Alabama New years camp and climb recommendations?

Original Post
NOLAclimber76 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 15

Looking to hit some routes along with camping and hiking in Alabama. It is about the closest state with quality climbing from where I live. Used to climb Sandrock about 15 years ago when I lived in Atlanta but remembered it was pretty dirty and over run with midnight yowlers.

Any recommendations for good spots in Alabama or other similar distances from Louisiana?

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10

I'd just keep driving until you hit Chattanooga. Unless you're into bouldering, then there's Horse Pens.

Eric Carlos · · Chattanooga, TN · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 40

Little River Canyon has great climbing and camping.

TomCaldwell · · Clemson, S.C. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 2,563

Jamestown and Steele are great this time of year in addition to Sand Rock. I have never done any hiking in those area besides the approaches. I think some of the late night creeping has been removed when they started charging for access at Sand Rock. I still need to get to Yellow Bluff, but I've heard good things about that place as well. You don't have to drive to Chattanooga for good rope climbing, Alabama has plenty. Steele is super convenient since there is camping at HP40.

saxfiend · · Decatur, GA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,225
TomCaldwell wrote:Steele is super convenient since there is camping at HP40.
In light of the fact that pretty much everything worth climbing at Steele is aggressively off-limits, I definitely wouldn't recommend it as a destination for even a day trip, much less for anyone making the kind of long haul that the OP has planned.

Sand Rock, on the other hand, has a wide variety of climbing, the camping is right there on site and as someone else mentioned, it's gotten a lot more "civilized" in recent years.

NOLAclimber76 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 15

Thanks everyone! I don't mind a little local color. But I remember the trash was offputting. Glad to hear things have changed since new management (or any management) has taken over :)
Looks like Sandrock it is!

BirminghamBen · · Birmingham, AL · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,635

There is great backpacking and less-great climbing along the Pinhoti Trail near Cheaha Mountain. There is some chossy rock out in the woods or a little bit better stuff near the old CCC Tower in the State Park area. This would be for a more backpacking/backcountry oriented experience but is a less visited area that offers climbing and camping together, in Alabama.

Another backcountry option is the Sipsey Wilderness, cataloged on MP. You may want more "frontcountry", though.

The I-59 corridor...

Many people climb/camp at HP40 and jump off for daytrips to Palisades, Steele, or any of the other areas mentioned. HP40 is only minutes from the interstate, which puts you 30 minutes from the Collinsville exit for Sandrock and Griffin, 50 minutes to Jamestown and/or Little River Canyon, an hour to Lost Wall, 1.5 hours from Chattanooga.

To or from the I-59 corridor, you can also always check out Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover, AL, south of Birmingham, as a quick diversion. It's near retail/food and is a quick stop off of I-459; Birmingham's version of a beltway. Many good boulder problems and similarly "civilized" in the vein of Sandrock.

Yellow Bluff is sort of off the main corridor, but would be worth the visit. You might tie that in with a trip up the Natchez Trace from LA. Straight up I-65 from Birmingham.

It is the prime part of Fall in Alabama right now. Cool, clear, crisp. Warmer than expected Fall plus more rain than normal have the leaves retaining color longer than normal. And it seems the rain has blown out for now.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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