Suck Creek Canyon - Climbing

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About

Summary

If you're looking for a truly adventurous day of climbing, then Suck Creek Canyon is definitely right for you.

Written by

Dan Rose

Distance

0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

9.3 miles

Difficulty

5 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

3 hours

3 hours to as long as you want

Seasonality

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

Climbing at Suck Creek dates back to at least the 1980's when local legends like Rob Robinson roamed the Chattanooga crags. Suck Creek is as close to a true adventure as one can find so close to downtown. In addition to the wild-west feel of Marion County, the parking is unmarked, the trails are completely lost to time, the approaches on both sides of the canyon are long and steep, and the climbing is almost totally free of fixed gear and, in many cases, even anchors. A handful of sport routes do exist but there likely won't be any more put up.

What Makes It Great

Though the rock quality on the good routes is comparable to the excellent Tennessee Wall, the overall rugged remoteness makes it feel like climbing at Suck Creek is way out there. Still interested? Good, you should be!

It's a fantastic place to climb if you enjoy high-quality routes with no chalk or fixed pro, and definitely no crowds, ever! You can chase sun or shade, depending on the time of day - there are quality routes on both sides of the canyon. There are many good, well-protected routes in the 5.8-5.11 range, many of them "rope-stretchers" - which means a full 100' in height- fairly tall by Chattanooga standards.

Who is Going to Love It

Adventure -seekers and climbers that like to avoid the crowds of the popular crags.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

When you get to Suck Creek Road, continue up the canyon to turnoffs for the different Suck Creek areas. Park in any of several unmarked gravel pull-offs along Suck Creek Road, and then begin your adventure.

There are no access issues - apart from the confusing parking, lack of trails, poison ivy, creek crossing, and loose rock. It's advisable to take all valuables with you up to the crag. Break-ins and vandalism have been known to occur. The crags on the west side of the canyon are subject to the same hunting closures as Tennessee Wall and the rest of Prentice Cooper State Forest, so be sure to check before heading out. It is recommended to call the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at 1-800-262-7604 or 615-484-9571 to find out the closure dates. The right side of the Canyon is however not part of Prentice Cooper State Forest and does not close for hunting.  

Location

Suck Creek Canyon

Suck Creek Road
Chattanooga, TN, 37405
35.142312, -85.387319

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