Castle Rock is the obvious, orange bluff looming over the town of Jasper, TN. This excellent, South-facing sandstone crag is a great Winter crag which hosts almost 100 sport and trad routes ranging in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.14a, with most of the routes falling between 5.11a and 5.12d. The climbs are typically 80-120 feet and involve blocky features, sidepulls, slopers, and technical sequences on slabby to slightly overhanging rock. The harder routes on the Apes Wall tend to be a bit steeper with roof encounters towards the top.
Most of the routes were established in the 80’s and 90’s, but since it sits on private land, it was closed for almost a decade until a verbal agreement was reached, and a lease was signed by the Southeastern Climbers Coalition(SCC) with help from the Access Fund in 2005.
You are a guest on private land. Please take a moment to read the sign at the parking area. Some of the important rules include…
1. Obey the 20MPH speed limit on the dirt road.
2. Do not go into the rock yard across the road from the parking area.
3. Text your make and model to Ms. Phillips(the land owner) at 423-421-9760.
4. If nature calls while you are climbing, stay 200 feet from the stream that flows from Castle Rock and do not tamper with hoses that run down the hill. These supply Ms. Phillips with her water.
5. No fires at the crag.
6. No Dogs allowed.
7. Keep noise levels to a minimum.
8. Pack out trash.
9. If SCC parking area is full, do not park.
10. Never block roads or driveways.
11. No camping at Castle Rock. The nearest camping is at Foster Falls.
12. Do not stay past sunset. The gate will be locked after dark.
Castle Rock is accessible through a multitude of partnerships including SCC but not exclusively. It is owned by the Tennessee River Gorge Trust who allows the actual climbing. Please read below (pasted from trgt.org/castle-rock)
While the Tennessee River Gorge Trust owns the property, including the climbing bluff itself, we added greater strength to its protection by partnering with the Land Trust for Tennessee granting them a Conservation Easement. The parking area and access trail to Castle Rock was built by Wild Trails and is leased and managed by the Southeastern Climber’s Coalition. The Access Fund was instrumental in nurturing these partnerships and providing advice throughout the process. All of these partnerships make Castle Rock possible and highlight the collaborative spirit between Chattanooga’s non-profit organizations and our community members.
If you can, show your appreciation for access to this crag by volunteering for a trail day, or donate a few dollars.
For more information on Castle Rock visit The SCC website at
From Chattanooga, TN.
Take I-24 West towards Nashville for about 20 miles- passing Nickajack Lake. Just past a huge fireworks store in the median take Hwy 28 North for a few miles to the offramp for Jasper. Go left, under a bridge and into downtown Jasper. Take a right at a light by the courthouse onto Hwy 41 towards Tracy City. After 1.2 miles take a veer left, staying on Hwy 41 which takes you uphill.
A couple of miles after veering left, look for an obvious stone sign that says Greystone on the right. Follow this dirt road until you see a small parking area on the right across from a rock yard.