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Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park

Rock Climbing

WHITEHOUSE CLIFFS

Rocky Fork State Park is home to many granite and quartzite cliff faces. Currently, the only approved climbing area is The Whitehouse Cliffs. The Whitehouse Cliffs Access Trail is approximately .5-miles up Whitehouse Cliffs Trail at Rocky Fork State Park. The Access Trail will lead you to the cliff base. 

Whitehouse Cliffs, maintained by Carolina Climbers Coalition and Rocky Fork State Park, is a 200+ foot quartzite cliff. There are nearly 40 routes currently developed or in development. Both single and multi-pitch climbing routes with beginner as well as advanced difficulty ranges (5.5-5.12). A climbing permit is required. One person=One permit. This means each person in the group must sign up. 

HOURS OF OPERATION

Sunrise to Sunset. Climbers must be off the cliff 30 mins prior to sunset.

ADDRESS

501 Rocky Fork Rd
Flag Pond, TN 37657

NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Top rope climbing, topping out, and sport rappelling are NOT allowed on Whitehouse Cliffs. All climbing or rappelling on other cliff faces and boulders at Rocky Fork is not currently allowed. The use of natural anchors to protect ascents are necessary; therefore, practicing Leave No Trace techniques is critical to minimize the impact. Placement of any permanent anchor must be approved through TDEC fixed anchor permit.

A copy of the permit number must be placed on the windshield of any vehicle left in the parking lot.  

1. Climbing and rappelling are NOT permitted at Blackstack Cliffs or any other natural (besides Whitehouse) rock feature within Rocky Fork State Park. 
2. Due to sensitive clifftop vegetation, NO topping out, sport rappelling, or any other activity that requires access to the top ledge of cliffs. All climbers shall utilize a rope, helmet, standard rack, and a belay. Established climbs shall have a fixed anchor below the clifftop edge. Due to sensitive clifftop vegetation, top-roping is only allowed if following a lead climber’s lead. 
3. Ropes may NOT be set up across hiking trails or in any way interfere with other visitors’ enjoyment of the park. Areas should be avoided when activities may cause danger to park visitors. 
4. Protection devices, such as pitons, bolts, cables, or any other fixed anchor should NOT be used without a TDEC fixed anchor permit. 
5. It is park policy that all individuals planning to climb, register online (fill out permit) before the activity. Also, please comply with the following:

  • All climbers must be off the rocks 30 minutes before sunset. Gates lock at sunset.
  • Any incidents resulting in personal injury or damage to property must be reported to the park manager or park ranger. If unable to locate park manager or park ranger, please call park office phone 423-271-1233.
  • This permit must always be carried on the individual or group leader.
  • Place a piece of paper with your registration number on your car dashboard. 

6. It is ILLEGAL to damage plants or natural features. 
7. Beware of loose flakes, fellow climbers/belayers. Beware of people below you. Helmets are required.
8. Cliffs will be closed from Jan 1 until March 1 each year for a peregrine observation period. 
9. **Failure to obey any rules, regulations, or laws can result in being ticketed and/or denial of future climbs.*

REGISTRATION FORM

HELPFUL LINKS

Carolina Climbers Coalition 
Tennessee State Park Climbing Management Plan