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Area 51

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Abducted S 
Adam S 
Alien Autopsy T 
Alien Invasion T 
Alien Observer T 
Black Ops T 
Cattle Mutilation S 
Close Encounters S 
Cosmic Debris S 
Crop Circles S 
Death Star S 
Dreamland S 
Eagle Has Landed, The T 
Earth First (We'll Log the Other Planets Later) S 
Erased Memory T 
ET (Extra Trad) T 
Event Horizon S 
First Contact S 
Friend or Alien T 
Hoss S 
It Taint Human S 
Lies and Deception T 
Little Grey Men S 
Luna S 
Mars S 
Men in Black S 
Mothership, The S 
Open the Pod Bay Door HAL T 
Out of this World S 
Ponderosa S 
Probe T 
Resistance is Futile S 
Rocketman S 
Roswell T 
Shape Shifter S 
Solar Flair T 
Stargate T 
Sunspot T 
Take Me to Your Leader T 
To Boldly Bolt where No Man has Bolted Before S 
Uranus Has Rings T 
Vulcan Mind Meld S 
War of the Worlds S 
We Are Not Alone S 
Wormhole T 
Young Jedi S 

Area 51 Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 45.34836, -121.43762 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 12,953
Administrators: Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Peter Franzen on Jun 19, 2007


82° | 53°

69° | 51°

65° | 47°

60° | 46°

58° | 44°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Area 51 is a sport climbing crag that's located in the forest on the eastern flanks of Mt. Hood. It's a single cliffband around 60-70ft. high that's composed of nicely featured andesite.

There are a few dozen bolted sport routes here that range from 5.7 to 5.13. There is about 30 more routes that require gear of some sort. The routes are very well bolted with up to date hardware.

Getting There 

Drive South on Hwy-35 out of Hood River. Take a left on NF-44 towards Dufur. Drive up this road for a few miles and take a right when it splits at a large intersection. Keep driving for a couple more miles and take another right on NF-4420 towards 15 Mile Campground and Flag Point.

This road will split after a few hundred meters-- stay right on the paved part (the left fork goes to a small crag named Bulo Point). Take this road for another few miles; you will pass 15 Mile Campground, and shortly after that you will pass the turnoff to Flag Point. Stay on the road, and look for a large pullout a few hundred meters past the cattle guard. Park here and take the trail down below the bluff and follow it down and around to the right to the cliffs.

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.1 miles from here

47 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',8]

Classic Climbing Routes in Area 51

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Area 51:
ET (Extra Trad)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   
Roswell   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   
Solar Flair   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
First Contact   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
Vulcan Mind Meld   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Alien Observer   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   
Luna   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Rocketman   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   
Sunspot   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
The Mothership   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Cattle Mutilation   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Shape Shifter   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
Event Horizon   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Area 51

Featured Route For Area 51
Rock Climbing Photo: Eugene working his way towards the seam on The Mot...

The Mothership 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  OR : Mt. Hood : Area 51
Oh man! If you climb anything between 10c and 11d and you're at Area 51, The Mothership is a MUST DO! Written up as the best climb at the crag in the guidebook, this route is incredibly fun, and will provide plenty of challenge and reward for anyone in this range. The book does not lie, it's simply that good!It's long, pumpy, full of great moves and has perfectly placed bolts (with the exception of first), there's nothing to dislike here!The first bolt is 25 feet up, and will be an exposed re...[more]   Browse More Classics in OR

Photos of Area 51 Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Alien midget climber guarding the secret,,,,albiet...
Alien midget climber guarding the secret,,,,albiet...
Rock Climbing Photo: Directions to Area 51
BETA PHOTO: Directions to Area 51

Comments on Area 51 Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 20, 2015
By phillip
Jun 23, 2007
Beautiful but quite chossy. I pulled a microwave-sized hold off of one of the better routes with little effort and pulled more rock off of the crux bulge of another "3 alien head" rated route. There's some fun stuff, but IMO not worthy of a long drive.
By snowdenroad
Jun 25, 2007
I have been climing at A51 for about 8 years now. Most route anchors can NOT be reached from the top - and should NOT be given the fragile dry soils and plant life. So you really need to be able to lead 5.10. And 1/3 of the routes are mixed gear/bolts, so bring a rack. And bring a helmet - folks ain't kidding about the choss! And don't snub the locals when you are out there, a hello would at least be nice....

Edit to Add: Peter, I was hoping you would take my picture last Saturday when I was climbing the dirty chimney!
By pdx climber
Jul 11, 2007
Finally checked it out. Disappointing.... Let's do the math, from Portland:

20 minutes to the ozone (with better rock, and lots more moderates than A51)

2 hrs, 20 minutes to A51

2 hrs, 40 minutes to Smith.

Why folks from Portland would go there is beyond me, I won't be back...

By Peter Franzen
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jul 13, 2007
I set up 4 different TRs when I was out there. Sorry if what I posted was misleading.
By elmo mecsko
From: Lyle, Washington
Jan 28, 2008
It always blows me away to hear climbers rant about an area when they have nothing positive to say. It would be nice for people to really climb at an area a few times before making statements like "this place sucks" and "Why folks from Portland would go there is beyond me". Where would our sport be if not for the hard working folks who take the time to find new areas and put up new routes; show some respect to those who strive to make our sport better. If you do not like something about an area find a respectful way to post your concern.

As far as Area 51 is concerned, it is not my favorite crag, but it would be well worth the drive just to hike thru a very unique and beautiful ecosystem, as well as a good opportunity to meet some new climbers... plus there are some excellent routes that are well worth climbing. I have been climbing there for 7 years now and still find enjoyable routes that challenge me.

Thanks for letting me Rant! (and thanks for all the new routes over the last few years everyone!)
By Steve Wolford
Aug 21, 2009
Area 51 Rocks! There are some sweet climbs here as well as some mungy ones. But because there are so many, you can be picky. The Mothership Wall is great hard sport climbing. There are many other hard clean lines. Well worth a few visits. Enjoy the solitude!
By forrestrae
Dec 7, 2009
By Chris Kuttruff
Aug 4, 2012
elmo, thanks for your comment. Individuals who clean and establish routes (especially in a climate such as Oregon's) work balls hard to provide a safe, enjoyable, environment for the climbing community.

Here are just a few things that go into this:

- Find out about an area (either from friends or exploring)
- read up on access issues, consult other first ascensionists
- "discover" some kind of trail (which often entails clearing space, coming into contact with poison oak, ticks, or whatever other local hazards are about)
- trundle dangerously loose rock
- remove sheets of moss, mud and dirt over a surface area that would make your head spin and your arms burn like they've never hurt while actually climbing
- negotiate a delicate ethical balance when deciding what is naturally protectable, and which bolts, if any, will be necessary to keep others safe
- make sure to use proper equipment (keeping in mind corrosion interaction between differing metals, rain exposure and eventual rusting of non-stainless equipment)
- mock out every move and consider people much shorter than you when placing any actual bolts
- use a 400+ dollar rotary drill, brush/blow out all the rock dust
- pound in a 3 dollar stainless bolt attached to another 3 dollar stainless hangar
- apply lock tight sealant to the bolt threads and torque the nut down to manufacturer's specs
- etc. etc.

Sorry if any of this sounded like a rant; it's not meant to be. Route developers enjoy the hell out of what they do and are happy to spend the money/time to do it. People should just try to understand a bit about the investment and how their comments might be received

On a side note, Area51 is a kickass crag. there are some beautiful climbs (every one I got on the other day was quite enjoyable and expect to go back there often). There is a great amount of variety, and the texture is a refreshing contrast to the smooth basalt you'd find at broughton or the andesite at ozone. Anyways, was well worth the drive

By Patrick aalto
Apr 20, 2015
I look forward to warmer and dryer weather so we can get out to Area 51. If you like having a fantastic and fun climbing crag to yourself (on a weekday) and you are a fan of wilderness crags NOT filled with music and crowds then get out to Area 51. The place is fun. Sure, wear a helmet, you should be wearing one anyways, but the more the climbing community climbs a new place, the safer it will be. If you are a solid 10 and 11 climber this crag is great. Not very many easy/moderates but that's ok. Even a selection of great 12's. The crag is NOT 2 hours and 20 minutes away. From SE Portland to crag takes 1 hour and 15 Minutes. Soooo worth it. Bring a brush and help out. You'll have fun.
By another Chad
Apr 20, 2015
"From SE Portland to crag takes 1 hour and 15 Minutes."

Unless you are going by helicopter this is absolutely untrue. It takes a little over an hour to get to Government Camp from inner Portland. From Government Camp it takes about an hour get to Area 51.


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