Located off the Foothills Parkway, just outside of Maryville and Townsend, Look Rock is a small sandstone crag that sports boulders and cliffs up to about 40 feet tall. It has some excellent bouldering and top-roping, and there are some decent trad routes for beginners as well. There are good routes in front of and below the parking lot, as well as below the tower at the very top of the point. Not many climbers come here, which is surprising in itself, and it means that there aren't very many designated routes, so you can make your own for the most part. The routes that are established range from 5.7 to 5.10. On clear days, the view from the top of the Look Rock observation tower is spectacular.
What Makes It Great
Showing up to Look Rock to find yourself alone is a common trend. All of the options here are really fun and really short, with a difficulty that probably tops out around 5.10. The lack of many truly "established" routes is great, because you can hop on anything and usually send.
Once you have parked, the rock is very close to the car. This makes quick trips to climb very possible and very common with Look Rock climbers. The short routes provide something else to brag about, for you can easily hop on several routes within a short amount of time and get a good pump going.
Most all of the climbing here is bouldering (below the Look Rock Tower) and top roping. If you are bouldering, bring your normal gear. If you are top roping, be sure to bring a lot of webbing/static rope in order to build proper anchors. There are some options to try trad here, but the routes are often better suited for top roping because of the height.
Who is Going to Love It
This crag is the perfect place to go to refine skills or even to learn the ropes (no pun intended) of climbing on real rock. So, for all you gym rats who have yet to climb outside (or to learn to set up rappels, etc.) this may be the crag for you.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking for Look Rock bouldering and route climbing are both the same area--Look Rock parking lot along the Foothills Parkway.The bouldering is found directly below the Look Rock tower (follow the paved trail uphill from the lot).The routes are found by following the trails down from the parking area. You can set your anchors and rap down from the top or use one of the unmarked trails to make your way to the bottom.