Sunset Park, Lookout Mountain, TN


By Samantha Christen, Sunset Park Representative, Southeastern Climbers Coalition

Civil War veterans established the Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Battlefield in the late 1800s to memorialize the catastrophic battles that took place in this region. Spread over two states and four counties, the park is not only the oldest and largest National Military Park in the United States, but also home to one of the most historic climbing areas in the Southeast: Sunset Park.

In recent years there have been numerous, and growing, complaints to the rangers at Point Park about climbers and climbers behavior; there have been an equal number of remarks made among the climbing community regarding the rangers. Though we definitely are not the only user-group to enjoy the natural resources of Sunset Park, we are most often the scapegoat due to our high visibility.

In order to maintain the privilege of climbing in this historic area, we must be good stewards of our resources and good ambassadors of our sport. Please help us to foster and maintain good relations with the National Park Service and with individual rangers by honoring park regulations. The following regulations are posted on all kiosks and are available online.

Observe the One Hour parking spots.
Observe the posted "out" times. These times change seasonally; take note as you are hiking in.
Dogs must be on a leash (and you on the other end!) at all times.
Groups of 10 or more are required to obtain a permit through the Ranger Station (423-821-7788).
Do not block the trail. Don't make hikers walk over your rope, gear, dog, food, self or pack.
Observe the "Landscape Restoration" and other posted "Keep Out" areas. The SCC has put in a lot of time and money to re-vegetate these areas; trampled plants equates to wasted SCC money, which equates to less SCC money to buy/lease climbing areas.
Practice Leave No Trace principles: Pack it in and pack it out.
Be considerate of your language and volume.
Most of all have fun and be safe!

As climbers, must do our part to preserve history, not only the history of our country, but also the history of our chosen pastime. It is up to us, the climbers of this generation, to pass along the history of our sacred places.

Feel free to contact your local NPS Ranger with any questions or concerns. The Ranger Station number at Point Park is 423-821-7788. Ranger John Housch may be reached either via phone at 423-298-7137 or email at [email protected]Ranger Doug Briggs may be reached at [email protected].

You may also contact the SCC directly via [email protected], or you may contact Samantha Christen, the Sunset Park representative for the SCC, at [email protected]