South Cumberland State Park is home to several very popular climbing areas: Denny Cove, Foster Falls, and Stone Door. Permits are available online or by calling the park office. Each person must have one. Groups of 10 or more must contact the park prior to climbing.
Please Note: Jumping from waterfalls or cliffs is prohibited in any park area. Rock climbing and rappelling in Savage Gulf SNA is restricted to the Stone Door area only. Rock climbing in the Fiery Gizzard area is restricted to the Foster Falls and Denny Cove areas. Permits are required.
To help ensure that Tennessee State Parks continues to provide quality areas for recreational climbing, all climbers should register online or with park management 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.
Groups of 10 or more, please call the park prior to filling out a registration.
Top rope climbing and rappelling are allowed at Stone Door in designated areas. Climbing or rappelling on the Stone Door overlook, or in the Stone Door itself is prohibited. The use of natural anchors is necessary, therefore practicing Leave No Trace techniques is critical to minimize impact. More information about climbing and rappelling at Stone Door can be found on the permit that MUST be filled out at the trailhead or online.
Denny Cove is one of the newest areas of South Cumberland and is located less than two miles south of Foster Falls. It is home to well over 100 established sport climbing routes, as well as several challenging traditional climbs. Climbing grades range from 5.8 to 5.14. The majority of routes in Denny Cove fall into the 5.11 to 5.12 range. Much of the cliff line at Denny Cove extends above the shade of trees; therefore peak climbing conditions will occur during cooler months. There is currently no camping in Denny Cove, and the gate closes 30 minutes after sunset Central Time. Rappelling in Denny Cove is prohibited.
Foster Falls is one of the most popular sport climbing areas in the southern United States. Every year people travel from all over America and Canada to test their skills on the challenging sandstone bluffs. There are more than 150 established climbing routes at Foster Falls ranging in difficulty from beginner friendly 5.5’s and 5.7’s to see-what-your-made-of 5.13 and 5.14’s. The majority of the climbs fall into the 5.10 to 5.12 range. Trails close 30 minutes after sunset Central Time, so climbers must plan accordingly in order to get out on time. Rappelling at Foster Falls is prohibited. There are two campgrounds near the crag for climbers looking to stay overnight. The Foster Falls campground, which is the only car camping area in the park, and the backcountry campground Father Adamz are great choices. More information on our camping opportunities can be found in the Camping section of this website.
Additional information about these climbing sites may be found at www.seclimbers.org.