Climbing at Moss Rock

Moss Rock Preserve
Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover -- or, known to the locals, Boulder Fields or simply "The Fields" -- boasts close to a hundred routes rated between V0 to V11. The sandstone boulders were discovered during the '70s as a training area for "real" climbing. A decade later, though, bouldering in itself was considered a "real" sport. Since then, Moss Rock has become a popular go-to practice space for city dwellers and out-of-towners alike. These sandstones offer many options for eliminates and offer classic highballs. Although there is a high concentration of difficult problems, there are problems availalbe for a vast range of skill levels. 


Horse Pens 40 
Climbers from all over the world now appreciate this 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, and 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. Be sure to see the Horse Pens 40 Bouldering Guidebook.

Steele
Thanks to the fundraising and campaigning efforts from the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC), a 25-acre tract has been secured for climbers in Steele, Alabama. Located half way between Birmingham and Huntsville, Steele hosts several cliff sections with both sport routes and traditional routes. The Steele cliff climbing area is easily accessable from the highway and offers two parking areas, a metal shed to retreat to in case the weather turns, and a solar composting outhouse.

Litte 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 and 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
Overlooking Lake Weiss, there are extraordinarry climbs that jut out from the Shinbone Ridge. This quarter of a mile stretch is known as Sand Rock. It may only be a quarter of a mile, but don't let the range distract you. Or let it, because there are so many climbs compacted into this space, each unique. There are also trails and caves to explore between climbs. Sand Rock is not only desireable for it's natural beauty and numerous problems just waiting to be solved, but because camping is also very accessible. The Cherokee Rock Village County Park has campgrounds, bathrooms, showers, and running water available. You may be tempted to stay an extra day!

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 are 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

 

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