Burnt River Canyon Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: Cragmap for the Burnt River Canyon.
-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.
-There are no facilities or amenities of any kind in the Burnt River Canyon. Carry out what you carry in.
-Dont 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.
-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.
-There is a very brief mention of the area in Rock Climbing Oregon by Bolf and Ruef.
-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 retirees and are essentially panning for gold.
-Since they dont 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.
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).
Climbing Season For the Northeastern Oregon area.
Weather station 8.8 miles from here
18 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Burnt River Canyon
Beautiful limestone climbing on Mother's Day Wall
Jan 5, 2010
Andy, your layout of the Burnt River area looks fantastic. Sh*t - it seems clear, easy to read and understandable even for me!
Kudos, congrats and good job dude!
May 16, 2010
That mother's day wall looks great!
Nice write-up Andy.
By Kenny Thompson
From: Cottage grove oregon
Nov 27, 2010
any chance of climbing here in winter?
By Nathan Bell
From: La Grande, Oregon
Nov 26, 2011
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.
By Tedd Thompson
Jan 31, 2012
There is a limited route guide on boiseclimbs.com. Go to the Other Areas tab and you will find some route info.
Aug 8, 2014
Hey a buddy and I are headed here this weekend and would love if any locals would meet up and show us around a little. PM if ya think ya can come out. Looking for easy 12s hard 11s in the area.
This is very last minute and dont expect to much but hope to see yall out there crushin!
By Old lady H
From: Boise, Idaho
Aug 8, 2016
Nice area. We only climbed Mother's Day wall, but checked out some of the other bits. Saw my first bighorn sheep, too! Don't know the actual elevation, but high enough to be a bit cooler. Lots of different orientations, so it should be easy to chase sun/shade here.