Climbing: -The Burnt River Canyon has many limestone cliffs and spires. Some of these have been explored for their sport and trad climbing potential. There are currently around 100 established routes in the canyon, with potential for many more. -Approaches are short and the sport climbs range from 30 to 100 feet tall, so one rope and a dozen draws is all you need. With routes ranging from 5.6 slabs to 5.13 overhangs, there is something for every climber. The majority of the routes are 5.10 to 5.11. -Temperatures can be comfortable for climbing year-round, but summers do get hot. Winter and spring are best.
Amenities: -There are no facilities or amenities of any kind in the Burnt River Canyon. Carry out what you carry in. -Don’t leave your TP in camping areas or at the crag! Bury human waste and bury, burn, or pack out your paper. -The water in the Burnt River may or may not be suitable for drinking, but there is no plumbing in the canyon, so bring your water with you. -There are many scenic places to camp in throughout the canyon.
Safety: -While the stone is high quality, this is not a high-traffic area, so loose rock does exist. When in doubt, wear a helmet. -Rattlesnakes! Watch where you step, especially during the summer. -The nearest hospital is in Baker City.
Guidebook: -There is a very brief mention of the area in Rock Climbing Oregon by Bolf and Ruef.
Access: -Most of the land in the Burnt River Canyon is public. However, there are a handful of private mining outfits that have federal mining claims within the canyon. You will see gold miners while climbing here. Mostly, the miners are retiree’s and are essentially panning for gold. -Since they don’t make noise with heavy machinery, the biggest inconvenience miners can cause arises from their curiosity as to what exactly you may be doing with the rocks near or on their mining claim. -Just saying ‘hello’ and politely talking with them about climbing goes a long way toward preserving access in this area.
Driving directions: From I-84 take Exit 327 for Durkee Drive to the stop sign at the junction with Vandecar Rd. Turn West onto Vandecar Rd, toward Durkee. Drive .5 mile through town. Cross RR tracks. At the stop sign, turn right onto Old Highway 30. After 1.5 miles, turn left (West) onto Burnt River Canyon Lane. Drive 11 miles until you see the first high-quality limestone on your right (French Gultch).
Offering great views and pleasant exposure, this route summits the Astronomy Tower, which is the taller of the two connected pinnacles. Begin at the gully and move right onto the face. Halfway up, a ledge will bring you around to the right side of the aręte, where the climbing continues. Above the 7th bolt, a short section of handcrack can be protected with a #2 or #3 Camalot. Rap the route with one 60 meter rope....[more]Browse More Classics in OR
I have been here four times now and every time I find more routes hidden away that I did not know about before. Anyone know of, or know how to get ahold of, a guide for this place? I don't even care if it is hand drawn on a napkin. If however I just need to be adventurous and find all the routes myself then so be it.