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Laurel Knob

Land Manger: CCC

Guides and Info

PDF iconLaurel Knob Climbing Management Plan

Area rep: Matt Chrestman

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.

Want an easier approach?

Current annual CCC members recieve 10-15% off Hyland Cabins, which are a ~1 mile walk to the base of Laurel Knob. Info Here

Access notes

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

Peregrine Closure

Routes in the Dillard Canyon are closed due to a nesting pair of peregrine falcons from Feb 1 to August 15 every year until otherwise posted. There is an active and successful peregrine eyrie. Let's give this special species some privacy to do their thing and reer their young. This eyrie was formerly on Fathom but it has now moved. Fathom and routes surrounding are now open year-round.