Laurel Knob

Land Manger: CCC

Guides and Info

PDF iconLaurel Knob Climbing Management Plan

Area rep: Matt Chrestman [email protected]

The tallest cliff in the Eastern U.S., Laurel Knob was the first acquisition in the CCC's history. Big and wild, Laurel is home to fantastic slab and water groove climbing. Laurel's remote location and height make for a truly unique experience and it's likely you will be the only party on the cliff, or at least it can feel that way. The approach is long, but it's well worth the walk.

If you like classic traditional NC climbing and haven't yet been to Laurel, you need to get out there at least once.

What to expect 

Slab and water groove climbing, often with runouts on easier terrain (below 5.7/5.8). You should be very comfortable on multipitch routes and route finding as well as climbing above your gear. There are no sport climbs at Laurel, all routes require at least a few pieces of gear although there may be bolts. Be prepared for a long day, the hike in is around 1 - 1/2 hours and you have to rappel and hike back out.


Free, dispersed camping is available on the approach throughout Panthertoewn Valley on Forest Service land. Please do not camp at Laurel Knob itself. Note that due to bear activity in the area, the Forest Service recommends storing your food in bear-resistant containers to avoid incidents.

Access notes

Do not hike off the top of the cliff, it is private property. Please help us keep our good relations with the local landowners by approaching from Panthertown Valley only.