Solitude in the South
Hidden in the Hills of Northern Georgia, only an hour from Chattanooga, lies one of the densest quantities of quality boulders in the States. Rocktown is a place to go to get away from the troubles of everyday life and just focus on the endless amount of “problems” that run up the beautiful sandstone boulders. Plan your trip to do some Rocktown Bouldering now!
How do I get there?
The literal town of rocks rests on top of Pigeon Forge Mountain in the small town of Lafayette GA. Until recently, Google Maps did not have Rocktown as a location which made things a bit interesting. Also just to note there are two ways up the mountain depending on which direction you are coming from (or what the road conditions are like). The good thing is both ways are on the same road just opposite ends of it. This road is Rocky Ln which will most definitely not be marked in any way, shape, or form just to make things interesting. The first route up is from the East via Chamberlain Road
The first route up is from the East via Chamberlain Road Click Here for the GPS Location. This route requires about 20 mins of switchback driving followed up by 5 mins of a dirt road until the turn for Rocktown which will be well marked. At the time this article was published, Google Maps does not know you can drive this way.
The second way is longer but you get to skip the sketchy switchbacks, I would suggest this way in icy or rainy conditions. For this way, you need to get on Rocky Ln by turning onto Doughtery Gap Rd off of 157 Click here for GPS. You know you are in the right place you there are 100-year-old Oaks lining the street. This way takes about 40 mins so buckle up and keep driving until you see the well-marked sign for Rocktown.
NOTE: You need to purchase a GORP Pass to use this area. It is a very minimal fee and the ticket for not having one is enough to get 5 passes so make sure you get one. Seriously!
Gear for the day
Gear will be hard to come by at Rocktown and so will water and food. Make sure you bring anything you will need for the day up the mountain with you as it may take 30 mins to get to the closest store Uncle Jed’s.
Where do I stay?
The camping might be one of the best parts of Rocktown. There is free camping about 2 mins from the trailhead. When you drive out of Rocktown take a LEFT at the end of the road and then in about a quarter mile take a right, you’re there! Here is GPS if you get lost. There are plenty of places to set up a tent or string up a hammock.
The season at Rocktown is generally from Labor Day to Memorial Day. The best time to go is in October, this is due to the cool temps and lack of rain. October is also nice because daylights savings time is till in effect so you get an extra hour of sunlight. November, December, January, and February are also optimal. March, April, May, and September will have high temps and more chance of rain. During the summer months you will also run into an increased amount of bugs and other wildlife. The graph below shows what months are the best times to Boulder to Rocktown.
Before heading out on your trip you want to make sure the weather will be good. Check This Site for the most up to date weather at Rocktown. Generally, if it rained it will take about half a day of sun or an entire day of overcast to dry out. Optimal condition will be when the temperature is below 50 F.
Note: The Temperature is approximately 5-10 degrees cooler at Rocktown compared to the weather station due to elevation change.
What to climb?
Here are my favorite 5 climbs for Easy, Moderate, and Hard climbers. FYI the best warm up in the field is in the Hueco Simulator area on the V0’s just to the left of Making Waves. You might want to pick up the Guidebook for more detailed information and pictures.
If you are in the area and looking for something new try checking out Zahnd. This new climbing area is located less than 30 minutes from the Rocktown trailhead.