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King's Bluff

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King's Bluff Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 36.5015, -87.3234 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 57,486
Administrators: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ben Bruestle on Dec 15, 2006  with updates from Eric Boarman

88° | 68°

89° | 68°

88° | 67°

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Me climbing at King's Bluff in Clarksville, TN. P...


Nashville's closest climbing, King's Bluff is owned and managed by the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. Southern aspect guarantees sunny cragging year-round that is usually not crowded. Decent shade is provided by overgrowth in the summer. Direct sunshine in the winter. Limestone lines 5.4 to 5.13a with small edges, flexing flakes and sweet pockets. Mostly sport with a few trad and mixed routes. Approximately 150 climbs 35-70 feet tall. The top of the the cliff is off limits, so the only way to set up topropes is by first leading the route. No camping in the area. Consider making a donation to the SCC at the box located along the approach trail. There are plenty of places to buy adult beverages in Screaming Eagle country. Developed by Walter Wilkinson and Terry Parker in the early 1990's. Classics include Baby Kangaroo 5.8+, First Plum 5.10b, LAG 5.9 and Ritz Bitz 5.10c.

Getting There 

You need to obtain the gate code from the Kings Bluff page of the South Eastern Climbers Coalition website in order to get in. Please keep the gate closed and locked at ALL TIMES as this greatly helps cut down on trash and vandalism. Thanks so much!
Located at the Max Court cul-de-sac in Clarksville. Approach takes less than 5 minutes to hike from the parking lot to the base of the cliff perched above the Cumberland River. From I-24 take exit 11 towards Clarksville. Follow Hwy 76 just over six miles west, crossing Hwy 41A on the way. Turn left after the Amoco station onto Max Court, go thru the gate and park at the end of the road. The descent trail is just left of the bulletin board.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.7 miles from here

156 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',42],['2 Stars',49],['1 Star',63],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in King's Bluff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for King's Bluff:
Leaping Ladder   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Cake Walk Wall
Independence Day   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   The Alley
Whadyathink?   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch   Cake Walk Wall
Overlooked   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Orchard
Baby Kangaroo   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch   Lonesome Wall
The Bearded One   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch   The Alley
Old Fart   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch   The Quiet Zone
Fo Betta O' Worse   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Orchard
A Break from the Heat   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Quiet Zone
L.A.G.   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Orchard
Wired For Sound   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 45'   The Dynamic Wall
Stone Dagger   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 60'   The Quiet Zone
Captain Kangaroo   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   Lonesome Wall
The First Plum   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Orchard
When Old Friends Meet   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Dynamic Wall
Elevator Shoes   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   The Quiet Zone
Stack 'Em Three Deep   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Orchard
Ritz Bitz   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 45'   Lonesome Wall
Name in the Guidebook   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   The Quiet Zone
Prelude To Harvest   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 40'   Lonesome Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in King's Bluff

Featured Route For King's Bluff
Rock Climbing Photo: My left hand is in a slot on top of the flake. Fin...

Wired For Sound 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  Tennessee : King's Bluff : The Dynamic Wall
Dixie Cragger says it's trad, but most of this wall has been retro-bolted. Really fun overhung crack. Then move left of the overhang (moving right puts you on Another Hard Decision)....[more]   Browse More Classics in Tennessee

Photos of King's Bluff Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking east from lower wooden platform
BETA PHOTO: Looking east from lower wooden platform
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the steps to base of climbs
BETA PHOTO: Looking down the steps to base of climbs
Rock Climbing Photo: Trail steps
BETA PHOTO: Trail steps
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview
BETA PHOTO: Overview
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading a 5.8... I think its called "Engineer...
Leading a 5.8... I think its called "Engineer...
Rock Climbing Photo: Route Placard
BETA PHOTO: Route Placard

Comments on King's Bluff Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 2, 2017
By dnoB ekiM
Nov 25, 2009
This is a great little sport crag. Many of the older Walt Wilkinson bolts with welded shuts as hangars are severely rusted and need replacement soon....they are ticking time bombs. It seems this would have been a better investment of the SCC's time and money than the "disneyesque" nameplates that were installed. A couple of the bolts/shuts on Three Wishes and Baby I'm... are ridiculously rusted.
By Adam Beck
From: Nashville, TN
Jan 21, 2010
There are some bolts in need of replacement. Many of the bolts are good; especially on the more popular moderate routes. The name tags were made by a climber at Fort Campbell. We haven't heard much from him since 2007. Anyway he made and donated the placards to the SCC. They have been a great addition. You don't even need a guidebook!

This crag is extremely kept and beginner-friendly; especially when compared to some of the areas along the plateau.

But don't do any of the few trad lines you find here. The limestone is terrible for gear. It gets polished really fast because so many people climb it.
By Brad "Stonyman" Killough
From: Alabama
Jan 22, 2010
Thanks for the info Adam
By dnoB ekiM
Feb 7, 2010
Thanks for the info. I am not bashing this crag. It is a wonderful place to climb. There are more than a few bad bolts here though...even on the moderates (see Engineering a Goat Rope). Just about every bolt with a welded-shut hanger is extremely corroded. I'm not complaining (heck I would work to replace them if I were local)...just warning future visitors.

All that said..this is a fun place to put in some laps!
By TKHouse
Apr 21, 2010
This message is in response to an incident at the Bluff last weekend in which a climber decked from about 25 feet up, rolled down the river bank, and had to be carried and taken out by boat.

King's Bluff has the highest concentration of low-grade sport in Tennessee. This provides an outstanding opportunity for new leaders to learn the basic skills of leading sport climbs. Because of this, King's Bluff attracts a lot of new climbers who may or may not have the necessary gear or understanding of cleaning sport routes.

I encourage any new climbers coming to climb at the Bluff to seek out proper instruction and/or ask any of the friendly climbers at the Bluff. Sport climbing can be done in a relatively safe manner, where most of the risk of injury can be mitigated by accepted practices and safety standards.

Accidents like the one last weekend put at risk the outstanding opportunity that the SCC and several Clarksville locals have made at King's Bluff. If someone suggests you are doing something unsafe, humble yourself and at least listen to their point of view. People aren't trying to put you down or act arrogant, but by doing something unsafe you are endangering the climbing for the other climbers who regularly visit King's Bluff. The climber injured last weekend repeatedly denied help from climbers in my group several times before he decked.

If you are unsure about something you have previously had explained to you, or simply in need of assistance, ask other climbers. Everyone I have met at King's Bluff has always been friendly and willing to help.

Safe climbing!
By Mike Daschle
Oct 30, 2010
Route finding here is VERY easy due to the tags on the bottom of the routes. These were placed to prevent people from etching info into the rock, I suppose. If you want the guide book for the area, you'll have to get Hank Smith & Scott Griggs' book or check out
By Emmanuel Eman Lacoste
Jun 6, 2011
new guidebook for climbers living or visiting Clarksville. New Crag listed and recommended areas near King's Bluff.
Little Crimpers, A climber's Guide to Clarksville
By Blake Allen Green
Oct 2, 2011
I want to echo the comments of TK above, there are many, many beginners here that I have frequently seen doing things that are reckless if not completely dangerous. Many times I have simply left parts of the cliff for fear of getting involved with whatever accident ensues. I strongly encourage beginners coming to the bluff to enjoy the easier routes, but please, please go through the proper channels to learn important safety technique before climbing outside.

Similarly, if you see someone doing something that is completely reckless or simply uninformed, kindly ask them if they would mind some information that might keep them safer. Most logical people won't say no to that if you don't pose it in a condescending manner.

On another note, it's pretty common for the easier areas of the cliff to get super crowded on the weekends. I personally have been parts of very large groups many times. If you're bringing a group to the cliff just be considerate of others: try to break up into smaller groups if possible and just keep the noise down, people do live above the cliff in many places and even where they don't, it's doubtful people came outside to climb to listen to kids screaming or debates about which kind of pizza you like best. Consideration of others is especially important in areas with high concentrations of easier or moderate climbs. Safety is definitely compromised when climber and belayer cannot hear each other, especially if it's, say, someone's first time cleaning a route.

We all want to have a great time at the Bluff, if you're a beginner or new to the area just be sure about everything you're doing, and if you're not, don't be afraid to ask!

By Jeremy Almond
From: Las Vegas
Feb 2, 2016
Partner for sat Feb 6th
I want to climb but need a partner!
By Garrett Roberts
From: Rancho Cordova, CA
Apr 12, 2016
I'll be back home in Clarksville from mid-may to mid-august and don't know any climbers out in the area. Is anyone looking for a climbing partner over the summer?
By Andrea Warburton
From: las vegas
Jun 9, 2016
I'll be in Nashville for the weekend of Aug 5-7 and wanna climb but I need a partner! I'll be free sat morning the 6th. I'll have alli my stuff, just need a partner!
By DavidPrice
Jul 5, 2016
Im looking for a climbing partner(s) if anyone is available either the 7th or 8th of July (this Thursday or Friday). Unfortunately I have left my draws back in Colorado but have all other necessary gear. If anyone is available to climb I can be reached on here or by e-mail
By Benjamin Miller
Jul 8, 2016
How are the walls after a rain? Are they wet or do they stay dry due to the tree canopy?
By Mitch Redford
Nov 3, 2016
Is there any good camping nearby?
By thumper369
Nov 19, 2016
Question. Its clearly stated in the description so forgive me for the question.

Are there any routes that can be top roped without first lead climbing them? It makes sense that the private property at the top does not allow setup, but I was not sure if that really encompassed all the routes.

By Ike Grall
Jun 2, 2017
I am looking to learn how to climb at the Bluff this summer. I live in Clarksville, have rope, GRIGRI, etc., but lack experience and a climbing partner. If interested, send me an email at Also, how do you get to the routes when the gate is locked?

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