South Cumberland State Park is home to several very popular climbing areas: Denny Cove and Foster Falls. Permits are required for each person climbing and are available online.
Please Note: Jumping from waterfalls or cliffs is prohibited in any park area. Rock climbing in the Fiery Gizzard area is restricted to the Foster Falls and Denny Cove areas
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.
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. To learn more and reserve campsites, visit our camping page.
Additional information about these climbing sites may be found at www.seclimbers.org.
Nearby Climbing Areas
Climbing is also allowed at Stone Door located nearby in Savage Gulf State Park. Learn more on the Savage Gulf State Park rock climbing page.