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Salmon River Falls (Ice)

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Upper Gorge 

Salmon River Falls (Ice) Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.5578, -75.9375 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,175
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nathan Stokes on Dec 31, 2008
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Main Amphitheater at Salmon River Falls 2008. Two...


A quality ice climbing venue located in Central New York. The one bright spot for climbers living in the Syracuse area. Officially designated a NY State DEC Unique area, ice climbing is allowed down stream from the main falls area. The main falls might look tempting but climbing is forbidden. The Upper Gorge and Amphitheater offer the majority of the climbs in the area are are easily accessible by hiking along the lip of the gorge and rapping in.
When the winters are cold the ice comes in fat, when the winters are mild the ice is pretty sketchy to non-existent. It takes a while for the ice to come in, climbing starts getting good in February unless it has been an especially cold year. The area offers a mix of top rope and lead opportunities from WI3 to WI6 including Mixed routes. Get there early, as the most popular climbs fill up fast.
Jim Lawyer's Salmon River guide is the quintessential resource. All of the routes at Salmon River falls have a fish theme, most of them involving Salmon.
NE Ice is the best resource for current conditions

It is Central New York and winter, if the ice is in so is the snow. Salmon River Falls is located on the Tug Hill Plateau which receives upwards of 200 inches of snow a year. This and the fact that DEC campgrounds are closed during the winter months makes camping out of the question. The town of Pulaski has a number of small motels if you aren't from the area and are looking for some place to stay. Otherwise Syracuse is about 1.5 hours to the south and offers the most options for entertainment during the long winter nights.

The best place to eat in the immediate area is the Maple View diner just off the Mexico exit on 81 (exit 34). It is part of the truck stop on the North side of route 104 on the east side of 81. The baked mac and cheese dinner on Friday nights is a meal and a half and a deal to boot. If you are staying close to Syracuse and are hankering for good beer don't miss Clark's Ale House in Armory Square. They offer 20 some odd craft and microbrew beers, darts and just one sandwich. The sandwich is hand carved roast beef on an onion bun with sliced cheddar cheese and onions. The Blue Tusk also in Armory square has the largest selection of craft beer, but no where near the sandwich.

Getting There 

Use your favorite mapping tool or:
81 North from Syracuse, Exit 36 (Pulaski). Turn left on Richland Rd, Right on route 2A. At the Y turn Right on Lehigh Rd. Turn Left on route 13 and follow it into the town of Altmar. In Altmar turn left on Route 22 (Cemetery Street) and follow signs to the Salmon river fish Hatchery. At the stop sign continue straight on Route 22 past the fish Hatchery. Turn right on Falls Road. Drive up the Falls road until you see a parking area on the right.
Park on the shoulder of the road as the Parking area is not plowed in the winter. Don't pull to far off the road as the ditches are deep.
There is a kiosk on the far side of the parking area with a map of the Unique area and the sign in sheets for climbers. Make sure to sign in, the DEC doesn't hesitate to issue tickets.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 1.2 miles from here

3 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Salmon River Falls (Ice)
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber near the top of the ice on Mate, Spawn, an...

Mate, Spawn, and Die WI5 M4  NY : Salmon River Falls (Ice) : Upper Gorge
THE classic, hard ice route in central New York, and one of the most reliable routes in the Salmon River Amphitheater. Climb steep pillars to a steep left-facing corner with a bolt, then up mixed terrain to the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in NY

Photos of Salmon River Falls (Ice) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Amphitheater right, late 2011 conditions.
Amphitheater right, late 2011 conditions.
Rock Climbing Photo: Amphitheater left, late 2011 conditions
Amphitheater left, late 2011 conditions
Rock Climbing Photo: Amphitheater and upper gorge from upriver.  Salmon...
Amphitheater and upper gorge from upriver. Salmon...
Rock Climbing Photo: Amphitheater perspective - This is where the good ...
Amphitheater perspective - This is where the good ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Main Falls - closed to climbing for now
Main Falls - closed to climbing for now

Comments on Salmon River Falls (Ice) Add Comment
Show which comments
By TheIceManCometh
From: Albany, NY
Jan 28, 2014
Regarding the directions to Salmon Falls, I'm pretty sure you make a left onto Falls Road after passing the fish hatchery (also on the left).
By Nathan Stokes
Feb 6, 2014
The fish hatchery is on the left, however heading north on County route 22, Falls road is on the right. I was up that way a couple of weeks ago. There are road signs at the turns starting in Altmar which is helpful.

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