Vesuvius, Ohio (OH)


Vesuvius, Ohio
1515 South 3rd Street Ironton, OH 45638-2141
United States
38° 31' 25.5972" N, 82° 40' 34.626" W

In 1919 Ironton, Ohio had the first professional football team call the Ironton Tanks.  There is an old story in Ironton that says that professional football player, George Anderson McAffee would jog at Lake Vesuvius on the over 25 miles of hiking trails while preparing for the football season.  One cannot help but wonder if he did a little rock climbing to strengthen his biceps while he was there.  A historic iron furnace is located at the base of the dam. The narrows of Storms Creek offered a site for this lake, which was dammed in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corp. The rugged hills and out-cropping cliffs offer a scenic backdrop that is primed for some nice climbing adventures.

Climbing Routes

Ambush Wall- 5.1 This nice soft rock can be traversed traditional or with a top rope.

  • Tres Bandido- 5.1 A low wall with a nice opportunity for learning or trying to free solo.

Baseball Field- 5.5-5.10c This set of climbs is just behind the baseball field.

  • Honeycomb- 5.5 An easy climb with nice access and good holds. (Top Rope)
  • Left Field- 5.6 A tree grows right in the middle of this wide crack.  The top out on this route is great. (Top Rope)
  • Right Field- 5.7 This route is more difficult than it looks, locals say it is more of a 5.8. (Top Rope)
  • Green Monster- 5.9 Much more challenging and fun than you might think. (Sport)
  • Center Field- 5.7 A nice climb with a great crack. (Top Rope)
  • Bat Attack- 5.10b Short but fun! (Sport)
  • Cracker Jack- 5.10c Start in the crack, this is the most difficult of the three sport routes. (Sport)

Big Block on East Side Lake- V0

  • Unknown- V0 A nice little boulder problem awaits you at the foothills.

Hidden Boulder- V0-V4 Follow the horse trail to a nice set of sandstone boulder problems.

  • Easy Way- V0 The easiest way to the top solves the riddle.
  • Birds Nest- V1 Start on the left with low feet. A nice juggy finish.
  • Peeler- V2 Follow the far right crack on the boulder to the top out.
  • Perverse Traverse- V0 Good hands and little feet make this problem a breeze.
  • Super Stretch- V4 This route has just been cleaned again so some variations may arise.

The Dam- 5.5-5.11a/V3 Follow the steps next to the dam up to the main trail, these climbs have a short approach and some nice difficult routes.

  • Guantanamo Bay- V0 A mossy ledge with a simple little problem.
  • Doin’ Time- 5.11a A dirty sport route with a boulder start and a fun roof. (Sport)
  • Triangles- 5.8 This is a short, fun route with some hidden bombers and nice stances. (Traditional)
  • Gargamel- 5.9 Take out your balance shoes for this climb. (Sport)
  • Hot Monkey Love- 5.10d A fun route that requires a lot of stretching and will prove to be easier the taller that you are.  Hard clips and crimps top out with a tricky finish. (Traditional)
  • Oh So Slippery- 5.5 This crack is usually dirty, wet and slimy but lots of fun for beginners. (Traditional)
  • S Crack- 5.6 A traditional route with a top rope option.
  • Shakey Dog- 5.10b Short and fun, this route is also challenging at the same time. (Sport)

The Rock- 5.5-5.9/V3 This protruding rock can easily be seen from the dam.

  • Krepsik Problem- V3 This is a steep cave problem with a sit start.
  • Wasp!- 5.8 Easy climbing with a nice little roof pull. (Traditional)
  • Big Red Snapper- 5.7 Short and simple, this climb is a great warm up. (Traditional)
  • Unknown- 5.8 A slabby face with a sketchy bolt, beware. (Traditional)
  • Unknown- 5.6 This route is confusing and the bolts are even more confusing. (Traditional)
  • Blueberry Funk- 5.9 Nice and easy, this climb gets a little tough towards the end. (Sport)
  • Ring Eater Crack- 5.5 This is the best learning crack around.  Great faces and ledges are fun and friendly. (Traditional/Top Rope)
  • Gingergay- 5.9 A great route, next to Blueberry Funk. (Sport)


Lake Vesuvius Recreation Complex Campground
This recreation complex also has two developed family campgrounds, one group camp, three group picnic shelters, a boat launch, boat and canoe rentals, swim area and beach, a scenic overlook, a ball field, a 0.32-mile accessible boardwalk, 0.5-mile Longbow Archery Trail, 25 miles of hiking trails, and 31 miles of horse trails. Reservations must be made at least 4 days in advance. No more than two vehicles per campsite. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Picnic areas close at 10:00 p.m.
Phone- 740-534-6500

Lyle Motel
1515 South 3rd Street
Ironton, OH 45638-2141
Phone- 740-532-6676

From US Highway 52 near Ironton take State Route 93 north for 6 miles to Lake Vesuvius Road (County Road 29). Turn east towards Lake Vesuvius and travel 1 mile to the Recreation Area; follow signs to site desired.