Elevation: 1,706 ft
GPS: 34.958, -82.789 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 21,874 total · 1,060/month
Shared By: TomCaldwell on Sep 11, 2017
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Access Issue: Neighborhood Parking Details

The Warmest Spot in South Carolina

vimeo.com/207048710

Big Rock has a large variety of bouldering and rope climbing. The area is reminiscent of a little Joshua Tree with small formations protruding everywhere. The climbing is SE to SW, making it a great winter destination. In the warmer months, the area is a jungle infested with things that want to bite and sting you. Most of the formations are separated from the cliff line, which allows water to flow around them. This means that the area dries almost immediately after the rain stops.

This is a day use only area. No camping or lingering in the parking lot. The new lot is located in the neighborhood. Be mindful of the surrounding neighbors. Do not park along the road. If the lot is full, go to the intersection of Preston McDaniel and Nine Times Road and use the old trail head. Practice leave no trace ethics as Big Rock can be a busy location.

The rock here is granite of varying degrees of quality. Some of the starts can be a little more flakey. The climbs will likely clean up with time. Most of the climbing here has already been established. Please consult with someone from the CCC or one of the listed first ascensionists before adding hardware. This isn't to discourage development, but more of a reaction to unknown individuals adding hardware in bad locations or poor rock quality.

Getting There

Main Parking
This gravel lot is located at 255 Big Rock Lake Road. The lot was built by Naturaland Trust with the help of the Carolina Climbers Coalition through a REI grant. The trail going up to the X-Wall (right fork) was constructed by a group of volunteers October 2017 at a trail day hosted by the Carolina Climbers Coalition. This lot is in a neighborhood and comes with some special considerations. Please be mindful of the neighbors and do not park overnight, linger in the parking lot, cause excessive noise, speed, or park along the road if the lot is full. If the lot is full, you must use the Alternative Parking area. 0.25 miles.

Alternative Parking
If you discover that the Main Parking lot is full, exit the neighborhood and drive to the intersection of Preston McDaniel Road and Nine Times Road. Here there is a gravel parking lot and a large grassy lot. Walk across the street from the gravel lot to a log railing. Follow the logging road 200' until it turns left, stay straight instead aiming for a set of tracks made by an earth mover just right of the power lines. Follow the tracks up the hill until you reach the saddle and turn right. Continue for another 100 yards until the trail turns left and goes steeply up the hill. Follow this until you reach the ridge line and turn right on another old logging road. Follow this until you are intersected with another logging road on the right, turn here and immediately turn left on a low angled slab. Follow this for 200' and you will be at the left shoulder of Big Rock near the Inversion Wall. ~1.25 miles

54 Total Climbs

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Location: Big Rock Mountain Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Big Rock Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 5
How Do You Want Your Eggs
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 6
Ramp Arete
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 6
Flakey
Trad, TR
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
 3
Picken' on the Fat Kid
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 9
Wondercrack
Trad 2 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 14
S Crack
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 4
Triple F
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 4
Optical Delusion
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 3
Mental Misstep
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 7
The Dihedral
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 11
Big Rock Candy Direct
Trad
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 11
Stellar Slab
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 9
Big Rock Candy Arete
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 7
Picken & Grinnin'
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 6
The Flake
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
How Do You Want Your Eggs Hominid Wall
 5
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Ramp Arete Main Wall
 6
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Flakey Main Wall
 6
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Picken' on the Fat Kid Main Wall
 3
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13 Trad
Wondercrack Main Wall
 9
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
S Crack Main Wall
 14
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Triple F Arch Wall
 4
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Optical Delusion Main Wall
 4
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Mental Misstep X-Wall
 3
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
The Dihedral Inversion Wall
 7
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Big Rock Candy Direct Main Wall
 11
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Stellar Slab Lower Shaman Wall
 11
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Big Rock Candy Arete Main Wall
 9
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Picken & Grinnin' Main Wall
 7
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
The Flake Lower Shaman Wall
 6
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in Big Rock Mountain »

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Photos

Brad Caldwell
Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Brad Caldwell   Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Here's the link to the current guidebook to the area...
lulu.com/shop/brad-caldwell…

www.tinyurl.com/JocasseeGorgesGuides Sep 13, 2017
Mark O'Neal
Nicholson, GA
Mark O'Neal   Nicholson, GA
Make sure you check out this info for the proper place to park and approach the cliff

carolinaclimbers.org/climbi… Nov 18, 2017
Chris K
Clemson
Chris K   Clemson
Just hopped on Rowan's Leap the other day...as it was getting dark. Excellent route! Thanks for setting it up. Feb 25, 2018
TomCaldwell
Clemson, S.C.
TomCaldwell   Clemson, S.C.
Glad to hear you enjoyed Rowan's Leap.

On another note, we (CCC) were asked to leave this area off of Mountain Project for a little while. The goal is to keep the local residents of Big Rock Lake happy while the numbers slowly increase. Mar 30, 2018
L P
L P  
Hi! Looking for a bit more information about Big Rock. Totally understand you're trying to keep this area exploding all at once, so please feel free to PM me with a response if you feel that is best.

Are there natural anchors for top rope set-up, i.e. trees or rocks? Or would I need to build an anchor on bolts at the top? Can one hike to the top of Big Rock to set up top ropes or do climbs need to be lead first?

I'm desperate to get outside and do some climbing since I'm stuck in Columbia with no access to a gym. The Crowders page said it had top rope but when we got there we couldn't find anywhere that allowed for natural anchors. Unfortunately I haven't yet learned/trained enough to attempt sport or trad climbing so that's pretty limiting. Any guidance you guys could offer would be fantastic, thanks so much! Nov 30, 2018
Brad Caldwell
Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Brad Caldwell   Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Hey L P...did you pick up the guidebook? That's the easiest way to know where each climb is and which ones can be TRed (off of the anchors for those climbs, no need/not off of natural anchors). The place is a labyrinth of cliffs and boulders, so trying to describe on here how to get to specific climbs is really difficult. Dec 1, 2018
L P
L P  
Hey Brad! I'm definitely planning on it! I'm not really looking for route locations or specifics, just whether I can even climb at Big Rock with my current set-up. I totally understand that it's a somewhat specific question, but I was hoping someone on this forum had attempted it before and might know if it was possible. I don't really want to purchase a guidebook for a specific area if I can't even climb there yet, that's all. Also I've made the mistake before of assuming certain specific information such as anchor type might be in a guidebook only to find out later that it wasn't. Not trying to be difficult or mooch off of anyone, just hoping to find someone in a similar situation who has climbed Big Rock. Thanks! Dec 3, 2018
Brad Caldwell
Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Brad Caldwell   Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Then yes, there are climbs there that you can set up a top rope off of the anchors. It's rare to find that around as most routes in the Carolinas must be led to TR them, but Big Rock offers a lot of variety. Dec 3, 2018
L P
L P  
Fantastic! Thanks so much! Dec 27, 2018
Chris K
Clemson
Chris K   Clemson
From the main parking lot, climbers/hikers can follow the trail that leads up. There is a split very soon after starting the trail. Right takes you towards X-wall, and Rowan's Leap eventually to the Main Wall and some of the slabs. Left leads to the main bouldering areas, then makes a sharp right uphill. Navigate a gully with a chain that will spit you out at the base of Lower Shaman's Traffic Jam. Jan 17, 2019
Wes Whitaker
Atlanta, GA
Wes Whitaker   Atlanta, GA
What Chris K said, but if you want a more mellow approach after initially turning left, you can go straight where he suggests a sharp right uphill. Going straight will lead to small stream crossing (when wet) and more gentle terrain. An eventual right hand turn at an old logging road (there will be trail signage) will take you to the Inversion Wall on the far left side of the climbing area . Depending on where you want to climb, knowing whether you want to go right (straight) or left out of the parking area will get you where you want to be faster. Enjoy! Jan 24, 2019