Activities > Rock Climbing Information

Rock Climbing in the Appalachians

rock climbing for climbers of all skill levels

looking glass rock climbing

Rock climbing is a sport involving climbing up natural rock formations found in the mountains using ropes and anchors. Top roping, bouldering, and lead climbing are some of the different styles of rock climbing practiced in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In any case, the main goal for this sport is to reach the summit or some other predestined location. It requires extreme concentration from the climber as it can be a very dangerous sport.

When To Come

Spring marks the beginning of a new season for the Blue Ridge Parkway. With it come several thousand Parkway visitors wishing to experience the joy of rock climbing the Appalachian Mountains. The Parkway has another side of climbing in the winter, ice climbing. Many experienced ice climbers enjoy coming to the Blue Ridge Parkway area for some great places to climb.

Our Favorite Spots

The best spot for rock climbing right along the Parkway goes to Linville Gorge. The Linville River called Eeseeoh by the Cherokee Indians meaning, "a river of many cliffs" runs though the Linville Gorge. The rugged terrain provides a challenging experience.

Number two on our list for our favorite spot to rock climb isn't on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but the rock face can be viewed from several of the overlooks on the southern section of the Parkway. Just a ways down from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Looking Glass Rock, located in Pisgah National Forest Brevard, NC, is a favorite spot for many rock climbers.

Coming Prepared

Some areas of the Parkway require a permit to rock climb, so check with local regulations for the area you wish to climb. Special gear is required for rock climbing, and local outfitter stores provide specialized climbing equipment crucial to having a safe and successful climb as well as outdoor clothing and other gear. Harnesses, helmets, ropes, belay and rappel devices and anchoring equipment are among the items you may need.

It is a good idea for first time rock climbers hire experienced climbing guides to get the most out of their rock climbing experience. It is necessary to learn safety skills, along with terminology, climbing movement and useful knots before you begin your rock climbing adventure.