Rock Climbing in South Carolina
South Carolina has plenty of flat land, but the upstate area containing some of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, provides a couple of areas with good climbing. Table Rock State Park offers some heady routes on one of South Carolina’s most recognizable natural features, and close by, the Jocassee Gorges have some incredible bouldering areas too.
The Carolina Climbers Coalition is a great climbing organization that covers this area and over the last few years, Stephen Scoff and Brad Caldwell have helped to increase access and foster a positive relationship with land managers in the upstate area. Most of the climbing in the state is located in either Pickens, Oconee or Greenville counties and fairly close to the SC/NC border.
South Carolina is a great state, but unfortunately almost all climbable rock is located on private land or is illegal to climb on. Greer is located in northwestern South Carolina, just north of Greenville. Its location in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains means that outdoor recreation of all kinds is just a short ride away. Climbers will find a variety of climbing opportunities in the greater Greer-Greenville area.
Visitors needing rock climbing or other outdoor gear will find several retail stores and outfitters in Greenville, which is just 15 minutes south. Half Moon Outfitters (halfmoonoutfitters.com) sells climbing shoes, harnesses, ropes, carabiners and other climbing equipment. Located in Taylors, South Carolina, roughly halfway between Greer and Greenville, Climb at Blue Ridge is an indoor climbing facility with a variety of walls for all abilities.
Table Rock is a state park near the North Carolina border. The area is closed to climbing between January and July for peregrine falcon nesting, and is best in November and December when it’s cooled down. Nantahala National Forest is located in southwestern North Carolina and northwestern South Carolina. The Nantahala Ranger District, headquartered in Franklin, North Carolina, about two hours from Greer, lists two areas for rock climbing: Whiteside Mountain and Panthertown Valley Backcountry Area.