Explore all of the rock climbing that Alabama has to offer!  There is rock climbing just out in Birmingham’s backyard, and the Appalachian Mountains trail down around Little River Canyon.  Our Intro to Rock Climbing outings are great for first time climbers, and our advanced curriculum is designed to take our clients to the next level of toproping, sport climbing or traditional climbing.  We also offer courses devoted to best practices in rappelling, and in addition to the destinations listed below, we are open to exploring the possibilities.

Guided Rock Climbing Trips

  • Palisades Park – The perfect place for new climbers to get a lot of time on the rocks, Palisades Park has plenty of toprope opportunities and is a great place to learn to rappel or to climb trad. Palisades is just over the hill in Oneonta, one hour from Birmingham.
  • Sand Rock (Cherokee Rock Village) – Perhaps the best known crag in Alabama, Sand Rock is popular for toproping and sport climbing. The park is near Little River Canyon and the town of Leesburg, plus or minus two hours from downtown Birmingham.
  • Yellow Bluff – Another great crag for climbers of all skill levels, Yellow Bluff features easy bolted routes and hard trad. It’s an ideal classroom for learning to sport climb, build anchors and place your first protection (pro). Yellow Bluff is an hour and a half from Birmingham, and just forty-five minutes south of Huntsville. 

Climbing Courses

  • Intro to Rock Climbing – A half-day session that covers all the basics – a brief history of climbing, a quick synopsis of the sport, a hands-on “show and tell” with the gear, a ground school lesson on knots, belay and rappelling techniques, and then the real thing… a few hours of climb time on the rocks!
  • Toproping – A half-day session that will get you up to speed on running your own toprope outings – equipment selection, safety systems, anchor building, rope management and climbing movement. Of course, there will be plenty of time hanging from a rope and pulling down hard on rocks. *Prerequisite – Intro to Rock Climbing (or demonstration of basic proficiency.)
  • Anchor Building – A half-day session that focuses on assessing existing anchors, building your own bomber anchors and utilizing the set up rope. *Prerequisites – Intro to Rock Climbing, Toproping (or demonstration of familiarity with the equipment and proficiency in technical skills.)
  • Lead Climbing – A full-day session that introduces lead climbing in the sport and/or trad setting. This program takes each of the topics covered in How to Toprope to the next level – selecting equipment, keeping yourself and others safe, exploring anchor options, mastering the rope, developing movement skills and falling on gear. *Prerequisites – Intro to Rock Climbing, Toproping (or demonstration of familiarity with the equipment and proficiency in technical skills.) 
  • Rappelling – Climbing is cool and all, but who doesn’t want to rap down the rocks like a boss? This course is designed to teach you to assess and build anchors, back up your rappel with safety systems and zip down the rope like the soldiers in Call of Duty!


 *All Idlewild adventures are smoke-free experiences*