acquisition history

Since 1990, the Access Fund has assisted with 45 acquisitions through the Access Fund Climbing Preservation Grant Program and the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign, helping to preserve over 13,600 acres of land for climbing.

2013 Sandstone, Minnesota
The Access Fund provided a grant and additional fundraising support to the Minnesota Climbers Association (MCA) to protect a high quality boulder field in Sandstone, Minnesota. The Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota (PTCM) is taking the lead in the acquisition with critical support from the local climbing community. PTCM will hold and transfer the property to Minnesota State Parks.

2013 Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, Kentucky
The Access Fund partnered with the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition to protect 309 acres in Beattyville, Kentucky. Access Fund provided a $200,000 AFLCC loan and $10,000 grant to support RRGCC's purchase. Named the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, the land includes several miles of cliff line, some of which has been developed but with the vast majority of it awaiting discovery and development.

2013 Castle Crags, California
The Access Fund provided a grant and matching loan to Wilderness Land Trust to protect 1,250 acres in the northern reaches of Castle Crags Wilderness near Mt. Shasta, California. The acquisition will provide public access to moderate multi-pitch granite, winter ice climbing, and backcountry skiing. The property also features rare wildlife and plant habitat and cultural resources.

2012 Hospital Boulders, Alabama
The Access Fund partnered with the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) to acquire the Hospital Boulders in northeastern Alabama to save the property from being sold to the highest bidder at auction. The purchase placed the Hospital Boulders in climber-friendly hands forever. The SCC will own and manage the property in perpetuity.

2012 Holy Boulders, Illinois
While private landowners have historically allowed climbing access at the Holy Boulders, known for its Fontainebleau-like perfect sandstone friction and aesthetic lines, they decided to sell the property, putting the boulders at risk of indefinite closure. With a narrow window of opportunity to protect the Holy Boulders, the Access Fund worked with local climbers to purchase the property, and are currently fundraising to put the land into climber friendly hands for long-term management.

2012 Hueco Rock Ranch, Texas
The Access Fund and American Alpine Club (AAC) partnered to place the iconic Hueco Rock Ranch in climber-friendly hands.The Access Fund provided leadership and acquisition expertise, as well short-term funding from the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign, putting the Ranch under contract to purchase in May, 2012. At closing, the Access Fund assigned the properties to the AAC for long-term ownership and management.

2011 Deep Creek, Tennessee
The AF provided an off-cycle grant to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition to acquire a critical property necessary for public access to Deep Creek on the Cumberland Trail, a sport and trad crag quickly growing in popularity just outside Chattanooga, TN.

2010 New River Gorge Climbers Campground, West Virginia
AF provided an Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign loan of 90k to the American Alpine Club to purchase 40 acres adjacent to Junkyard Wall in the New River Gorge. The loan provided permanent parking access for Junk Yard Wall and walking access to other popular crags such as the Bridge Area, as well as providing land for the development of a campground that will enhance the climbing experience for visitors traveling to climb on West Virginia’s beautiful sandstone walls. The new campground will be created in partnership with New River Alliance of Climbers, National Park Service, and American Alpine Club.

2010 Jailhouse Rock, California
When a fast-approaching subdivision was likely to block future access to Jailhouse, AF partnered with the local climbing community and landowners to secure a permanent access easement and conservation easement on 75 acres encompassing Jailhouse Rock in exchange for a $100,000 Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign loan to the landowners towards a conservation development partnership. AF and its partners are also raised money to cover transaction costs, a stewardship fund, and parking/trailhead improvements.

2010 Carcass Crag, Vermont
CRAG-VT signed a purchase and sale agreement to annex the cliff through a boundary line adjustment on their Bolton Quarry climbing area. With the support of the Access Fund and local climbers, CRAG-VT completed the land purchase, adding three additional acres of rock to the Bolton Quarry property and permanently secures public access the cliff. It is the fourth property that CRAG-VT has acquired to ensure public access to climbing and the preservation of the natural environment.

2010 Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders, North Carolina
The Carolina Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund will purchase and conserve the Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders in North Carolina. The Access Fund will provide a bridge loan of $72,000 from the new Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign to finance 90% of the purchase price for the 6.12 acre tract that is currently under contract by the Carolina Climbers Coalition. The two organizations are working together to finalize the purchase of this popular bouldering area from a private developer. Developed in 1999, the parcel hosts 30 boulders with approximately 200 high quality boulder problems. The area sees considerable use from southeast climbers due to its central location to several nearby metropolitan areas, including Asheville, NC; Charlotte, NC; Greenville, SC; and Spartanburg, SC.

2009 Lower Index Town Wall, Washington
The AFLCC's first pilot project was a $10,000 bridge loan to secure an option agreement for the acquisition of the Lower Index Town Wall in Washington. The Access Fund partnered with the Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) to save this popular Seattle-area cliff from being lost to a quarrying operation. The option agreement gives the WCC the sole right to purchase the 20-acre parcel that holds the cliff for long-term management or assign the property to Washington State Parks. “The Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign stepped in at just the right time to loan WCC the funds necessary to secure this option,” says WCC Secretary Matt Perkins. The AFLCC also loaned the WCC an additional $5,000 to help fund the title work at Index and kick-start fundraising operations for the remainder of the project.

2009 Steele Cliffline, Alabama
The second successful AFLCC project is a $20,000 bridge loan to Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) to help facilitate the purchase of a 29-acre cliff line in Steele, Alabama. The SCC was set to close on 25 acres of the Steele property using money from its own fundraising efforts when it learned that an additional 4-acre tract containing cliff line came up for sale, expanding access to a dozen more classic lines and new potential routes. The Access Fund loan will enable the SCC to close on the 25-acre tract and acquire the additional parcel later this summer. “The Southeastern Climbers Coalition greatly appreciates the bridge loan from the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign to complete the purchase of the Steele tract,” says Brad Mcleod of the SCC. “Without this loan we would not have been able to close on time and secure the purchase of this portion of the cliff line.”

2009 Farley Ledge, Massachusetts
The Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign is providing Western Massachusetts Climbers’ Coalition with short-term financing to pay off an existing $30,000 bank loan on 7 acres of land at the base of Farley Ledge in Erving, Massachusetts. The Western Massachusetts Climbers’ Coalition has paid down 90 percent of the original $300,000 bank loan. By refinancing the remainder of the loan under the AFLCC, the Coalition will save approximately $3,500 in interest and fees that can be invested in other projects that benefit the Massachusetts climbing community. Farley Ledge contains arguably the best climbing in southern New England between Rumney, New Hampshire and the Gunks in eastern New York. In 2007, the Coalition purchased the undeveloped tract at the base of the cliff to protect the access point and allow for a parking area. The Access Fund provided a $10,000 grant to assist with the original purchase.

2008 Unaweep Canyon, CO
A grant was awarded to Access Fund Affiliate Western Colorado Climber’s Coalition for the purchase of the Upper and Middle Mothers Buttress crags in Unaweep Canyon, Mesa County, CO. The crags were purchased from the current landowner who has guaranteed an easement to access the area and secure climbing here indefinitely. This parcel is near land currently owned by the Access Fund.

2008 Upper West Bolton, VT
CRAG-VT will use Access Fund grant monies to assist in the acquisition of Upper West Bolton Cliff (a.k.a. Upper West) in Bolton, Vermont. Less than 30 minutes from Burlington and Montpelier, Upper West is one of northern Vermont’s most popular and historic cliffs. It hosts 250-foot traditional climbs, ice climbs, and a boulder field.

2007 Farley Ledge, MA
A grant was awarded to the Western Massachusetts Climbers Coalition (WMCC) to assist with the purchase of a nine-acre parcel of land abutting Farley Ledge, a unique and unspoiled outdoor recreation area in Erving, MA. Purchase of this property will protect valuable, undeveloped land and create a permanent sustainable parking lot and trailhead providing public access to both the rock climbing at Farley Ledge and the nationally recognized Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. This purchase ensures permanent access to one of southern New England’s best rock climbing resources that was previously threatened by a busy residential neighborhood causing restricted access four times in the last twenty years.

2007 Owl's Head, New Hampshire
The AF supported the Trust for Public Land's acquisition of a large granite cliff for climbing and raptor habitat. The property was later transferred to White Mountain National Forest for long-term management.

2006 White Rocks Acquisition Project, Pennsylvania
The Explorer's Club of Pittsburgh (ECP) was awarded a grant to help pay for the acquisition of 800+ acres of open space and crags in southwestern Pennsylvania. This land is of local and regional significance and includes some of the best climbing in the area. Unfortunately is has been closed to climbing for over 10 years, and is a target for real estate developers. Long-term access and preservation of the area will be secured through the acquisition.

2005 Donner Summit, CA
The Truckee Donner Land Trust received a grant to assist with the purchase of 189-acres west of Donner Lake in Billy Mack Canyon. The purchase will expand the Donner Summit climbing area, as the potential climbing opportunities in the Canyon, heretofore closed to climbers, is fantastic.

2005, 2006, and 2008 Laurel Knob
The Access Fund awarded the Carolina Climbers Coalition three grants (2005, 2006, 2008) to assist with the purchase of a 50-acre tract near Cashiers, North Carolina containing what is arguably the tallest cliff in the eastern United States – a granite wall over 1,000 feet tall known as Laurel Knob. The purchase opens up a previously closed climbing area.

2005 Jamestown, Alabama
The Southeastern Climbers Coalition was awarded a grant to help pay for the purchase of the Jamestown climbing area. The Jamestown climbing area is comprised of nearly one mile of 60 – 80 foot tall sandstone cliff-line in northeastern Alabama. Situated above the town of Jamestown, this climbing area had been closed to the public since the early 1990s due to liability concerns. The Southeastern Climbers negotiated the purchase of nearly 7 acres of land, resulting in the reopening of this southern gem for climbing. Protection method: fee acquisition by SCC with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2005 East Animas, Colorado 
AF provided a grant to help secure an access easement to this trad climbing area outside of Durango, Colorado.

2004 The Drool, Colorado
The AF awarded the Aspen Valley Land Trust (AVLT) funds to establish the conservation value of the Drool. AVLT facilitated the transfer of the property to Pitkin County Open Space.

2004 Bolton Quarry, Vermont
The AF provided grants to CRAG-VT to assist with the purchase of a popular rock and ice climbing crag near Burlington, VT. For years, access at the Bolton Quarry has been tenuous at best. However, the stunning vertical ice pillars and aesthetically pleasing rock climbs have kept CRAG-VT focused on landowner relations. CRAG-VT negotiated access to the quarry in 2002, only to have it closed again due to increased traffic and displeased neighbors. Protection Method: fee acquisition by CRAG-VT with financial and technical assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2003 Lower West Bolton, Vermont
AF provided a grant to CRAG-VT to assist with the purchase of  Lower West, one of the most popular and most accessible climbing areas in Bolton Valley.

2003 and 2006 Red River Gorge, Kentucky
The AF provided a grant to the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition to assist with the purchase of 700 acres of land near the Red River Gorge. The “Murray Property,” located 20 miles south of the Red River Gorge, contains nearly 200 top-quality rock climbing routes, along miles of red sandstone cliff lines, ranging in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.14, with room for an estimated 300 more routes, to be added. This is the largest direct land acquisition ever by rock climbers, which will permanently secure their right to climb. The Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition, the new owners of the Murray Property, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring quality climbing opportunities for the recreating public. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the RRGCC with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2003 Short Wall, Connecticut
The AF supported the acquisition of a crag on South Mountain of Southington, CT.

2002 Boat Rock, Georgia
The AF provided a grant to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition to assist with the acquisition of Boat Rock, a threatened bouldering area outside of Atlanta. Boat Rock is situated on a ridgeline of granite boulders and most of the ridgeline was being subdivided for residential development. The AF grant was used as a down payment to purchase 7 acres of land for a total cost of $106,000. The AF provided an additional grant in 2004 to further assist with funding costs of the acquisition. Protection Method: fee acquisition by SCC with financial and technical assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2002 Castleton Tower, Utah
The AF provided technical expertise, assistance drafting a proposal to the landowner, and a grant to Utah Open Lands to assist with the purchase of 224 acres of land at the base of Castleton Tower. The land was under the ownership of the State Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) who was in the process of auctioning it off to the highest bidder. The acquired land contains the historic bivy site, and trailhead access to Castleton. The Kor-Ingalls route on Castleton is listed as one of North America’s “50 Classic Climbs.” The land was under threat of being sold to a developer. Protection Method: fee acquisition by Utah Open Lands with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2001 Pitkin Falls, Colorado
The AF provided a grant to the Eagle Valley Land Trust to help pay the purchase of two building lots at the base of Pitkin Falls (a popular winter ice climb) in East Vail. The purchase established clear legal access to the Falls, solved a parking problem, and provided a continued aesthetic climbing experience for climbers visiting east Vail. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the EVLT with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2001 Black Mountain, Tennessee
The Access Fund provided a grant to the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation to help with the acquisition of Black Mountain, a 528-acre mountaintop located in Cumberland County. The area is located at the southern end of the Cumberland Mountain’s, at an elevation of 2,900 feet. The 100-foot cliffs were in need of permanent protection. Protection Method: fee acquisition by TPGF with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2001 Saddle Boulders, California
The Access Fund provides a grant to the Truckee Donner Land Trust to acquire 2,000¬acres of land from a timber company on Shallenberger Ridge, near Donner Summit, CA. The land, containing a multitude of quality bouldering opportunities is conveyed to Donner State Park for permanent protection from development. Protection Method: fee acquisition by TDLT with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2001 and 2003 Baldy Point, Oklahoma
The AF purchases 120 acres of privately owned land near Altus, OK. Included in the purchase was the popular Baldy Point climbing area. Baldy Point, known locally as “Tuolumne of the mid-west” is a spectacular 600-foot granite dome with numerous high quality crack and friction climbs. The land was under threat of being sold to developers, who were eying it for subdivision. The Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition raised more than $16,000 to help fund the purchase. The land was subsequently conveyed to adjacent Quartz Mountain State Park for permanent protection. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the AF and transfer to OK Tourism and Recreation Dept.

2000 Foster Falls, Tennessee
The Access Fund, in collaboration with the Friends of South Cumberland, the Southeastern Climbers Coalition and other local groups purchase a 55-acre tract to preserve important sections of Foster Falls and the historic Fiery Gizzard Trail. The acquisition provides access and prevents potential logging of one of the most unusual, beautiful and historic natural areas in the southeastern United States. The Access Fund is one of several citizen advocacy groups that worked to restore access to the area. With a $35,000 grant from the Conservation Alliance, the Access Fund helped to purchase a crucial easement along the trail threatened with closure. The imminent closure was due to complex access and environmental issues and confusion created by multiple private ownership. Protection Method: partnership with Friends of South Cumberland, SCC and local groups.

1999 Shelf Road, Colorado
The Access Fund purchases 115-acres of privately owned land at Shelf Road, and later sells the land to the Bureau of Land Management at appraised value. Crags officially opened as a result of the acquisition were the Cactus Cliff, Spiney Ridge, part of the Gym, the Vault, Gem Wall, and the Cash Wall. The Access Fund purchased the land in order to secure permanent climbing access, and to provide for improvements such as parking and trails. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the AFLF and sold to the BLM.

1998 Castle Rocks State Park, Idaho
In 1998 the Access Fund partnered with the Conservation Fund, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, and the National Park Service in the acquisition of a 1240 acre privately owned parcel adjacent to City of Rocks National Reserve for the purpose of subsequent transfer to the National Park Service and the eventual creation of a new park. The Access Fund provided crucial bridge funding to enable the purchase from the private land owner. The AF also provided Congressional testimony in support of the acquisition, lobbied Senator Craig’s office to champion the purchase, and helped negotiate the land exchange between the state of Idaho and the NPS that allowed the acquisition to succeed. Ultimately the property was transferred to Idaho Parks & Recreation for designation as Castle Rocks State Park. This spectacular area contains more than 400 acres of towering granitic rock formations, rivaling the nearby City of Rocks as one of Idaho’s most important recreational rock climbing destinations. The area's geologic importance is confirmed by its listing on the National Registry of Natural Landmarks. Protection Method: partnership with the Conservation Fund, IDP&R and NPS.

1998 Bishop's Peak
AF contributed funding towards the City of San Luis Obispo's acquisition of Bishop's Peak. The 108-acre acquisition was a key link in protecting the area, which is a local favorite cragging spot. The extinct volcanic plug features enjoyable sport, trad, and bouldering.

1997 Dugout Ranch, Indian Creek, UT
AF assisted The Nature Conservancy with funding towards the acquisition of Dugout Ranch, which provides access to many of Indian Creek's walls.

1997 Mount Yonah, Georgia
The Access Fund, in partnership with the Southeastern Climbers Coalition and the Trust for Public Land work with the local community to acquire a 45-acre parcel at Mt. Yonah, a popular cliff near Atlanta, GA. In response to a closure of the private land surrounding Mt. Yonah, the 45-acre tract at the base of the mountain was identified as a priority acquisition to resolve the issue. The land was purchased by TPL with help from the AF and SCC, and later transferred to the USFS. Protection Method: partnership with SCC and TPL.

1995 Society Turn Crag, Telluride, Colorado
In 1995 the Access Fund received a cry for help from citizens of Telluride and members of the Telluride Mountain Club – their favorite local rock climbing destination was slated to be closed to public access and sold by a developer. The landowner is concerned with liability at this increasingly popular bouldering area. With the assistance of the AFLF, this 5-acre parcel was protected in perpetuity through donation to the AFLA and long term ownership as an important local recreational site. The AF enters into an agreement with the Telluride Mountain Club for stewardship of the area. Protection Method: direct acquisition by the AF with long-term ownership.

1995 Golden Cliffs Preserve, Colorado
Working with a major donor, the AFLF was able to acquire and subsequently protect 29 acres of important open space on the south slopes of the North Table Mountain mesa, just north of the City of Golden, Colorado. The landowner had become concerned with liability at this highly popular area. This complex, long term protection project involved three separate parcel donations, subsequent annexation of a portion of the property, extensive public planning and approvals including rezoning of the property, and eventual trailhead infrastructure construction. The result was the creation of the Golden Cliffs Preserve, a crucial open space preservation project. The Preserve abuts City of Golden Open Space to the west and Jefferson County Open Space to the north, which collectively provides a network of trails interconnecting the broad open lands of North Table Mountain. Perhaps best know as on one of most popular rock climbing destinations along the Front Range, the Preserve is visited by more than 30,000 climbing enthusiasts, hikers and nature viewers annually. The Access Fund invests a substantial amount of money into parking, kiosk and signs, trail improvements, and has a vault toilet installed. The AFLF maintains long term ownership and stewardship of the Golden Cliffs and provides open public access.

1994 Rumney Cliffs, New Hampshire
In 1994 The Access Fund and US Forest Service worked in partnership to protect this noteworthy 40 acre parcel that abuts White Mountain National Forest lands. The AFLF acquired the property from a private land owner and subsequently facilitated its transfer to the USFS for long-term protection. An agreement is entered into with the Rumney Climbers Association for site improvements including a new parking lot and trail improvements. Among its numerous attributes it is home to a vital Peregrine Falcon nesting site, contains unique rock formations which offer some of the most exciting rock climbing opportunities in southern New Hampshire, provides crucial habitat to T&E plant specie and provides vital public access to this largely land-locked portion of the White Mountain National Forest. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the AFLF and transfer to the USFS.

1993 Gunks, New York
The Access Fund, working in conjunction with the Mohonk Preserve, the Open Space Institute and the Friends of the Shawanagunks provided a grant to the Mohonk Preserve for the purchase of 40-acres of land adjacent to the Preserve. This land provides access to roughly 2/3 of the Near Trapps cliffs and contains hundreds of classic climbs. The land had been formerly zoned for commercial development. The land was re-zoned, access was secured, and the cliffs and hardwood forest were protected from urban encroachment. Protection Method: partnership with Mohonk Preserve, OSI and Friends of the Shawanagunks.

1993 Handley Rock, California
The Handley Rock Property was originally purchased by William and Beverly Oldfield in 1974 to prevent suburban encroachment and preserve the area as public open space. Due to growing liability concerns, the Oldfields looked to donate the property to a public or nonprofit entity. William Oldfield reached out to Access Fund founders at the American Alpine Club and temporarily donated the property to the Access Fund Land Foundation (AFLF) in 1990. In 1992, the property was transferred to the newly formed 501(c)(3) Nonprofit California Corporation, Handley Rock Association, to hold the property for public, passive recreation. The perpetual conservation and recreational easement was recorded and granted to AFLF to serve as backup protection. In 2010, the conservation easement was transferred to (and is still held by) the Access Fund, upon dissolution of the Access Fund Land Foundation.

1992 Ragged Mountain, Connecticut
The Access Fund provides a $5,000 start-up grant to the Ragged Mountain Foundation, who successfully negotiates with the Nature Conservancy to acquire Ragged Mountain. Access Fund also provides legal and technical assistance during the negotiations and land acquisition. Protection Method: partnership with the Ragged Mountain Foundation and TNC.

1991 Unaweep Canyon, Colorado
The Access Fund, working in collaboration with local climbers, purchased several rock formations from a private landowner in Unaweep Canyon, near Grand Junction, CO. The acquisition of this privately owned 40 acre parcel provided strategic public access to adjacent BLM lands and protected a stunning 400 foot granite wall which holds unique rock climbing opportunities in the scenic Unaweep Canyon. The AFLF continues to maintain ownership and stewardship of this parcel while providing for open public access, recreational rock climbing and habitat protection. Protection Method: fee-acquisition by the AF with long-term ownership.

1990 Peshastin Pinnacles, Washington
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park is a 34-acre desert park featuring a group of sandstone slabs and spires called "the pinnacles." Climbable spires reach 200 feet into the air. Rocks and trails provide views of surrounding orchards, the Enchantment Mountain Range, and the Wenatchee River valley. The park is named for its "pinnacles," or unique sandstone formations, and for the town of Peshastin, located three miles away. The area has been popular for rock climbing since the 1960s. In 1986, land owners closed the pinnacles to climbers for liability reasons. The Access Fund and The Trust for Public Land purchased the site, then sold it to State Parks. Protection Method: fee acquisition by TPL and later sold to WA State Parks.