Beauty Mountain

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Cliffs tower along the rim of the gorge of the New River at Beauty Mountain in West Virginia. (Courtesy Rick Burgess)

Beauty Mountain is an upland area of cliffs and boulders along the rim of the New River Gorge four miles east of Fayetteville, West Virginia, in Fayette County. The area is a favorite destination for tourists. Much of the area is located on non-public property within the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve boundary.

A popular picnic spot for locals since the area was settled, rock climbers have popularized the location globally. The cliffs provide unmatched overlooks of the New River in its gorge,  especially at sunset, when many visitors to the park gather to watch the event. The area is one of the most famous rock-climbing destinations in the U.S. The cliffs are located within the boundaries of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

Geology of Beauty Mountain

The rock layer that forms Beauty Mountain is of the resistant Nuttall Sandstone. Hundreds of climbing routes ascend its face, including some of the New River Gorge region's highest and most challenging routes. Many house-sized boulders approach the brink of its cliffs.

Rock Climbing at Beauty Mountain

Areas similar to Beauty Mountain, more extensive and smaller versions, outcrop elsewhere on the gorge's rim. The Endless Wall climbing area, the largest, is located to the northwest of Beauty Mountain. As with other climbing areas in the gorge, sandstone with many vertical cracks and striking features are secondary attractions: the incredible views and the large and active climbing community make the Beauty Mountain area a prime climbing destination.