Rock Climbing in Virginia
Rock Climbing in Virginia
Good morning Trail Climb Nation. Today I wanted to focus on rock climbing since we haven’t done that in forever. I probably would write more about rock climbing if there was a place for me to climb. For some reason that state of Virginia popped into my head so I decided to do an article on Virginia. I had no idea that there were so many good rock climbing spots in the state. I have found a few snippets of places and I focused on one area in particular-Old Rag.
The Mid-Atlantic States of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland host some of the best rock climbing in the country. Virginia often does not get the credit it deserves for being an area rich in climbs. This state has a number of national parks, forests, and state parks where it is legal to climb with hardly any access issues. While some folks wait in line for climbs at Great Falls, Seneca and others around this region, Virginia has plenty of rock to offer that is hidden or unknown to most. The following is a resource to help those who are unfamiliar with the unique climbing that may be found in the state of Virginia. To make it easier to locate many of the climbing areas listed below, I have updated the map function for several of the larger areas, so feel free to click on the GPS coordinates for a visual location of each area. Please update this page if you learn of new, or see any missing information as you find or hear of climbs in and around the state. Also if you come by any good climbing pictures taken at any of the numerous areas in Virginia feel free to add them to the site HERE. Goodluck, be safe, and get out there!
Virginia is for lovers; and as climbers we are all lovers of quality stone to pull on. Whether it is trad, mixed, sport, or bouldering that you are looking for, the Old Dominion state has a whole lotta stone just lookin for love
Summer: This time of year the weather can be terrible for climbing due to humidity, bugs, and vegetation, especially the lower in elevation you are. Regardless of the weather its easy to get psyched on the plethora of crags and boulder fields throughout the Old Dominion, from Great Falls to the Appalachian highlands. There are thousands of problems and routes strewn across the state of VA, so pick your poison and get on some stone!
Check out Great Falls, Old Rag, and Elizabeth Furnace for lots of fun and exciting Trad and TR routes. These fine areas, along with most of the other trad and TR areas in VA are generally located in gorgeous parks and unique settings. Keep watch for many other areas that are being established across the Old Dominion.
Also check out Iron Gate or the recently re-opened Hidden Valley for some great sport routes, and Roanoke River Gorge for fun sport, mixed, and trad lines.
There are multitudes of quality bouldering opportunities across Virginia. There are several high quality boulder fields, great local areas, and small obscure spots scattered throughout the state. Mcafees Knob has tons of great bouldering and The Cascades is an up-and-coming favorite. For the best warm-weather bouldering in VA, be sure to visit Grayson Highlands State Park.
If you’re traveling to VA & planning to boulder, but not wanting to lug a crashpad and all of your junk with you, GHSP now has a rental pad, chalk, chalkbag, and brush for rent!
Old Rag contains the finest climbing in Virginia. The only CA/NC/NH/NY-style granite routes in the area – the only granite between the Adirondacks (NY) and Stone Mtn (NC) – and conveniently located within 2 hours of DC. Old Rag has a reputation for long approaches and Cascades-caliber bushwhacking. Given the quality of the rock, it is well worth any effort needed. And truly, the more difficult bushwhacking is only when getting into areas that appeal more to hardmen/women (God Crag, Eagle’s Gift, The Wall That Dreams Are Made Of). PATC Wall and Summit Cliff remain easily accessible (not to mention a lot cooler) in the summer.
The names of all the crags are as given on Hensley’s overview topo from 1991.(virginiapine)