North Carolina

North Carolina Rock Climbing

North Carolina is undeniably home to the best traditional rock climbing in the South. From beginners’ routes to multi-pitch thrillers, our backyard has it all, including the tallest rock face on the East Coast.

Looking Glass

Located minutes from our office, the Looking Glass climbing areas include Looking Glass Rock, Cedar Rock, and Pilot Rock. A majestic granite dome with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Looking Glass offers climbs for all levels and is great for groups. Whether you are a beginner learning the basics, a more experienced climber wanting to get to the top of Looking Glass via North Carolina’s most classic climb, The Nose, or an advanced climber looking for some aid training on a steep Grade IV route reminiscent of Yosemite, you will not be disappointed. Nearby, Cedar Rock, with its fantastic face climbs, and slabby Pilot Rock are great group climbing destinations.


Just to our west lies Laurel Knob, the tallest rock face on the east coast. Not for beginners, this imposing granite face offers many stellar multi-pitch climbs up to almost 1000 feet! Down the road a bit is the revered Whiteside Mountain which is recommended for only our most advanced clients. Whether you aspire to climb the  Original Route or get on some ice in the winter, Whitesides is an unforgettable adventure.

Rumbling Bald & Chimney Rock State Park

Rumbling Bald is a fantastic climbing destination for those wanting to learn or refine their crack climbing skills and is a great winter climbing destination with its south-facing aspect. With both single and multi-pitch climbs at all levels, the Bald is great for beginners and advanced climbers alike.

Across the river is Chimney Rock, one of North Carolina’s most recognizable landmarks. Climbing at Chimney Rock is allowed only through Fox Mountain Guides as part of the Park’s effort to protect both its many guests and the area’s ecosystem. The area affords both beginners and advanced climbers many climbing opportunities, from easy cracks to challenging multi-pitch climbs, and is one of the only places that offers drive-up climbing, allowing guests access to climbs that are merely steps from the parking lot.

Linville Gorge

The spectacular Linville Gorge is known as the Grand Canyon of North Carolina. If you are learning to lead multi-pitch trad, Table Rock is a great venue, boasting many easy to moderate routes. For more adventure, many clients chose Amphitheater’s moderate Mummy, Daddy, Prow trio…all in one day, or they head to Shortoff or Hawksbill for more challenging climbing.


Whether it is Crowder’s Mountain wealth of top rope routes just outside of Charlotte or Stone Mountain’s spectacular Great Arch, the Piedmont area should not be overlooked when considering a climbing trip to North Carolina. Like the mountains to the west, it offers a great variety of climbing, including what has been called the best 5.7 in the State, Zoo View at Moore’s Wall.

No matter which area you choose, you will have an amazing climbing adventure!


**All operations on National Forest System lands are authorized under a Special Use Permit by the Pisgah National Forest. Operations in State parks are authorized under a Special Use Permit by the State of North Carolina.