Riverbanks Zoo Area

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This bouldering area is one of many Charleston climbing destinations that is fashioned out of essentially nothing. You wouldn't expect to find enjoyable climbs at the Riverbanks Zoo area- what, with the water, onlookers, and high traffic- but this place is definitely worth looking into.

Written by

Logan Waddell

Destination Distance From Downtown

104.7 miles


3 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

1 Day



Dog Friendly


Fees Permits



South Carolina climbers are known for making great climbing spots appear out of nowhere, and this area is one of them. Although it is a smaller area with less than ideal characteristics (water, onlookers, high traffic area), there are some nice problems to be found. Located on the Saluda River in Columbia, the trail to get to “The Zoo” is at the far right end of the Riverbanks Zoo parking lot. Go up river a bit, and you will see some large boulders in the center of the creek to climb. There are a few more rocks on the opposite bank of the river that are more shaded and offer more problems. This is some of the closest authentic bouldering to Charleston, and absolutely worth looking into for a day trip. There is a great warm up gym in Columbia at the Stronghold Athletic Club. Get your last minute gear and a quick climb or two at this gym, before heading out.

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Riverbanks Zoo Area

500 Wildlife Pkwy
Columbia, SC, 29210
34.010904, -81.077234

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