Rock climbing is growing more popular year after year. Especially among young urban professionals, indoor rock climbing has become a very popular (and fun!) way to stay in shape, socialise, and practice self-improvement.
If you’re looking for rock climbing in Atlanta, here is a list of the places you can go!
Atlanta Rock Climbing Gyms
Before you head to the climbing gym for the first time, a few things to remember: rock climbing is an athletic activity, so dress accordingly. If you don’t have your own climbing equipment, you will be able to rent it for a small fee (usually between $3-$10). If you decide you like climbing and plan on doing it regularly, it’s worth buying your own equipment. (OUR GUIDE: what climbing equipment should I buy as a beginner?)
Here are Atlanta’s best climbing gyms:
Atlanta Rocks! Indoor Climbing Gym
Atlanta Rocks is one of the Atlanta’s oldest climbing gyms. The first Atlanta Rocks gym, called Atlanta Rocks Perimeter, opened in 1995, making it the first-ever climbing gym in the metro Atlanta area. That gym closed in 2008, but by then, Atlanta Rocks had already opened a new climbing gym closer to downtown Atlanta.
The current facility opened in 1999, meaning it well predates the current boom of indoor climbing gyms. This is both good and bad: the years since have brought taller walls, bigger facilities, and a different feel to climbing gyms. By the standards of some newer rock climbing facilities, Atlanta Rocks might feel a bit outdated.
But their heritage also means these are likely the most dedicated climbers in town. If you want a no-frills place to train hard, find partners, and venture into climbing outdoors around Gerogia, this could be the place for you.
Atlanta Rocks Prices (Updated September 2018):
- Monthly membership at Atlanta Rocks: $75/month (all-access), $50/month (Bouldering only)
- Day Pass: $15 (all-access), $10 (Bouldering only)
- Equipment rental:
- Belay Device: $2.50
- Chalk: $2.50
- Harness: $3.00
- Shoes: $4.00
Stone Summit Climbing and Fitness
Stone Summit Climbing and Fitness was the first “mega” climbing gym in the Atlanta metro area. Now, they have three locations: the main Atlanta location, the bouldering only Midtown location, on Peachtree Street and a satellite facility in Kennesaw.
Stone Summit Climbing Prices (Updated September 2018):
- Monthly membership at Stone Summit Climbing: $60
- Day Pass: $17
- Equipment rental: $3 (includes harness, shoes, belay device and chalk)
- Lead Climbing Class: $70 ($50 for members)
Wall Crawler Rock Club
The Wall Crawler Rock club definitely wins the award for best website out of all the climbing gyms in Atlanta. Just check that sucker out: pure 1990s. This gym offers almost 9,000 square feet of climbing, making it one of the smaller roped climbing gyms in Atlanta. But the prices are cheap, and they run a number of specials for students, parents and off-hours.
Wall Crawler Climbing Gym Prices (Updated September 2018):
- Monthly membership: $50
- Day Pass: $15
- Lead climbing course: $40
- Friday Nights after 6: $6 special with student ID
- Wednesday Nights Ladies’ Night: $10 day pass including rental equipment
- Equipment Rental
- Harness: $3
- Climbing Shoes: $3
- Chalk: $2
- Belay Device: $2
Georgia Tech Rec Center Climbing Wall
There is also an indoor climbing center at Georgia Tech, but it’s only for students and their guests. If you’re a student at Georgia Tech, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of your student fees and climb for “free”.
Georgia Tech Climbing Wall Guest Cost:
- For enrolled students: FREE
- Day Pass: $7
- Equipment Rental: $5
Outdoor Climbing Near Atlanta
Once you’ve gotten hooked climbing indoors, most people prefer to move from the gym to the crag, and start climbing outdoors. (That’s what this website is all about!)
Atlanta is good for many things, but for outdoor climbing in Georgia, pickings can be a little slim. Still, for the diehard climber, or the beginner climber who just wants to get their hands on some real rock, there are enough cliffs to stay busy for a bit. Here is a list of some of the more popular outdoor climbing areas that are within driving distance of Atlanta.
Boat Rock Bouldering Area
Boat Rock is a popular bouldering area very near to downtown Atlanta. Unlike many other climbing areas, this one is surrounded by residences, so please be considerate with the drinking, the smoking, and the yelling. This area used to have twice as many boulders, but many of them were blown up to make room for new suburbs (Thanks, Obama). The Southeast Climber’s Coalition now owns this land, so it is safe from further development. At least until someone makes them an offer they can’t refuse.
The problems at Boat Rock are very technical, requiring precise footwork and good slab technique.
- Boat Rock Online Bouldering Guide: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/106080767/boat-rock
- Boat Rock Access Info: https://www.seclimbers.com/project/boat-rock/
- Boat Rock Guidebook: Rakkup Digital Guidebook to Boat Rock
- Float the Boat Guidebook: According to information on the Southeast Climber’s Coalition wesbite, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a free PDF copy of this guidebook.
Rocktown, near the Tennessee border, offers the best bouldering in the US south. Don’t try and tell us otherwise. The area is mostly uncrowded and undiscovered, so don’t go telling any people from Colorado about it, OK?
The best season for climbing in Rocktown is fall and winter, when temperatures and humidity are a little more bearable. There is free camping in the area as well, if you decide you want to try and sample it all (you can’t! There’s too much!!)
- Rocktown online guide: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/106036120/rocktown
- Rocktown Bouldering Guidebook: https://amzn.to/2NoluYV (Sample pages)
- Rocktown Access Info: https://www.seclimbers.com/project/rocktown/
Yonah Mountain climbing area
Yonah Mountain is Georgia’s most historic climbing site. The US Army used this site to train soldiers in the 1960s, and are responsible for much of the early development. The army still trains here, in fact. But as the years dragged on, recreational climbers began visiting the rock and developing climbs alongside the Army instructors, leading to the area having a pretty mixed character.
You will find heavy-handed army tactics like cables bolted to the rock for setting up toprope and seriously over-protected sport routes equipped with rusty old bolts alongside purer trad climbing lines. Most climbs are single-pitch, but some multi-pitch does exist at Yonah Mountain. The best resource for the area is the Dixie Cragger’s Atlas (or a well-heeled local).
- Yonah Mountain Mountain Project: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105941346/mount-yonah
- Yonah Mountain Topos: http://www.coolclimbing.com/topos1.htm
- Yonah Mountain Guidebook: Dixie Cragger’s Atlas (contains Yonah Mountain and other areas)
Currahee is a great place to introduce beginners to rock climbing, as it has extremely easy access for setting up top-ropes. Unfortunately, the area isn’t terribly well cared-for, and is often the victim of teenage graffiti artists. So, your mileage may vary. But it’s closeish to Atlanta.
Trivia: Currahee Mountain was featured in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.
- Online Beta: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105901443/currahee-mountain
- Currahee Access Info: https://www.seclimbers.com/project/currahee-mountain/
- Guidebook: Dixie Cragger’s Atlas (Covers many crags in the region)
Georgia Climbing Guidebooks
Here are links to purchase some of the more useful guidebooks to outdoor rock climbing near Atlanta and outdoor rock climbing in Georgia. Although online resources exist, most climbers will agree a physical guidebook is the easiest way to find climbs — especially if you happen to be out of cell service, or need to preserve your battery for some sick Tinder pics.
- The Dixie Cragger’s Atlas: A Climber’s Guide to Atlanta and Georgia.
- Rocktown: a Comprehensive Bouldering Guide
Got beta to share about Atlanta Climbing or Georgia Climbing?
Feel free to drop it in the comments. We’ll check it out and try to update the page whenever we get back from our latest climbing trip.