Feel free to call or stop by for beta about some of the Southeast's finest boulders. Listed below are some overviews of just a handful of the most popular bouldering destinations within an hour radius of Center 45 Climbing.
Some Great Spots
Lost Cove is a smaller, concentrated, south-facing boulder field and a favorite Boone-area wintertime destination, housing some of the highest quality stone in the Boone Area with V0-V13 grades to choose from. The approach is easy and downhill on the hike in and short but steep hiking out. This area dries quickly in the winter and has a plethora of High Country classics, including slopers & crimps, steep faces to vertical terrain, and low and highball options.
Grandmother Mountain is arguably the most renowned bouldering area in the Boone region. This historic and popular destination is loaded with beautiful boulders to suit any climber. As it’s at a higher elevation than most Southeastern areas, it's a perfect place to climb well into the warmer months. The approach is easy to moderate depending on how far you plan to hike in (boulders are strewn across the mountain’s face from the parking lot upward). With a V0-V14 grade range, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Don’t miss visiting the Blowing Rock Boulderfield! A short drive from Center 45, this area is both nearby and loaded with amazing regional test pieces from the V0-V13 grade. Blowing Rock is very close to Boone and easily accessed for a full afternoon session. The approach is easy to moderate, depending on how many pads you have strapped to your back. BR is climbable from fall, winter and spring and generally requires about one day to dry after a rain.
Buckeye & The Barn
Comprised of 2 main areas — upper Buckeye Knob boulders and the lower Barn boulders — these areas are fantastic bouldering destinations located just outside of Boone. Both sites feature high-quality bouldering with problems ranging from V0 to V13. Buckeye Knob is more of a backcountry experience, with a 30-minute approach and solitary feel, while the Barn boulders are close to the road and concentrated in a small, circuit-friendly area. With slabs, overhangs, aretes, and cracks, this area has it all. There are a number of classic lines and a concentration of high-quality problems in the Barn boulders and more spread out and occasionally highball lines on the Knob. This boulder field was purchased and protected by the CCC, becoming Boone's first officially protected boulder field.
Grayson Highlands State Park is just over the state line in Southwestern Virginia. About one hour from downtown Boone, GHSP offers well over 1,000 boulder problems from V0-V13. This spot is the highest elevation bouldering destination in the Southeast, most of which is near or above 5,000 feet in elevation. The approaches are largely all roadside, the majority of the bouldering is steep and crimpy, and the views go on for miles. GHSP Bouldering is excellent during the warm months, and the park offers fantastic camping, fishing, hiking, and more.
Linville Gorge is a wonderland of rock and a deep wilderness gorge only an hour away (to most of the parking areas) from downtown Boone. Some of the best route climbing on the East Coast can be found all along the gorge, and some of North Carolina's best adventure bouldering can be found all along the riverbed. There are multitudes of river-smoothed, house-sized boulders to climb, of every grade up to V13. The approaches on some of the easier trails are still quite steep, so plan ahead, but it's very much worth the hike. Reference Joey Henson’s map or hike down with an experienced friend. Swimming, gorgeous views, and stellar climbing await!