Psst: WV’s off-the-beaten-path rock climbs

This secluded area with gorgeous views of the New River has amazing climbing without the crowds.

The sandstone cliffs at Bozoo are a true local crag. Overlooking the New River in Shanklin’s Ferry, WV, this sprawling cliffside has something for climbers and boulderers of all skill levels.

Since Bozoo is off-the-beaten-path, it doesn’t see many crowds. And the crag is super accessible—just a short hike from the parking area, past the sandstone boulders to a sprawling set of cliffs atop the ridge.

Although you can enjoy great climbing year-round, almost all of it is on the south face of the ridge, so it’s a great winter destination. Even if it’s cold and snowy, the fine-grain sandstone dries out and warms up fast. Once the leaves fall and the temperatures drop, local climbers come here to beat the crowds at other nearby destinations, like the New River Gorge.

Whether you’re bouldering or climbing, every climber can find something to get on. There are a few bolted routes, plenty of trad climbs, and the option to walk around and set up a top-rope—it’s very easy to just walk along the cliff either direction to access the top. Bozoo is a great place to learn to climb or develop your skills.

The bouldering here is especially top-notch. There are a few named problems, but you can also walk along the face and look for chalk marks until you find something that interests you. The rock itself is pretty clean, and mostly free of lichen and vegetation.

Don’t let the idea of a local crag intimidate you—even the locals here drive an hour or more for this backwoods spot. Everyone is friendly and more than happy to show you the best routes on this beautiful sandstone.

There are several places to set up a hammock or have a picnic. Shanklin’s Ferry campground has parking for groups of any size, camping options and a playground.

Don’t set new bolts, but you can make use of natural anchors.

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This post was last updated on July 17, 2020