Probably the “Crown Jewel” of southern sandstone climbing, Sunset Park has a long and glorious history too expansive to relate here. Suffice it to say that it is really the cradle of the Chattanooga climbing scene and is where most of the leading route activists cut their teeth and first pushed the standards of difficulty. One visit to this area and you’ll know why: exquisite rock, friendly approach and lots of routes in all levels of difficulty. Unlike T Wall, Sunset Park is a north-facing cliff. It can be cold and windy in the winter, but cool and shady in the summer.
Sunset Rock is also located in a highly sensitive, quiet community and it is imperative for continued access that you be courteous to everyone and keep noise down to a minimum. It is also important to note that Sunset Park is the only National Military Park that allows climbing. Along with that privilege comes a few simple but necessary regulations that must be followed:
- There are no sport routes at Sunset Park due to a ban on the use of fixed anchors, so you will need to bring your rack and slings. Fixed ring anchors along the top of the cliff have been placed not for top-roping, but to lessen our environmental impact along the top of the cliff. Also, anytime you want to sling a tree, a strict and highly enforced protocol must be followed. Pad all trees beneath your slings with a towel, fleece jacket or anything else you have handy.
- Make sure to keep the trail clear of packs, dogs, food, water bottles, or any other speed bump, as climbers are not the only user group of this exceptional area. DO NOT run slings across the trail for hikers and runners trip over.
- Dogs MUST be on a leash at all times.
- Parking at the trail head is extremely limited. Most of the spaces are reserved for one hour parking for local residents, tourists and hikers. Additional parking can be found at the ranger headquarters at Point Park as well as Craven’s House. DO NOT PARK IN THE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN NEIGBORHOOD! If you take your chances, you will be towed.
- The group limit is nine, any number over that (ten and above) MUST be approved by the Park Service PRIOR to your pulling in the parking lot.
- Please heed any and all posted information at the trailhead kiosk and do your best not to disrupt the ongoing re-vegetation and trail reconstruction efforts along the upper and lower trails.
Recommended routes: Blonde Ambition 5.7, Walk in the Park 5.8, Stan’s Crack 5.8, RJ Gold 5.9, Windwalker 5.9, Jefferson Airplane 5.10, Silent Runner 5.10, Train Time 5.10, Flagstone 5.11, The Prow 5.11c, Jennifer’s World 5.12a