McAfee’s Knob [rock(bouldering)]

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From Jay Shultis’s guide for McAfee’s Knob (see Guides below):

As one of the most heavily hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail, McAfee’s
knob (pronounced MAC-a-fee’s) is a very popular destination. The 3.5 mile hike is well
worth your while. The panoramic view available at the knob is astounding. The fact
that there are over 75 climbable boulders at the summit is the icing on the cake. The
long hike and vast expanse of boulders has kept the area fairly underdeveloped.

     The most frequented bouldering spots are, Mickey’s and Roadside
because of the easy approach. In my opinion, the knob is where it’s at. On the knob
the belly boulder area, the corridor and the Devils kitchen are the only areas that see
noticeable traffic. Quality new lines have been established all over the knob, and
future classics are cleaned and waiting to be sent.

     The rock in general, is gritty sandstone, in some areas it is smooth like HP40
while in other areas it is hard slick quartzite. There are slopers, pockets, edges, tiny
crimps and glorious jugs. Most boulders on the top are vertical, rectangular and
between 10 and 20 feet tall. There are a few roofs and many groveling topouts. The
fire road climbing tends to be overhanging outcroppings rock with flakes and edges.

     At the moment McAfee’s is a beginner boulderers dream. One can walk up
to nearly every boulder and find many easy lines. Moderate and difficult problems
have seen a spike in development in the last couple years. New problems can be
found in nearly every corner of the knob.


Jay Shultis, a former president of the Virginia Tech climbing club, made a guide for McAfee’s Knob. The guide can be downloaded for free from Dr. Topo.

Getting There

See the Virginia Tech Climbing Club Website or Jay Shultis’s outstanding guide.