The SCC has worked towards the permanent protection of the Citadel since 2004, and it has a long history of climbing dating back to the early 80s and 90s. Several local Alabama climbers can be found in the early discovery of the area. Jake Slaney, Daron Harris, and Christy Wood are credited by locals for discovering the area as a destination for climbing. In the summer of 1992, development of boulders really picked up as Adam Henry, Chris Harris, and Jake Slaney started climbing and developing together. They would spend all day in the Canyon and then boulder in the afternoon over carpet squares – putting up ten climbs a day. Bob Cormany and others also had their early mark on the area and made their way over and did a lot of classic Cormany shallow grooves. Early on names like Chris Watford, Rob Robinson and others were known to scope out and climb at the boulders. Soon Andrew Trailor, Michael Hanks, Maurece Reed, and Adam Henry continued to find classic lines in the area, spending a few summers in a row there. First the Nuclear Arms area went up, then the Crystal Tear area, and then the Snail. It was a snowball after that that now totals in more than 150 unique boulder problems. John Barr and Ann Shields are also credited with many early first ascents. 

In 2004, Brad McLeod, Gus Fontenont and other SCC founders began to form a “hit list” of sorts with threatened climbing areas in the southeast that needed protection. Citadel has remained a priority for the organization since that time. In 2023, after decades of effort, the SCC was finally able to engage the landowner and quickly looped in the Access Fund for support. The SCC, with the help of the Access Fund, has been able to raise major grants for the purchase from the Lyndhurst Foundation, Riverview Foundation and the Georgia Alabama Land Trust, with the support for the remainder of the acquisition coming from the Climbing Conservation Loan Program offered by the Access Fund. 

If you have history on the area, SCC is compiling a history of the property.  We know how special this property is not only to climbers but to Fort Payne locals, and we want to capture and honor it’s story. Please reach out to info@seclimbers.org if you have more history for us!


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What to Expect

Citadel Boulders is a highly revered boulderfield in Alabama hosting more than 150 unique boulder problems, and more than 40 individual large sandstone boulders. The boulders contain highly featured southern sandstone with many problems at a range of difficulty levels – everything from classic sloper top-outs and gnarly roof climbing, to slabby tech climbing. There is something for everyone including easy to moderate climbs to test pieces like Ninja Camp and Big Poppa. It is home to the iconic Snail boulder among many other southern classics. 

Access is offered in accordance with the Alabama Recreational Use Statute (Alabama Code 35-15-1 et seq.).  If you choose to enter this area you are voluntarily choosing to assume all risk of personal injury and/or property loss. Numerous hazards exist on the property, some of which may not be obvious or apparent. These hazards include, but not limited to: steep open cliffs; slippery surfaces; steep and natural walkways, trails, and roadways; loose unstable rocks; falling objects; the possible failure of fixed climbing anchors; and the conduct of other users.

Access Notes

Please do your part to keep this area scenic and wild for all generations to enjoy.

  • Be a good neighbor: Please make a good impression by driving slowly, smiling and being respectful to our neighbors.
  • Please stay on SCC property, surrounding properties are actively hunted.
  • Please maintain a low profile by keeping noise to a minimum so as not to disturb the local community.
  • This property is only open from dawn til dusk. No overnight camping or visitation. Please observe these hours to ensure that we are respectful of our neighbors.
  • Leave No Trace: Keep this area beautiful and clean. Clean up after yourselves, your peers, and your pets. Lead by example and pick it up on the first pass.
  • Pets must be on a leash at all times


No Camping at Citadel Boulders

Nearby Options: 

DeSoto State Park – Campground Office: 256-845-5075

Little River RV Park & Campground 


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