A short drive north from Chattanooga, Stone Fort —also known as Little Rock City—serves as one of three destinations in the renowned Triple Crown Bouldering Series, offering world-class lines on varied sandstone. Whether you’re looking to crimp, slope, throw or stay static, you’ll find yourself entertained and challenged.
The boulder field is located on private property—owned by the Montlake Golf Club—so an $8 entry fee and a one-time liability waiver are required to climb. To ensure healthy access relationships, limit your impact by packing out your trash, keeping noise to a minimum, and staying respectful of others.
The approach to the first climb is very easy and takes less than 5 minutes. On a nice day, you’ll see many climbers and the environment stays amicable and friendly. Consisting of about 800 boulders in the boulder field, Stone Fort is one of the best areas in the Southeast. If you come to this part of the country to boulder, don’t pass it by—you’ll be missing out!
Specific description of climbing style
You’ll find varied sandstone boulder problems, well suited to a variety of climbing styles. The grading feels pretty average for the area. Personally, a V8 at Stone Fort feels like a V7 at Horse Pens 40 in Alabama, but then again, it’s all in your personal preference. I’ve gotten shut down on V3s and have walked up V7s. It’s all in the climb and the climber.
Anytime from early September to late May are climbable; the summer months can be really hot and humid. The best months to climb are November through March.
Climbing grade range
There are hundreds of climbs for every skill level, ranging from V0 up to V13. There’s plenty of climbing for everyone, and for the climbers who are up for it, there are 22 open projects!
Top climbs in the area
- Spare (V0): A short slab that packs a punch! Fun warm up.
- Storming the Castle (V1 PG13): A very scary 35-foot climb with a good landing. Make sure your feet are solid on the last move.
- The Ribcage (V3): A cool mantle problem with ridges that resemble ribs.
- Super Mario (V4): A nice traverse with a fun kneebar.
- Tristar (V4): A fun climb with a first-move crux.
- Crack of Doom (V5): A solid hand crack with a good landing.
- Shotgun (V6): A cool pocketed face with a dicey finish.
- Now and Zen (V7): One of the most interesting climbs at the Fort. A bit tough to find.
- Grimace (V8): Sloper climbing at its finest!
- Bedwetters (V9): An insanely cool roof boulder with a not so cool landing … Lots of pads are a must.
- The Law (V11): Crazy hard lock-off moves on terrible crimps.
- The Shield (V12): Probably the most famous boulder in the Southeast, The Shield is a wonder to look at, let alone climb. I have yet to try this amazing boulder.
Best kept secret
CRB (Country Redneck B****) (V5) is one of the most underrated intermediate climbs in the Fort. With fun movement on fair holds, this one is hard to beat.
Best local spots
Lupi’s Pizza Pies
Offering the best pizzas around, Lupi’s is a great spot to recoup after at a day at the Fort. They also have tasty calzones, whole wheat dough, and a decent beer selection. Website.
The go-to spot for burgers, pizzas, and house-brewed beers. It might be on the pricey side for standard dirtbag cuisine, but hey, the food is amazing and the beer won’t let you down! Website.
Fantastic southern barbeque, conveniently located between the popular Tennessee Wall and Chattanooga. Yelp.
Where to stay
The Crash Pad
The Crash Pad is the best climbing hotel/hostel in Chattanooga. It’s clean, cost-effective, and always a friendly atmosphere. With a slackline, campus board, and outdoor fire pit, there are plenty of things to occupy your time on a rest day, not to mention it being within walking distance to restaurants and a five-minute drive from the heart of Chattanooga!
Camping is available at Tenessee Wall, shown on the interactive map above. Closer to the city, some climbers choose to camp at Chester Frost Park. There’s also limited camping around “Mountain Road” or the “Pep Boys” boulder field. Seek local beta for details.
Crash pad rentals
In need of a little more padding? You can rent crash pads for about $13/day from Anvil Crash Pad Rentals, located in Chattanooga.
The way Bedwetters (V9) got its name is because of the mattress the first ascensionists used as protection before pads were around. You can still find the decaying bed frame near the problem.
Now to you
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