30 minutes. The boulders are an additional 10-15 minutes up the fire road. Jun 24, 2017
Ahh, sand-bagged mountain. I swung by for a stroll down memory lane. Looks like the new access has reduced traffic considerably. The area is extremely overgrown past the area from Satellite to the Bird. The old trail is pretty difficult to follow, though I imagine in winter it would be more straightforward. If you go check it out you may need hedge trimmers to MINIMALLY clear vegetation. Bring a stiff brush too. On a crisp day, second is top-notch climbing. Sep 24, 2017
Is this area still legally accessible? I went to check it out recently and was met with a lot of "no tresspassing/ violators will be prosecuted" signs. I tried the approach advised here and the one in the old dr topo guide.

This includes for the rocky run parking lot detailed here.

Or maybe I am missing something? Oct 21, 2017
Ronin Gray
Smoke Hole Canyon
Ronin Gray   Smoke Hole Canyon
The Rocky Run and Second Mountain Road approaches are somehow no longer public access to public lands.

The North River Ranger District advises that instead of using a direct and easy approach on a road created and maintained by decades of tax dollars, you instead drive out Route 612/and then take 4WD Long Run Road to the point where you can leave your parked vehicle in the backcountry and hike about five miles on an overgrown fire road to reach the boulders.

I guess you can park at Blue Hole and hike up to Slab City and from there to the top. Wear bright orange. Nov 9, 2018