The club trip this Saturday, June 15 will be to Sunset Park. Stretching along the western face of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga is Sunset Park, home of some of Tennessee’s finest single-pitch trad climbing. Because it’s a west-facing crag, Sunset is a nice destination in the summer months; it stays in the shade until well after lunchtime.
The plan will be for a group to meet at 0500 at the Marietta Park N Ride, and a group meeting at 0700 for those who would like to sleep in a little later.
Some important considerations:
- Sunset is a national park, so to help maintain future climber access, be aware of and observe all park regulations. One of the most important of these is to be off the crag before sundown; this is strictly enforced and rangers will be waiting at the trailhead to write you a hefty ticket after sundown.
- This is a residential neighborhood, and residents’ attitude toward climbers tends to be hostile. Keep noise to a minimum and park only in designated areas.
- There are no restroom facilities available. Try to take care of business before arriving.
- Erosion has been an issue on the crag trail, and the Southeastern Climbers Coalition has been active in work to remediate this problem. Stay off sections that are closed due to erosion.
- Being an urban crag, there is no camping anywhere near Sunset Park. If you want to camp, you’ll have to head over to nearby Tennessee Wall or Prentice Cooper State Forest.
In downtown Chattanooga, take exit 178 off I-24 onto U.S. 27 north, then exit to Market Street. Continue to a left on Broad Street (going south) and follow this for several traffic lights and under a railroad overpass. Watch for signs for Ruby Falls and turn left onto a ramp; this is the South Scenic Highway (148). Follow this up the mountain past the Ruby Falls entrance, then turn in at the Cravens House historic site and park in either the upper or lower parking area. From the upper parking area, hike the wooded trail.