February 2019 Trip

This Saturday, weather permitting, the Atlanta Climbing Club is planning on heading to Big Rock Mountain near Pickens South Carolina.

Big Rock has a large variety of bouldering and rope climbing. The area is reminiscent of a little Joshua Tree with small formations protruding everywhere. The climbing is SE to SW, making it a great winter destination. In the warmer months, the area is a jungle infested with things that want to bite and sting you. Most of the formations are separated from the cliff line, which allows water to flow around them. This means that the area dries almost immediately after the rain stops.

This is a day use only area. No camping or lingering in the parking lot. The new lot is located in the neighborhood. Be mindful of the surrounding neighbors. Do not park along the road. If the lot is full, go to the intersection of Preston McDaniel and Nine Times Road and use the old trail head. Practice leave no trace ethics as Big Rock can be a busy location.

The rock here is granite of varying degrees of quality. Some of the starts can be a little more flakey. The climbs will likely clean up with time. Most of the climbing here has already been established.

Meeting Time

The plan is to meet at the Indian Trail Park & Ride at 0600.

If you have any time constraints, as far as getting back, please plan on driving or making arrangements to car pool with like-minded individuals.  It is proper etiquette to offer gas money to whoever drives.  If you have never driven, please offer to drive.   If you do not lead and are only top-roping, please offer to carry a leader’s rope.


The plan is to eat dinner at the Elkmont Tap and Cellar located in Clemson, SC after a day of climbing.

Getting There

Main Parking
This gravel lot is located at 255 Big Rock Lake Road. The lot was built by Natural Land Trust with the help of the Carolina Climbers Coalition through a REI grant. The trail going up to the X-Wall (right fork) was constructed by a group of volunteers October 2017 at a trail day hosted by the Carolina Climbers Coalition. This lot is in a neighborhood and comes with some special considerations. Please be mindful of the neighbors and do not park overnight, linger in the parking lot, cause excessive noise, speed, or park along the road if the lot is full. If the lot is full, you must use the Alternative Parking area. 0.25 miles.

Alternative Parking
If you discover that the Main Parking lot is full, exit the neighborhood and drive to the intersection of Preston McDaniel Road and Nine Times Road. Here there is a gravel parking lot and a large grassy lot. Walk across the street from the gravel lot to a log railing. Follow the logging road 200′ until it turns left, stay straight instead aiming for a set of tracks made by an earth mover just right of the power lines. Follow the tracks up the hill until you reach the saddle and turn right. Continue for another 100 yards until the trail turns left and goes steeply up the hill. Follow this until you reach the ridge line and turn right on another old logging road. Follow this until you are intersected with another logging road on the right, turn here and immediately turn left on a low angled slab. Follow this for 200′ and you will be at the left shoulder of Big Rock near the Inversion Wall. ~1.25 miles

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