Rock climbing in North Georgia is often called bouldering because clusters of large boulders averaging 30 - 40 ft. in height can be found in many different areas. Rock climbing is a popular sport in North Georgia and aboriginal Cherokee Indians were challenged to climb the very same boulders that North Georgian’s enjoy climbing today. Northeastern Georgia’s rock climbing locations are mostly sandstone, and granite is prevalent in the region surrounding Stone Mountain. The popularity of indoor rock climbing is also increasing. There are several rock climbing gyms in Atlanta, the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology have indoor climbing walls, and several YMCA’s in North Georgia have indoor climbing facilities.
Rock Town and Lost Wall, two of North Georgia’s most popular rock climbing locations, are located on Pigeon Mountain in the northwestern corner of Georgia near LaFayette in Walker County. Rock Town contains several acres with large sandstone boulders and it is an excellent location for beginners because the rocks have many natural handholds and footholds. Lost Wall is a band of exposed cliffs about halfway up Pigeon Mountain and it is the most popular site in Georgia for traditional rock climbing. The landscape at Lost Wall contains 80 ft. tall cliffs, pinnacles, large pockets, slopers and overhangs that compel climbers to move at a 90 degree angle. A large field of boulders known as Zahnd is also near LaFayette and it contains bizarre rock formations and challenging climbs, especially in the Phantom Boulder area.
Mount Yonah, Tallulah Gorge, Curahee Mountain and Morgan Falls
In the Chattahoochee National Forest between Cleveland and Helen, the granite cliffs on the southwest side of Mount Yonah offer challenging slopes for beginners, intermediate and expert climbers. This part of Mount Yonah was used as a rock climbing training area by the U.S. Army 5th Rangers who installed bolts with cables across portions of the mountain to make climbing easier, including some 2-pitch climbs that require multiple rope lengths between relay stations. Tallulah Gorge State Park near Clayton in Rabun County has a steep cliff called Main Wall that is considered to be the most difficult climb in Georgia, and Curahee Mountain near Toccoa in Stephens County provides excellent opportunities for both top roping and exposed lead climbing.
In the City of Roswell, Morgan Falls on the Chattahoochee River features two walls with overhangs at the top that vary in height between 40 ft. and 80 ft. Other rock climbing sites in North Georgia include Allenbrook, Little Kennesaw Mountain, Long Island, Palisades and the Zipperl in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, and Shaking Rock Park in Lexington. Educational classes in rock climbing and rappelling are offered by the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Sawnee Mountain Preserve Visitor Center in Cumming.