Elevation: 3,841 ft
GPS: 35.259, -82.8 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 36,803 total · 288/month
Shared By: Darren B. on Mar 25, 2010
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry
Access Issue: Potentially Closed Due to COVID-19 - Please check for closures before going and DO NOT TRESPASS! / 2020 Raptor Closures on the Nantahala-Pisgah LIFTED Details


Stone Depot is the ugly step-child of Cedar Rock, due in part to the length of the hike and the limited number of climbs. Located behind Cedar Rock, Stone Depot offers less than a dozen moderate climbs ranging from 5.5 to 5.8 or so, and most are two pitches to get to the top.

Since Cedar Rock provides more climbs of a more difficult rating, most people will find themselves alone at Stone Depot, even on a mild weekend afternoon. This, combined with the chance to do relatively simple and well protected sport/trad multi pitch climbs without fear of holding up other climbers, makes Stone a nice destination on an otherwise busy day.

Stone faces northwest, giving it a lovely warmth on a cool early spring day, but it will most likely become quite hot during the summer months. Like much of the surrounding climbs, Stone was still experiencing significant runoff, even four or five days after a rain, but dry climbs are still available.

Routes were well bolted, but many beginner climbers will want to take advantage of the occasional placement to supplement the protection from bolt to bolt. Rappel rings/belay stations are available on most routes and are typically visible from the bottom of the routes. Rappel down from routes or take the long walk off if you'd like.

Make sure you take the time to enjoy the view of Looking Glass during your climb!

Getting There

Follow the guidebooks to Cedar Rock. Hike off to the left of the road, pass the gate and walk on the forest service road. Hike as if going to Cedar. You will get to Butter Gap after a mile or so of road hiking. Butter Gap is clearly marked.

There are 6 trails that intersect here. There is a signed forest service trail going downhill to your left. Don't go there, it ends up at the Fish Hatchery. The next trail going clockwise is pretty much directly across the clearing and goes uphill. Take this one. It can be difficult to see due to the amount of debris that occasionally obscures the trail. It's the smallest trail leading out of this clearing, and it's the only way going directly uphill.

The next trail (in a clockwise direction) is a level road- it goes to Cedar, which is visible right in front of you. The others are to your right and go lots of various places.

Take the proper trail for about half a mile until it starts getting steeper and rockier. You will eventually hit a rock step or slab about thirty feet long. It's not much more than a 5.1 or .2, but if you have young climbers, you will need to step carefully (especially coming back down!).

Above this is a nice trail. Head to the right and follow this trail on around back to the left. After about 5 or 10 minutes of walking, the trail will fork. Take the left fork. The right fork goes to the top of a beautiful stone slab that overlooks Cedar Rock. The left takes you up to Stone Depot after about ten more minutes of hiking.

From where the trail hits the cliff line, most of the routes are to the left. The farther left you go, the more routes you will find. If you go to the right at the cliff line, you will find a trail that eventually takes you all the way to the top of Stone Depot.

All in all, this hike is about 45-60 minutes of continuous hiking to the cliff.

9 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Stone Depot

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