New River Gorge Climbing
You’ll find some of the best climbing in America, right here in West Virginia. The New River Gorge offers a variety of different types of climbing: trad, sport, mixed and bouldering.
The New River Gorge is great in all seasons. If you climb in the summer here expect hot weather (85-90 degrees Fahrenheit) and watch out for thunderstorms! In the winter you can expect temps to be around 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and there will usually be ice and snow on top of the rock so be careful.
Upper Meadow Rock
Upper Meadow Rock is a great crag for beginner leaders and those working on lead climbing skills. There are sport and trad lines ranging from 5.2 to 5.14b with mostly sport anchors on top of the crag. This crag is about 20 minutes outside of Hico.
This is a secluded crag in the mountains above Summersville Lake known for it’s beautiful scenery and amazing climbing. The crag contains routes at a range of grades, both traditionally protected and bolted. That makes this area great for climbers of all abilities and makes it even easier to connect with new people!
The Meadows Crags is located in Hico, West Virginia. You can find it by taking Rt 19 South from Summersville around Summersville Lake to Hico. From there you will take HWY 39 (Fayette Station Road) until you reach Fayette Station Bridge. From there, drive up the dirt road toward the cliffs and park at the pulloff just past the first bridge across Meadow Creek (there are several parking areas along this road). This is not a difficult approach: it’s only about 200 yards and 50 vertical feet to the base of the wall.
Summersville Lake – some high quality sandstone routes that are right on the water!
Summersville Lake is a great alternative to the New River Gorge for people who want to climb without driving all the way to Fayetteville. Those who choose to head out here will find plenty of climbing opportunities, and there are routes for both beginners and experts. Summersville Lake is also surrounded by waterfalls and trails that are worth checking out if you have extra time.
Gauley River Climbing
There are a few good crags within a short drive of Hico, WV. Summersville Lake is the closest and also the most popular. It’s located along the Gauley River right next to the Summersville Dam. This area has several cliffs with climbing routes ranging from 20 to 100 feet in length and varying in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.13d, so there’s something for all skill levels here.
Magnolia Crag is another option in this area. Seasoned climbers will enjoy its multi-pitch routes, but there are beginner climbs available as well.
Meadow River Gorge, which is located about 10 miles south of Fayetteville and about an hour from Hico, also has a variety of beginner routes for those looking for some outdoor climbing fun without any big risks or lengthy drives necessary before doing so!
If you’re thinking about climbing in West Virginia there are a lot of great areas all within close proximity of Hico!
If you’re thinking about climbing in West Virginia there are a lot of great areas all within close proximity of Hico! All of the areas mentioned below (and many others I haven’t talked about) are only an hour and a half or less from Hico. The New River Gorge is probably the most well known area, but Summersville Lake is also very popular. And, just south of there is the Gauley River where you can find some awesome bouldering! The Meadow River Gorge also has some good sport climbing on its walls beside the river.
For those who prefer top roping, Endless Wall in the NRG is probably your best bet as it has easy access to walls from both sides of the river at Thurmond and Fayette Station Road. Summersville Lake offers great top roping as well, with many climbs accessible by boat. Or you can pull up to shore for a day of climbing at one spot!
The Meadow River Gorge has some great top roping and bouldering as well and it’s nice for those who want to escape the crowds that tend to gather at other more popular spots (especially when it’s not raining!).