Cherokee Rock Village | Little Rock City | Sand Rock
Tucked away high on Lookout Mountain, Alabama is Cherokee Rock Village. Known to locals as Little Rock City or to some as Sand Rock. Located roughly 5 minutes from Sand Rock the rock village lies high above the beautiful Alabama landscape and Weiss Lake and the town Leesburg.
The rock formations that tower the landscape are one of the best places to catch a breathtaking sunrise in Alabama. The sunsets are awesome as well with a beautiful view of Lookout Mountain over the valley below.
Imagine driving through the beautiful countryside welcomed by decorated barns and untouched homesteads with plenty of cattle and pastures. Just a few turns from Sand Rock about 10 minutes and you will have an awesome view of Weiss Lake below.
Shinbone ridge is the name of the ridge and rocks are bigger than mansions towering the Alabama sky. During the winter the air is fresh and you will often see climbers enjoying the view
the Talladega Mountain area. New Years seems to a busy weekend for the rock village, weather permitting.
If you are looking to connect with God and are looking for adventure this is sure worth the trip.
Hundreds of years ago the Cherokee and Creek Indians would have Sacred Indian ceremonials. The rock village was the perfect habitat for Indians with rock overhangs and plenty of camping room. To camp between the rocks is a magical and eye opening experience.
Imagine waking up the cool air in your face and a great view of the steam rising off Weiss Lake and the sun coming up over the Alabama horizon. My first though was “wow if I was an Indian this is where I would live!”
The rock Village is a climber’s dreamland with all kinds of walls to challenge even the best climbers. I have met climbers from all the US as I photographed the sweet climbing walls. One climber from Texas told me he drove for a day straight to see what the Cherokee Rock Village is about. He heard the village hosted some of the best routes in the southeast!
There are plenty of rocks to keep you busy as you enjoy the Alabama treasure. During the summer months it can be a busy time of the year with most camping places filling fast.
It is now June in Alabama and it has been in the 90′s. I decided to drop in for a quick visit and decided to climb on a different rock than normal. I usually climb on the huge rock closest to the parking area. It is an easy climb when the rock is dry and summer is perfect time, but beware of slick moss. If you look to photo on the left you will see the rock in the upper left, that is the one! So after climbing down my usual pad i made my way over to the new Rock. After a few minutes of looking around I decided that I found a route that was safe.
Before climbing this rock I would make sure you got some good shoes with traction. I wear Keen and they have been nothing but great and work well for climbing around rocks. When you get to your first climb if you look back to your left you will see what looks like a cave that is pretty big, I did not explore around it this trip but seeing it was pretty awesome.
As I began crawling on the steep rough rock I got to my first tricky spot that made me realize how an easy slip could cost you your life. I looked down and between the rocks was appeared to a fat mans squeeze that dropped down maybe 30 feet, for sure a deadly fall. After catching my breath and getting back to the plan I move on slow and easy carefully planning my mission. After an easy climb I made my way around to the left and found the perfect natural step cut out of rock by rainwater.
When I arrived to the top level I discovered a very magical crack that made me almost lose my supper. I approached it easy and slow and positioned myself in a safe manner and looked over the edge. It appeared to be a drop straight down that was roughly 100+. Between the huge towering rocks were two huge rock stacks that were a good 10-foot apart and even larger toward the ground. After checking out the views a few more times and looking to see a setting sun I was ready to get off this huge rock before darkness set in.
Of all the overlooks and drops I have seen in Alabama this one gave me the creeps. If you are looking for heart raising experience this is the rock for you. I would say a safe climb for a keen eyed mature rock climber. I would not let the kids climb around this rock. It did look a possible rappel point but not sure if a tie off point would be solid. It would also be a difficult climb with a rope. I used to Rappel about 200 yards away on an easier rock face that was also about 120 feet. Great view and sold trees for tie off and the trail back up would be much easier than today’s new find.
Cherokee rock village is the perfect afternoon trip in Alabama. High on Shinbone ridge you for sure experience a closer experience with nature. As I slowly looked over the edge I had realized one thing, that the Indians must have experienced much of the same thrill as I did today!
If you are looking for a serious Alabama Rock Climbing adventure Sand Rock, Alabama is the top destination. If you are free climber, top roper, rappelling, or just like to take safer climbs the Rock Village is a great climbing destination. There are easier great views near the camping area that would be perfect if you are unable to climb. Also there is plenty of hiking between the huge boulders. Expect to find nice cools pockets between the huge rocks to rest and cool down and if you are lucky you might get to watch a climber making his way up a face. When it cools back down and the leaves begin to turn you can expect more climbers and campers enjoying the great view. So get your wood ready and clean up that old tent and make your plans to visit Cherokee Rock Village.
f N 34.18014 and W -85.8156.
From Center to Leesburg take right on 68.. go to the top of the mountain and you will take a left on county road #36 travel about 1.5 and there will be a sign on your left… tale a left and you will travel on an old one lane looking road with an old barn on the right and you will be surrounded by pasture land.. keep on driving around a curve or two and you will soon start climbing up the steep hill. It will not be too long untill you see an overlook and some camping sites.. Your not too far away from this point… you will pass a weather tower and cellphone tower and you will soon be at the parking lot! Happy climbing!
I recommend grabbing a spot between some huge rocks. Having a fire lighting up the huge faces if for sure a great treat. The park is managed by Cherokee County and is often visited by the local boys. If you are planning a party be aware Cherokee County is a dry county!