Rock Climbing at Foster Falls

Your Guide to Climbing at Foster Falls

Foster Falls is certainly one of the top sport climbing areas in the Southeast. The steep sandstone has tons on pumpy and technical routes. The majority of the climbs at Fosters are sport so you don’t need to bring your trad rack.

You’ll want to bring a 60m rope as it will be needed on some climbs.

Brief Foster Falls History

Foster Falls

Foster Falls Waterfall

In 1990 Eddie Whittermore of Nashville and Paul Sloan, Craig Estes, and Zack Jones began developing Foster Falls. In a short time these climbers had put up a ton of beautiful lines at the Falls. As time went on more and more became developed with the help of Porter Jarrard, Doug Reed, Steve Jones, Chris Watford and Steve Deweese.

Update: There are still new routes going up at Foster Falls. Most of the new routes are moderate climbing 5.10 or so and can be found way down the cliff line.

What you’ll want to do is hike down past the Red Light District and just keep going. You will come across a small waterfall and then hike for another 10 minutes or so and you will be there.

These climbs are really worth checking out. I was just recently there and we had a blast on them.

Climbing at Foster Falls

The climbing at Foster Falls is all sandstone and you will find that many of the routes are pumpy and technical. There are many beautiful climbs and Foster’s is by far one of my favorite sport climbing crags in the Southeast.

Here are my favorite climbs:


  • Bare Mountain Picnic


  • Moving Target
  • ***Twist and Shout
  • **Ankles Away
  • *Miss Prissy
  • **Miss Scarlet
  • **Mammy


  • **Something is Always Wrong 5.10d
  • **Narcissism 5.10b
  • **Diamond Cutter 5.10b/c
  • Fish-eyed Fool 5.10b
  • **Dutch Maiden 5.10a
  • **Cold Shoulder 5.10c (scary first bolt)


  • *Rollo 5.11a
  • **Standing Room Only 5.11a/b
  • **So What 5.11b
  • **Acquittal 5.11b/c
  • ***Wristlets 5.11c
  • **Hoosiers 5.11c
  • **Dumkopf 5.11c/d
  • **Handcuffed 5.11c/d


    *La Pistola 5.12a

  • ***Satisfaction 5.12a/b
  • **Thieves 5.12a/b
  • **Ethnic Cleansing 5.12b/c
  • ***Bottled Up Warrior 5.12b/c

There are a ton more climbs of all different grades at Foster Falls but these are by far my favorite climbs. For some really cool long and technical routes be sure to check out the white wall. Crimpy routes can be found in the So What Area. You will find me in the Bunkers on the the overhanging roof routes.

Where to Camp

Foster Falls has both pay and free camping. The pay camping area is right as you come in and is $16 a night per unit. A unit is considered a tent, a car, etc. You can have up to 2 tents on each camp site and no more than 10 people at each camp site.

This camping area has nice fire pits, hot showers with bathrooms, grill areas, tables, running water, and some of the camp sites even have electric hookups.

The campsite is posted to only be open April til October, but it was open last time I was there and that was in March. Your best bet is to call ahead 423 942 5759.

Free Camping

There are free camping sites along the Fiery Gizzard Trail that are open year round. I have not camped there, but the most popular is Father Adamz Campsite, which is somewhat near the falls.

Getting There

From Nashville, take I-24 east and exit at Monteagle(US41, TN150). Continue through Tracy City to Jasper, for about eight miles. Look for the entrance on your right hand side.

From Chattanooga take I-24 west toward Jasper. You take exit 155 (TN 28) then exit again into the town of Jasper Proper. Follow signs to TN 150/ US 41 toward Tracy City. Follow TN 150 and signs look for Foster Falls entrance on your left.


Here are some things I picked up while at Foster Falls.

You will definitely want to take a swim by the falls. The water is cold year round, but is very refreshing. It is best to swim around 1 or so when the sun is hitting the water.

Note There is some sweet soloing behind the falls if you are brave enough. The water isn’t very deep so be careful, but it is definitely fun.

Good Eats

Jasper has some great places to grab a bite to eat. My favorite the Jasper BBQ, but they also have a great Italian place and a Sonic. If you ride up to Tracy city you can stop in at the famous Dutch Maid Bakery and get some fantastic pastries.

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Related posts:

  1. Climbing Destinations
  2. Daniel Woods Climbs His First 5.15a

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