|The New River Gorge
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides
Wildcat Ridge Trail
A wild ride along the ridge finishing with a fast, narrow descent. Near Marmet, WV
From MP's sister site: MTB
The greater New River Gorge region is one of the East's largest, most diverse, and quality climbing areas. Between the three major river gorges- the New, the Gauley/Summersville, and the Meadow- there are more than 1600 established routes on 60+ miles of cliffline, as well as hundreds of established boulder problems. While the moderates at some crags (Bubba City, Summersville) can be extremely crowded on weekends, it is still possible to find solitude and even first ascents, whether you wish to climb sport, trad, or boulder.
The rock itself is Nuttall Sandstone; some of the oldest and most bullet sedimentary rock in the nation. It is similar to that of the Obed or Chattanooga region in TN, and much harder and less featured than that of the Red River Gorge. Cliffs range from 40 to 150 feet in height. Tiered roofs, cracks, technical faces, arêtes, and dihedrals are common, and there are a few excellent splitter cracks and technical slabs as well. The cliffs are very long with few breakdowns, and for this reason many crags (Endless Wall, Summersville, Bubba City) are accessed via ladder, which can be a concern for some dog owners. Many routes have a 15 min approach, but almost all routes can be reached inside of 45 minutes.
It should be noted that for the most part the New River Gorge is not a beginner or a gym rat's climbing mecca. Especially in relation to the more popular Red River Gorge, the New's bolts tend to be farther apart, the holds smaller and more sparse, and the routes more technical and devious. Especially at Endless Wall, many sport routes may require a few pieces of gear to be led safely. The few crags with close bolting and concentrated 5.9s and 5.10s, such as Butcher's Branch and Orange Oswald, not surprisingly can get very crowded on weekends. To get the best experience at the most quality crags, one should be solid on at least 5.11 sport and 5.10 trad at most areas.
Although locals climb at the New year round, spring and fall are the best seasons, and even during these times it is not uncommon to get hosed with week long rain storms. Summers can be very hot and humid, but the crags of Summersville Lake can remain breezy, shady, and with swimming only minutes away. Winter climbing is feasible on south facing crags on sunny days, but for the most part it is not a good idea to plan a long trip here after thanksgiving or before Spring Break.
Highway access is from Route 19, between Beckley and Hico, and from I-64, between Mossy and Sandstone.
Located in Fayetteville, WV 25840
The most recent and best guidebook is Mike Williams' New River Rock Volume 1
Also, as the New River Gorge is a National River check out the NPS rock climbing site
Places to Stay
There are quite a few campgrounds with full facilities (wifi, showers, water) in the Fayetteville area, but most cater to rafters, and not primarily climbers. The American Alpine Club’s recently constructed campground will hopefully become the new center for the local climbing community, but as of Fall of 2013 it does not have showers or flush toilets. Here is a brief list of campgrounds/sites in the area–
286 Rifrafters Campground Drive
Fayetteville, WV 25840
This is convenient for access to south side crags Kaymoor, Sunshine, Cottontop, etc.
Cantrell's Ultimate Rafting:
49 Cantrell Drive Fayetteville, WV 25840
En route to Kaymoor and South Nuttal crags.
Chestnut Creek Campground:
Lansing Edmond Rd (Across from Ames Heights Rd directly across Hwy 19, it's on the left just before the small roadside store) DO NOT pay attention to the Google Maps location, it is incorrect, but it's close.
1 mile/3 minutes
Very convenient access to all Fern/Endless/Beauty Mtn and JY and Bridge areas
1199 Sunday Rd Hico, WV 25854
Located near the Meadow River crags, and also a bit closer to Summersville.
Mountain State/Mill Creek campsites:
Ames Heights Road ~ PO Box 78
Lansing, West Virginia 25862-0078
Very close to Junkyard crag
American Alpine Club Campground:
County Rt. 60/96 directly across from Junkyard access on your left- you can't miss it.
Walking distance to Junkyard.
Free camping at the base of the dam, near the Summersville crags. Minimal facilities, and you may be hanging out with rednecks and families.
Places For Food
Secret Sandwich Society
The best sandwich/burger and lunch spot in town. During the seasons this place is usually packed with climbers. Free wifi. $9-$13 a plate.
Awesome Mexican food and they serve liquor. What else is needed? $10-$20 a plate.
Great Thai food that is within walking distance to the AAC campground. ~$12 a plate.
Pies and Pints
Awesome pizza, very interesting different types of pizza and a large variety of beer. $20 - $25 for a large pizza.
Cajun food that usually has pretty big helpings. Check out their fried green beans! $10 - $20 a plate.
The typical bar scene but with an awesome wing night every Monday night. It's within walking distance to the AAC campground.
Smokey's On The Gorge
This place has an amazing buffet but can be a little more on the expensive side for the budget conscious dirtbag. $25 - $30 for all you can eat buffet.
Awesome milk shakes and fast food. Closer to Summersville than Fayetteville but definitely worth it.
Okay Chinese food buffet that's all you can eat for $9.
Next to the little general right in town.
Cathedral Café (For sale if you are interested)
Tends to be full of climbers since it's the only place for food in the AM. Local, climber and paddler hangout. Free wifi.
Grocery Store just south of the NRG on US19 on West side of the road.
Everyone loves to not spend lots of money, but get lots of stuff. South of town on US19 East side of road before Krogers.
Current Weather Forecast
The Weather forecast for this week
Rest Day Activities
There are all kinds of things to do for rest days in the NRG. Some of them rely on having warmer weather, so do not.
White Water Rafting
Depending on how thick your skin is you can always take a commercial trip down the New or during September and October you can try your hand at the Gauley. There are a lot of outfits around town. The closest one to the AAC campground is Class VI.
There are so many hiking trails here. Go take in the views from a different perspective!
You can always go rent a road or mountain bike and take a long ride. Check out Marathon or New River Bikes
892 Total Routes
['4 Stars',157],['3 Stars',417],['2 Stars',237],['1 Star',57],['Bomb',8]
Browse More Classics in The New River Gorge
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The New River Gorge:
Featured Route For The New River Gorge
Chockstone 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a WV
: The New River Gorge
: ... : Bridge Buttress
1st piece is a little high after low crimpy moves, gain a crack system and fun moves until the crux hits when tranfering into corner after resting below roof. continue to anchorsThere was a bolt right where you came out of the face and onto the corner (WHY??) it has been removed. Please, don't place another bolt here, there is great gear all around.Orginally rated 5.7...[more] Browse More Classics in WV
Latest Regional Forum Messages
|Comments on The New River Gorge
|By Luiz Leonetti|
Jun 27, 2008
I just got back from NRG. Spent tree days climbing around Junkyard wall and Bridge area. Unfortunately I got back home covered by chiggers!! So if you are planing to climb on those areas don't forget to pack bug spray, preferably one with DEET on it. (the only thing that is fully effective against chiggers).
Jul 2, 2008
Ditto on bug spray at the New, especially during the warmer months.
|By Ladd Raine|
From: Plymouth, NH
Jul 2, 2008
I lived in a tent for three summers down in the New and never had a problem with the biting insects. Maybe you need to gain some perspective, feel free to come up to New Hampshire some spring to experience the black flies and ticks.
Jul 10, 2008
Oh, not sure any additional (NH?) perspective is necessary. Most folks are quite capable of recognizing the attacks of parasitic insects, and the New definitely has its share. Personally, I've never dealt with chiggers, but the pesky no-see-ums can be a real annoyance (always seem to show-up when I'm belaying) . I say, bring your bug spray, and have it handy just in case.
|By E thatcher|
From: Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
Dec 22, 2008
Some friends and I were thinking of doing a road trip down there in the middle of March for spring break. Any one got some beta on what the weather might be like at that time of year? temp and precipitation wise. Will the cliffs be in spring seeping conditions, wet from melting snow or anything?
Feb 6, 2009
Mid-March weather at the New is anyone's call....cool/damp - warm/dry....so best be prepared and flexible. Moisture may linger in shaded cracks and corners, however, face routes and those in the sun (obviously) dry out rather quickly. Stay in the sun and you'll be comfortable with plenty of routes to choose from.
|By andy patterson|
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 19, 2009
I also have a weather question:
I'm coming from California in May (Memorial Day weekend) and I'm curious what the weather is typically like. Are we talking hot and humid?
|By chad umbel|
May 20, 2009
I see all of these routes posted up and no photos and the info is lame. Weak sauce.
|By Alex A|
Mar 27, 2010
Great climbing, but if you can't climb 5.9 or above, think of some place else, there are very few 5.6 to 5.8 routes, had friend with me how could only 5.8, they did not have a lot of climbs to do,
From: Moab, UT
Jul 28, 2011
I was thinking of coming out for the entire month of October and am interested in renting a place for the month with 3 of my friends..........does anyone have any recommendations on where to look that would be affordable?
From: Gunks, NY
Oct 12, 2011
Any recommendations on camping at the New?
Oct 12, 2011
If you plan to climb at the Endless Wall the Chestnut Creek Campground is a good option. It is within a mile or two of the Endless Wall parking lots. Clean facilities with showers. Between $7-10 per night per person depending on time of year.
Rogers is right next to Kaymoor. I think he is charging around 7 dollars a night + an extra dollar or two for dogs. This is the place to go if you like more of the Miguel's atmosphere. Lots of climbers to hang out with. Porta potties are really disgusting there.
My personal preference is the free camping at the base of the Summersville Dam. This is the place to stay if you're climbing at the Meadow or Summersville. There are a lot of river people down there right now for Gauley Season so it can be difficult to find a spot on the weekends.
|By Scott Arno|
From: Potsdam, NY
Oct 14, 2011
Would Nov. 26-Dec. 7 be a good time to travel to the new or does anyone think it will be a washout?
|By Blake Cash|
Nov 15, 2011
I 2nd Chestnut Creek. It's 10/person if you pay by card and 9 if you pay in cash. He has heated showers and nice toilets (read: not portopotties). The sites are pretty private, secluded, and has a really nice/quiet atmosphere. It's on the road to the Endless Wall. People complain about Brian's "rules"...which are nothing more than common sense rules such as don't shit in the woods, use the bathroom, and put out your fire at night. If you're not a space cadet it's really easy to post up here.
From: Muncie, IN
Feb 12, 2012
Does anyone know if summerville is climbable during the first week of march or will the water be up too high? Pirates cove is the crag that im looking at going to.
Mar 12, 2012
I left my Miuras around Kaymoor Slabs (packing out in the dark :() and when I went back for them they had been picked up. If anyone could help get them back to me I would really appreciate it. They are expensive and I JUST broke them in. Thanks!
Mar 12, 2012
You should consider checking for your lost shoes at waterstone outdoor store if you haven't already done so. Seems to me that would be the obvious place to drop off lost gear.
|By Ryan Welty|
Mar 28, 2012
Heading the NRG in a week or so and wondering if it is a good idea to bring a stick clip? Don't know which walls we are climbing yet but hoping to do some sport and trad.
Apr 2, 2012
If Roger's is closed, where should my friends and I camp for a week in mid-april?
Jul 10, 2012
Hi I was wondering if anyone found a pair of La Sportiva Muira women's size 36 at summersville lake/narcissus cave/near sniff that drill 5.8 route on July 8th. Thanks for your help!
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 18, 2012
Can anyone tell me if I'd be able to climb a good amount of routes with a 50-m rope? Got a good deal on one & I'm flying in this weekend to climb and it'd help to save on weight for my checked bag. I haven't been on any routes here before. Looking to climb mostly at Fern Buttress & Endless wall...
|By Sam Stephens|
Sep 18, 2012
I wouldn't do a lot of stuff at Endless with a 50. A bunch of popular routes a 60 barely gets you down. Most routes at Fern a 50 would probably be fine. Take the 60 as your personal item (think purse or small bag) as a carry on if weight is a huge issue. A 60 doesn't add much over a 50 weight wise though in all reality. Carry on your climbing gear if your pack isn't massive too.
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 18, 2012
True. I was thinking of putting most gear in a carry on, but less to carry around is best! So weight aside, would I be missing out on much if I brought a 60 versus a 70? Thanks for the quick response!
Sep 19, 2012
There are hardly any routes that require a 70m rope at the NRG.
|By Keith Beckley|
Jan 11, 2013
Hello locals. Ive been wanting to come and climb, raft and fly fish at The New River Gorge for a decade. Were considering a 3 week trip there this fall. What are typically the BEST 3 weeks for consistently good weather? Also, could anyone recommend a lower budget rental accomodation? thanks
|By John Zaccone|
Jun 9, 2013
I lost of pair of Miura's at the 7-11 wall. Please let me know if you find them. 734-751-2752
|By Chris Whisenhunt|
From: Fayetteville, WV
Aug 20, 2013
As an FYI the AAC Campground is NOT free anymore.
|By Trey Bell|
From: Georgetown, DE
Sep 12, 2013
What up??? I'm gonna be at the New Sunday and Monday and am looking to trade a couple belays with anyone in town! Hit me up if you're interested :)
Oct 18, 2013
I'm going to be in the area for work & looking for a partner Monday Oct 21st. Mostly interested in trad climbing but could be talked into sport. I've been climbing 36 years & will have full trad rack & rope. I'll be on the road this weekend, so best to call.
|By Jake Jones|
From: The Eastern Flatlands
Nov 26, 2013
Good job with the updates Chris. It's looking more respectable all the time.