The lower Tieton crags (Royal Columns and the Bend) are closed for raptor nesting beginning February 1 each year. Depending on nest location and success, the closure can be lifted as early as April or as late as July.
Rainbow Rocks is the smallest and least-visited of the main Tieton crags. Nevertheless, there's enough to keep you busy for a day and a few routes are worth repeat visits. Routes range from 35 to 60 feet on columns that range from steep slabs to gently overhanging. The rock is generally quite good and peppered with horizontal edges. The sport routes get most of the attention, but there are some worthwhile cracks, too.
The crag faces west and is shaded in the morning. Once the summer sun hits, it becomes a nuclear furnace.
Take Highway 12 east or west to "Rimrock Retreat," a small collection of cabins and businesses. The crag is on the hillside to the north above the community.
Park just east of the Trout Lodge Motel and an old gas station on a broad shoulder off the highway, above the river. Cross the highway and intercept an old roadbed. Follow this heading east to a dry wash and a huge chossy boulder. Hike up the wash a bit, then jet left and up the steep open hillside toward the crag. A rough trail sometimes appears, only to disappear again. Expect anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on the route you take, what kind of shape you're in, and how heavy your pack is.
A Tieton classic on an aesthetic pillar. Boulder a few feet up a finger crack (Boy Howdy, 5.10a), then step right to clip the first bolt. Pass a dismally thin crux at the third bolt (.11-), followed by a long, athletic reach to a jug. Crimp up the gently overhanging face, culminating in the business: a long static reach or deadpoint to a jug. Good edging shoes help. ...[more]Browse More Classics in WA