This area is not only unique, beautiful, and remote, but it also has the potential for great new climbing for someone ambitious enough to really get after it.
The Burkes Garden area is most known for its unique geographical shape. When looking from above, the most notable feature is the massive crater/bowl shape of the mountains. The area looks like an old volcano. The mountain ridge surrounding the Garden Valley is called Clinch Mountain, and the valley was formed by a receding sea bed... Resulting for us climbers, a veritable wealth of exposed sandstone rim rock.
The valley is supposedly VAs highest, and the property therein was "Vanderbiltís first choice" for constructing the Vanderbilt estate, but he wasnt able to get the land and built near Asheville instead. Likewise of note is the United State's oldest registered church, built in 1827, and the small Amish population there. Thank you Wikipedia.
If you are coming up the gravel road from highway 42, the huge cliff band is to your left (south ridge) if you hike towards Walker Gap. The trail works across the top of the cliffs.
If you go on the trail to the right (north ridge) on the opposite side of the road, you will find lots of nice boulders.
These are the only directions I have, but there are many other ways to get here, and odds are, what I have here will not be the fastest way for you...
If you are ambitious enough to go put up FAs this area, I feel certain you will also be resourceful enough to mapquest from your location... happy scrubbing!
-Turn off of exit 60 off I-81. Make your way to the Bluegrass Trail rd and follow the gravel rd into the wild blue yonder (a LONG way). Once at the very top of the mtn, park where the AT crosses. walk noth along the AT and find all of the rock.