BETA PHOTO: 1. Oh Gigantic 5.7 2. The Return 5.8 3. Big Dave's...
Though it shares the name of the better known Leda (aka Upper Leda) and is in the same general neighborhood, Lower Leda is a completely separate climbing area. Because the cliffline that's worth climbing is relatively short, Lower Leda has only about 25 routes, most of them bolted sport lines. This small volume is made up for by the high quality of the routes on good sandstone. There's also a good range of grades, with a couple of casual 5.5 trad lines; nice sport moderates like The Return (5.8+) and Guardian Angel (5.9+); and challenging 5.12s like Crisis of Confidence.
Lower Leda is a great alternative destination when the main Leda cliff is crowded.
From downtown Chattanooga, go north on U.S. 27 toward Dayton. Take the Chickamauga Dam exit; going left from the exit, drive almost three miles to the second traffic light. Turn left here onto Montlake Mountain Road. Just before a sharp hairpin turn, watch for the entrance to a state park on the left. Park here and cross the road to find a trail about 50' up the road from the park entrance. A 10-minute (or less) hike up the trail will bring you to the base of the cliff.
Weather station 3.1 miles from here
19 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Lower Leda
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lower Leda
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lower Leda:
Gigantic 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Treehugger 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
The Return 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Cryptic 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Big Dave's 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
The Up Game 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Featured Route For Lower Leda
Treehugger 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Tennessee
: Lower Leda
You probably won't actually hug it, but the tree at the base forms a natural ladder that is the start of this fun route.Look for a tree growing right into the cliff and use the "steps" to move up on and onto the face. Casual climbing past closely-spaced bolts leads up and left to the top....[more] Browse More Classics in Tennessee
Another shot from the approach trail.
BETA PHOTO: Approaching the cliff...
By Kit Taylor
From: Atlanta, GA
Oct 26, 2009
Not nearly as many routes at upper Leda, but with almost a dozen quality, sustained, bolted moderates up to a 5.10 this a great area for new leaders or to take friends who don't climb. Add in the quickest approach ever and you have the makings for a relaxing day of easy climbing.
By Swamp Cookie
From: da Bayou
Feb 28, 2010
We actually have a couple of 5.12's and a 5.13a at lower leda. Fun for everyone. Trad, sport, and mixed routes.
By Rockery Press
Oct 13, 2014
Lower Leda FREE Day Guide
You can download a FREE Lower Leda Day Guide from Rockery Press by clicking on the following link: rockerypress.com/free-day-guid...
Lower Leda Free Guide includes:
Driving & Approach Beta
Rules & Recommendations
Several days of route descriptions and recommendations
By Jon Teaford
Nov 19, 2016
Does anyone know if climbers need to check into the Montlake Clubhouse to climb Lower Leda? Also, the Mountain Project directions are different than these: seclimbers.org/modules.php?nam...
Any local knowledge would be appreciated.
ADMIN's NOTE: If you read the information at the link above carefully, you'll see that it says "the fee to climb at Leda and Lower Leda is $6. Climbers must visit Montlake clubhouse (same checkin as Stone Fort) to checkin and pay." So the answer to your question is, yes.
The reason the MP directions above are different from those on the SCC website is because Leda and Lower Leda are two different areas.