Elevation: 2,174 ft
GPS: 35.055, -82.699 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 26,920 total · 427/month
Shared By: TomCaldwell on Dec 16, 2013
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Access Issue: Raptor Closures Details


South Carolina may not have many cliffs, but this one should not be missed. Many regard the face climbing here to be the best of the granite domes in the Southeast. The dense grain lends itself to amazing crimps, crystals, and knobs, with the occasional watergroove or crack thrown in. True to the Southern style, expect wild and exciting climbs in an secluded setting.

Most of the cliff faces SE-S. Getting an early start is best to maximize the sun exposure. Avoid this cliff in the warmer months because there is no tree coverage. Don't expect to see any other parties out there. Those willing to take on the adventure should be prepared to self-rescue. Due to the nature of the hike and terrain, help is far away. A fair warning to those not accustomed to the SE granite, the climbing that is 2-3 grades below the routes rating are often R or even X rated. While there are some easier climbs on the face, don't expect any clip-ups.

Getting There

Thank you to the Carolina Climbers Coalition for expanding access! Climbing is allowed on the South Faces between August 15th and February 1st. This is an extra month and a half of climbing access. In addition to the longer season, we no longer have to wait until the park office opens to register to climb. We can now head straight to the White Oaks campground when the park opens and register at the climbers kiosk (check website for times, typically 7am).

Drive through the East Gate and pay the park fee ($5/person). Drive straight until you see a sign on the right for White Oaks, turn right here. Just before the main White Oaks area, turn left at road towards cabin 15 and 16 and park just before the gate on the right. Just before the gate on the road towards the cabins, turn right onto a trail that leads into the woods (see image below). Once you are registered at the kiosk, turn left and begin the hike. The trail will head down hill then immediately up. Once the trail starts heading up, it turns into a fire break. Follow the fire break (blue blaze pink flagging) up hill until it makes a hairpin turn left after 5 minutes of hiking, keep going straight into the woods. Follow this trail as it ascends to the base of the cliff. You will reach a saddle just before the hiking becomes slightly technical. Scramble over two easy slabs until you reach a large boulder. Walk left around the boulder and ascend a steep gulley behind it. After the gulley you will be on mossy slabs. Follow pink flagging until you reach the base of the Watergroove Wall. Turn left and continue along the base for 5-10 minutes to reach the base of the Main Wall. This should take between 40-75 minutes depending on fitness level. Expect a sustained uphill ascent.

Note: Since the fire of 2016, much of the trail near the base of the cliff is gone. The Carolina Climbers are working on making the new approach easy and more visible. Please consider becoming a member of the CCC to continue improving access in areas we can all enjoy.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Table Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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george wilkey
travelers rest sc
george wilkey   travelers rest sc
  • UPDATE* there's been a slight change in the access. you can still park at white oak parking area but when you walk down the road toward cabin 16 you will find the road gated. there is a new trail that turns right off the road about ten feet before the gate. follow this trail a couple hundred yards until it connects with the old trail at the wooden fence.

you can also take a trail directly out of white oak parking area that links with the new trail.

you can also park at a pullout on the right side of the road to cabin 16 just before the gate. room here for 3-4 cars and I was told by a ranger we could park here. Dec 30, 2013
Brad Caldwell
Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Brad Caldwell   Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Thanks for mentioning the trail reroute...we did that a couple of years ago on the Adopt A Crag trail day because they don't want people walking past the cabins. The other big accomplishment for that trail day was the killer set of rock stairs in the steepest section of the approach. Dec 30, 2013
originally WNC, now Broomfield
nbrown   originally WNC, now Broomfield
Thanks for adding this section Tom. This is one bada$$ piece o rock. Jan 12, 2014
Clemson, S.C.
TomCaldwell   Clemson, S.C.
Thanks for the trail head update. Jan 16, 2014
I was wondering when someone would post this on MP! One thing that might be worth mentioning in future posts and what not, I found out that if you sneak around to the north west side of TR, over looking the reservoir and get caught on watershed property, they'll arrest you for terrorism. The ranger said since it was a public water consumption facility, they consider anyone back there a threat. But man, it would be great to get some time on that part of the rock, eh? Good work on the post, especially with keeping conservation of the routes and sustainability in mind. Take care, stay safe! Jan 20, 2014
I'm heading down to table rock this weekend and I am haveing a hard time finding camping thats not a hour drive from the climbing. anyone have any advise of where to camp? May 9, 2017
Clemson, S.C.
TomCaldwell   Clemson, S.C.
Justin, climbing at Table Rock, SC isn't open right now. Even if it was, it would be awful hot. There is primitive camping at the Table Rock HQ, but I believe this is by reservation. The closest open climbing would be Big Rock, but again too hot. I would suggest driving one state north. In NC, any USFS land camping is allowed 50 feet from a trail or a 100 feet from the road. May 10, 2017
The souf east
.   The souf east
Good God, this place makes the grades out west seem like child play. No wonder there are so few climbers in the Piedmont, they all died before getting to the first bolt. Nov 20, 2017
Clemson, S.C.
TomCaldwell   Clemson, S.C.
"." whats with the anonymity? Not all of the first bolts at Table Rock are that high, almost all of them you would not die before clipping. Many of the Water Groove Wall routes are reasonable. There is some history to why some of the first bolts on the head wall side are so high. Climbing wasn't official when this area was first established. Some of the first bolts were high possibly to prevent being noticed. Doc was the first to show a lot of people these routes. He has his own reputation of asking more of people that repeat his routes. He set the standard for many of the head wall routes, but not all of the routes at TR. There are some great routes to aspire to and also some trade routes to frequent. Nov 20, 2017
Shawn Jadrnicek
Clemson, SC
Shawn Jadrnicek   Clemson, SC
Here's an interesting post about what was probably a FA on the northside: dreamchaser.org/garya/Going…
I wonder if getting on the county council agenda and having a large showing of support could get the north side open. Jan 28, 2019
Clemson, S.C.
TomCaldwell   Clemson, S.C.
Great blog and interesting information Shawn. Thanks for posting! Feb 1, 2019