Fall Creek Falls State Park

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing at Fall Creek Falls State Park is by permit only. Permits are free and available below.


To help ensure that Tennessee State Parks continues to provide quality areas for recreational climbing, all climbers should register online prior to each time they climb in Tennessee State Parks. Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with your unique registration number, site rules and other helpful info. Please keep the registration number with you while climbing. At some locations you may be asked to leave a piece of paper with your registration number on your car dashboard.


Copperhead Rock is a popular destination for top roping and rappelling. There are routes for beginners and routes for more advanced climbers who would like to test their abilities. Copperhead Rock is located near the Fall Creek Falls Overlook and can be accessed via the Copperhead Rock Climbing Area.

At Copperhead Rock there are routes ranging from 5-5 to 5-10 and they range from 25 feet to 60 feet tall. There are plenty of strong anchor points for top roping in this area. Be sure to not leave gear unattended. To get back to the top of the climbing area, look directly at the rock face. Turn right and keep the rock face on your left-hand side. Follow the trail all the way back to the top. Please respect wildlife and the wilderness reclamation area.


Please park in the Fall Creek Falls Overlook Parking Lot. Please do not block emergency vehicle gravel parking lot. Those vehicles will be towed.

Buzzards Roost

Climbing and rappelling opportunities are available at Buzzards Roost. This very exposed area has multiple routes to challenge visitors of all skill levels. To register fill out the permit below.


Please park in the far-left hand side of the Millikan's Overlook Parking lot.

Register Online

  • Climbing is ONLY ALLOWED at Copperhead Rock and Buzzards Roost. No other locations are permitted.
  • Protection devices, such as pitons, bolts, cables, or any other device that cause permanent damage are not to be used. Failure to comply with this rule can result in permission for future climbs to be denied.
  • Also please comply with the following:
    • All climbers must be off the rocks one hour before sunset. No overnight camping allowed.
    • Any incidents resulting in personal injury or damage to property must be reported to the Park Manager or other park official.
    • Permits must be carried on individuals at all times during the activity.
    • Climb safe and at your own risk

Tennessee State Parks Climbing Policy

View Policy (pdf)

Climbing Workshops

Fall Creek Falls State Park has two climbing workshops a year. One in the spring and the other in the fall. Ranger Ray Cutcher instructs climbers in climbing safety, the use of climbing/rappelling gear and gives instruction on climbing techniques. Workshops will be listed on the Fall Creek Falls event page closer to the date.