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Catacombs

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Catacombs 


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Elevation: 7,000'
Lat, Long: 37.5815, -118.6221 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 21,856
Administrators: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, Adam Winters, M.Morley, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Euan Cameron on Nov 19, 2007
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Strolling around The Catacombs

Description 

The Catacombs is a really cool place to visit. Not only does it have fine bouldering, but it is worth the trip simply to wander amongst the rock formations.

The area is perched above the Owens River Gorge. Close to the gorge there are many rock towers, that you can explore from either the top or the bottom. At the bottom you find yourself in a maze like structure, often crawling on hands and knees to make progress.

Working back from the gorge edge the towers get smaller and more spaced apart - perfect for bouldering.

The rock is good pocketed tuff, and almost all the landings are on perfect flat pumice.

Come for a day, come for an hour, it doesn't matter, it is worth the trek out here.


Getting There 

On reaching Tom's Place on the 395 take the East turn and drive passed a few houses. After about 4 miles on this road you'll reach Crowley Lake Dam. Cross over the Dam and turning right head up the road (take care as the road narrows). Once at the top of the hill the road turns to dust. After 1.3 miles take the obvious right turn onto the 4S03. Follow this road for just over 3 miles, until you come to a steeper section of road with a switchback.

Continue on past the switchback for another 1/2 mile then take a right turn. Shortly after turning you'll see left faint left fork - stay right. Just keep staying right all the way to the Catacombs parking lot.

The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler Crest in the background.
The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler Crest in the background.


57 Total Routes


['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',27],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',31],['V2-3',21],['V4-5',2],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',3],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Catacombs:
The Church of the Lost and Found (Right)   V1 5     Boulder, 10'   Church of the Lost and Foun...
The Church of the Lost and Found (Left)   V3 6A     Boulder, 10'   Church of the Lost and Foun...
Looks Like We're One Horse Shy Partner   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   Devil Boulder
Browse More Classics in Catacombs

Featured Route For Catacombs
Going for the jug on Looks Like We're One Horse Shy Partner, V5

Looks Like We're One Horse Shy Partner V5 6C  CA : Sierra Eastside : ... : Devil Boulder
Sit start at two good pockets down low below the South Prow.Make several encouraging moves on good pockets just right of the prow. When the pockets run out make a long reach up left to a very small two finger pocket (or mono - finger size dependent), and then crank hard to a good jug up right.Finish easily on good holds. Take care to pull on the solid holds near the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

News and Events For Catacombs
Photos of Catacombs Slideshow Add Photo
The Milky Way over Jeffrey pines at the Catacombs campsite
The Milky Way over Jeffrey pines at the Catacombs ...
Exploring The Catacombs
Exploring The Catacombs
The Catacombs at the rim of the Owen's River Gorge
The Catacombs at the rim of the Owen's River Gorge
The wonderful bouldering potential at the Catacombs.
The wonderful bouldering potential at the Catacomb...
going for the crux. looks like we're one horse shy partner
going for the crux. looks like we're one horse shy...
Sticking the crux move on Looks Like We're One Horse Shy Partner, V5
Sticking the crux move on Looks Like We're One Hor...
The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler Crest in the background.
The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler...
exploring the awesome catacombs
exploring the awesome catacombs
Vibrant lichen on the rim of the gorge
Vibrant lichen on the rim of the gorge
Hands on Rock
Hands on Rock
Jordan Winters on 'Deal with the Devil' v3, 'Devil Boulder' in the Wash Area.
Jordan Winters on 'Deal with the Devil' v3, 'Devil...
Fading light over the Sierra Crest from the Catacombs
Fading light over the Sierra Crest from the Cataco...
Gigantor Boulder
Gigantor Boulder
one of the Catacombs more slender corridors...
one of the Catacombs more slender corridors...
Comments on Catacombs Add Comment
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By Peter Wojciechowski
Aug 15, 2013

The directions to get here a little bit off as is the marker to the parking lot for this location. The lot is located at: 37.572818,-118.612084

Direction updates start after the hairpin turn:

Take the second write after the hairpin, it's at the fork in the road. The next right is at road maker 04S136 followed by a right at 04S136A.

Following the last road it will take you to the parking lot for the Catacomb Boulders: Map

By Mark Doliner
Aug 25, 2013

I agree with Peter's coordinates, directions, and map. Thanks, Peter! I just submitted a request to fix the GPS coordinates listed above, so it's possible they'll get updated soon and will be correct.

And some info about road conditions:
The dirt roads are decent. Four-wheel drive is definitely not necessary. There tends to be scruffy desert bushes between the mild tire ruts. High ground clearance vehicles will have no problems. For vehicles with medium to low clearance, brush will scrape against the bottom. I felt comfortable driving a 2003 Toyota Corolla, where it's old enough that I'm not too concerned about scrapes on the front bumper. Low ground clearance vehicles could probably make it ok... just depends on how comfortable you are scraping against scruffy bushes. I would maybe be worried about setting off airbags.