Climbing at Moss Rock

Moss Rock Preserve (formerly Shades Crest Boulder fields)
An historic area with problems by John Gill in the 80's, this boulder field is now surrounded by suburbs but still a local favorite, and the only public climbing area in the city of Birmingham. Lots of eliminates, and some classic highballs just a few minutes from downtown Birmingham (in Hoover). There are about 70 boulder problems ranging in difficulty from V0- to V11.

Horse Pens 40
Climbers from all over the world now appreciate this sandstone sloper bouldering destination. Although the best time for hard bouldering is late Fall to early Spring, climbers stay in the park year-round for the incredible sandstone slopers. Night climbing is popular in the summer. Amenities include primitive camping, RV hookups, and "trapper" cabins, a stocked-up country store and kitchen serving lunch and dinner. The owners live on the property and take care of guests 7 days a week with true Southern hospitality. Please read the rules before you come. There are very strict regulations on dogs. See the Horse Pens 40 Bouldering Guidebook.

Steele, AL  has some of the most classic and historic climbs in the State of Alabama, nearly 100 routes total. Just 45 minutes from Birmingham. Steele is comprised of over one mile of 80 to 100 foot tall sandstone climbing cliff located in northeastern Alabama, above the town of Steele.

Little River Canyon
Located near Little River Canyon in Fort Payne, Alabama, this fantastic crag features classic 5.7 trad and 5.13 sport routes. The Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) purchased the 3.14 acre tract (1,550 linear feet) on May 3, 2005. The Harvest Wall and Winter Wall at Jamestown have been open to climbing ever since. Please follow SCC directions and access instructions.

Griffin Falls
A small sandstone cliff line near Collinsville, Alabama. The cliff line is private, but the landowner has graciously allowed climbers to use the land. There are a few good traditional and sport climbs here, in particular, Knife Blade Crack (5.9). Griffin Falls faces east, so mornings to mid afternoon are great in the Spring & Winter. Summer climbing here is not recommended. The parking area is very small, so please carpool. Guide book information is available in The Dixie Cragger’s Atlas, by Chris Watford. 

Palisades Park
This is the main area where Mountain High Guides teach beginner classes. Access is easy, and the rangers are friendly and accommodating. There is some bouldering (mostly eliminates) but most people go to Palisades for easier route climbing. 90 routes, NO bolts - bring toprope gear and your trad rack. South-facing, the height of cliff ranges from 25' to 75'. For routes, The Dixie Cragger’s Atlas is the most current guidebook. For details on the Park's boulder problems, check out the new Horse Pens 40 Bouldering guidebook (which includes the Palisades boulder fields).

Sand Rock

Sand Rock
This is one of the oldest developed climbing areas in Alabama, so it gets a lot of use. There are a lot of moderate bolted routes, and fantastic bouldering. Details about routes and some of the bouldering at Sand Rock: Dixie Cragger's Atlas.

Shoal Creek Boulders
This newly developed bouldering area is near Horse Pens 40, south of Ashville, Alabama in the ST. Clair Community Hunting Area (Wildlife Management Area). A nice long row of boulders strewn across a clear cut hillside. Late Fall to early Spring is the best time of year. The area is public land, but for many reasons, please check the SCC website before visiting. Be careful during hunting season.

Buck's Pocket State Park
A minor climbing destination in northeast Alabama 7 miles from Lake Guntersville, Buck's Pocket is a rugged and secluded nature lover's dream. Called by some the "best kept secret" of Alabama outdoor recreation, Buck's Pocket State Park is actually a 2,000-acre canyon gouged into the Appalachian range. The park includes a picnic area and observation point where one can gaze down into the 400-foot deep canyon. The camping area sits on the canyon floor and offers 48 sites with both water and electricity.

Desoto State Park
A minor bouldering area near Fort Payne, Alabama, Desoto has a few notable boulder problems. Also, Desoto has a beautiful Lookout Mountain with a scenic view of Northeast Alabama.

Climbing at Horse Pens 40 

As impressive as some of Alabama's climbing is, Tennessee also has some amazing "trad", sport routes and bouldering. The Tennessee Wall in particular is one of the best climbing areas in North America. It's been written about repeatedly in magazines all over Europe. You can get more info in the Dixie Cragger's Atlas Tennessee Guide.


Climbing Access


Alabama has a lifetime worth of world-class sandstone boulders and cliffs, but many of these climbing areas are now CLOSED.


Please respect local landowners and cliff closures. Mountain High Outfitters is proud to sponsor the Southeastern Climbers Coalition in its efforts to preserve our access and reopen some of the incredible local crags and bouldering spots.


Closed areas include:

Yellow Creek

Hospital Boulders

Seven Room Rock

Shades Crest (ridge)

Peter's Point

Tallassee Boulder Fields

The Citadel

Painted Bluff

Southeastern Climbers Coalition