Best Knoxville Rock Climbing Spots

Knoxville, Tennessee is a great base for rock climbers, with several world-class climbing destinations within a few hours’ drive of the city. From sandstone cliffs and boulder fields to multi-pitch routes and technical climbing challenges, the region offers a variety of experiences for climbers of all levels.

One of the most popular rock climbing destinations near Knoxville is Obed Wild and Scenic River, which offers over 350 routes on sandstone cliffs. The park is located about an hour west of Knoxville and is home to several climbing areas, including the Lilly Boulders, the North Clear Creek area, and the South Clear Creek area.

Another popular destination is the Tennessee Wall, a 500-foot-high cliff with over 600 routes ranging in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.14. The wall is located about two hours southeast of Knoxville and is a popular destination for climbers from all over the country.

Knoxville itself is home to several climbing gyms, including The Climbing Center at River Sports Outfitters, a 5,000-square-foot facility with top rope climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering, as well as a fitness area and yoga studio.

Best Knoxville Rock Climbing & Bouldering Spots

The Climbing Center at River Sports Outfitters: The Climbing Center at River Sports Outfitters is a 5,000-square-foot indoor climbing gym that offers a variety of climbing routes for all levels. The gym is equipped with top rope climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering, as well as a fitness area and yoga studio. The Climbing Center also offers classes and clinics for climbers of all levels.

Obed Wild and Scenic River: Obed Wild and Scenic River is a popular spot for rock climbing, with over 350 routes on sandstone cliffs that offer a variety of challenges for climbers of all levels. The park is located about an hour west of Knoxville and is home to several climbing areas, including the Lilly Boulders, the North Clear Creek area, and the South Clear Creek area. The park also offers several hiking trails and campsites, making it a great destination for a weekend rock climbing trip.

The Devil’s Racetrack: The Devil’s Racetrack is a unique rock formation that offers several climbing routes, including some that require technical climbing skills. The formation is located in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, about an hour north of Knoxville. The Devil’s Racetrack is a popular spot for bouldering, with several boulder problems that range in difficulty from V0 to V10.

The Tennessee Wall: The Tennessee Wall is a popular spot for rock climbing, with over 600 routes on a 500-foot-high cliff that offers stunning views of the Tennessee River Gorge. The wall is located about two hours southeast of Knoxville and is home to several climbing areas, including the T-Wall, the Sunset Wall, and the Middle Creek Wall. The Tennessee Wall is a popular destination for climbers from all over the country, with routes ranging in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.14.

Black Mountain: Black Mountain is a 2,800-foot peak that offers several climbing routes, including some that require technical climbing skills. The peak is located in the Cumberland Mountains, about an hour north of Knoxville. The climbing routes on Black Mountain range in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.12, with several multi-pitch routes that offer stunning views of the surrounding area. Black Mountain is also home to several hiking trails and campgrounds, making it a great destination for a weekend climbing trip.

In addition to its world-class climbing destinations, Knoxville offers a mild climate, affordable cost of living, and easy access to the outdoors, making it a great base for climbers. The city’s commitment to preserving its natural resources also ensures that these opportunities will be available for generations to come.

The Adventure Collective

The Adventure Collective publishes a series of outdoor adventure sports guides to adventures in Asheville, Boone, Brevard, Chattanooga, Charleston and The Great Smoky Mountains.

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