Elevation: 862 ft
GPS: 35.925, -83.962 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 4,470 total · 41/month
Shared By: T. Faust on May 18, 2010
Admins: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Closed (Private Property) Details


Cherokee Bluff is currently closed to climbing. This page will be updated if anything changes.


This area has a handful of sport routes located a short distance from downtown Knoxville. Half of the routes are accessed from a trail midway up the bluff and the other half are accessed by rappelling down from the trail. The cliff is right next to (and in) Ft. Loudon Lake. Sunny and exposed. And usually not many climbers. A great place for a little afternoon climbing if you're tired of the gym.

Getting There

Take Alcoa Highway (129 South) out of downtown Knoxville. Turn right onto Montlake Dr. after 2-4 miles. Take the first right onto Craighead, bear left at the fork to a dead end. There will be a short trail to your right. Take to get to the bluff.

2 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Cherokee Bluff (CLOSED TO CLIMBING) Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


- No Photos -
Jonathan Petsch
Chattanooga, TN
Jonathan Petsch   Chattanooga, TN
Just for your information, this area has been closed to climbing. Aug 29, 2010
Andrew R.
Linden, VA
Andrew R.   Linden, VA
Anyone know why this place was closed? Was it by the people who own the big ass house on the hill or by the city??? Any work on getting it open ever again? Dec 20, 2010
Reece Henson
Knoxville, TN
Reece Henson   Knoxville, TN
apparently someone (not a climber) tried to jump off the top so the owners saw it as a liability. I have talked to the access fund about opening it back up but haven't really gotten far. Feb 3, 2011
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
Thank you for your efforts, Reece. Jul 2, 2013
Brad Caldwell
Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Brad Caldwell   Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Don't forget Khowe765 that this property is private property and has, as you mentioned, No Trespassing signs on it...trying to find another way to climb this area is still trespassing. For general future access sake in this area, please don't trespass, and if you do, please don't advertise it across the internet. Cherokee Bluffs is a small fish in a big pond and access problems definitely don't need to originate from here. Sep 26, 2013
kyle howe
Knoxville, TN
kyle howe   Knoxville, TN
ETCC is currently working on projects to re-open Cherokee Bluffs, possibly partnering with the Legacy Parks Foundation. The landowner wants to preserve the land, but is not willing to let climbers climb there for liability reasons.

In the meantime, DO NOT climb here, as climbing could jeopardize any negotiations that may occur in the future. Feb 11, 2014
I just saw a few climbers on Cherokee Bluff while running at a park across the river. Not sure if it's open or they were trespassing. Anyone got any updates? I stare at those cliffs all the time, I'd be super amped if they had been opened back up! Apr 23, 2014
Derrick Peppers
Terrebonne, OR
Derrick Peppers   Terrebonne, OR
Awe. This is sad that Cherokee bluff is closed. My first climbing experiences were here in 2002. I made my first climbing friends and we’re shown the ropes. People were so kind to teach me how to be safe. I now work as a climbing guide with the AMGA in Smith Rock Oregon. I have learned trad, sport, bouldering, big wall, but never ice. I owe my growth as a climber to those people in Knoxville who gave there time and energy to show some random kid how to do things. It’s because of those people that I have had a chance to travel as a climber, live as a dirtbag. Be scared to death, and come out the other side a better person because of it. Thx Knoxville. Thx Cherokee bluffs. Nov 17, 2018