Ascent of Rocky Face on 2013-01-05

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Saturday, January 5, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rocky Face
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:1795 ft / 547 m

Ascent Trip Report

Of the 19 ranked peaks in Alexander County NC, Rocky Face is one of the few that is publicly accessible. Rocky Face Park opened in 2012 at the site of an old quarry. The 318-acre park offers rock climbing and a handicapped-accessible paved walking loop, in addition to the 4-mile summit hike on a well-graded, easy-to-follow trail. Kudos to the county for such an ambitious project.

The mountain is a granite dome, mostly wooded but with several wide-open rock faces that offer views as far away as the Charlotte skyline.

There are two trails from the parking area that meet about halfway up the mountain. I started on the Buzzard Roost trail and finished on the Grindstone Trail. Buzzard Roost climbs 100 feet to a fenced overlook atop the old quarry and then connects with the Hollow Rock Trail, which climbs to the NE and loops around the summit 1.9 miles from the parking lot. The return on Grindstone is a little longer and makes the round trip 4 miles. Rocky Face is a nice winter hike, especially when the weather keeps you out of the higher peaks.

I didn't see any road signs leading to the park, and my car GPS couldn't find it. However, GPS did lead me to Rocky Face Baptist Church, which is adjacent to the park. For more about the park and driving directions, go to
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:715 ft / 217 m
    Total Elevation Loss:715 ft / 217 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:675 ft / 205 m
    Distance:1.9 mi / 3.1 km
    Route:Buzzards Roost, Hollow Rock
    Start Trailhead:Rocky Face Park  1120 ft / 341 m
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:715 ft / 217 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 675 ft / 206 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Gain on way out:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route:Hollow Rock, Grindstone trails
    End Trailhead:Rocky Face Park  1120 ft / 341 m
    Time:1 Hours 

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