Added by John Morgan Harrison
Sand Rock in Cherokee Rock Village is typically considered a climbing destination and has world famous routes and a wide range of opportunities for all skill levels of climber. Sand Rock is also an amazing car camping destination with campsites right along the cliffs and nestled into the giant rock formations.
We camped in a rooftop tent, but many people used traditional tents and hammocks. After purchasing a camping permit, drive right up to your campsite. There are three general camping areas.
First is the more exposed (to the often strong winds) campsites along the tops of the cliffs that are closest to the park office and facilities (covered tables, a very nice restroom, and a spigot) and have a good view of Lake Gunnersville. However, cars for this site must be parked on average ~thirty yards from actual tent spots.
The second area is across the road from the cliffs in the woods, which would be better if you have small children (the other sites are REALLY close to the cliffs) and they are also near the facilities.
The third camp location is at the end of the road into the park and in my opinion offers the best experience. Although it is significantly farther from the facilities, you can pull your vehicle right up to the campsite, there are large rocks to block the wind, and there is a boulder that is easy to scramble up with no gear that provides an epic view of the surrounding landscape.
Even without climbing gear, there are seemingly endless tunnels and passages through the massive slabs of sandstone and conglomerate that constantly have an eerie draft and often feel like a beautifully lit slot canyon.
Tip: If you choose to build a camp fire, bring your own wood, the bundles sold at the park office are expensive and tend to be wet.
Get more details on climbing from this adventure: Climbing Sand Rock.
- Sturdy pants (for scrambling)
- Camera with tripod (great spots for long exposures)
- $10 per vehicle for camping parking pass
- Fire wood
- Food (nothing nearby at all)
- Shoes with ankle support
- Climbing gear optional
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing
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