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Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP

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Big Baldy 
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Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Rock Climbing 

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Location: 36.5647, -118.7734 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: limpingcrab on May 17, 2013


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You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Angel Wings, a 3000 ft backcountry wall

Always check road conditions and peregrine closures MORE INFO >>>


The Area: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) is a land of giants. Near or within it's borders lie the largest trees on earth (Sequoias), the highest mountain in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney), arguably the deepest river canyon in North America (Kings below Spanish Mountain), the tallest granite dome in the Sierra (Tehipite), the longest cave in California (Lilburn), and steepest river in the United States (Kaweah). Scattered throughout these superlatives are high quality climbing areas where you can enjoy the beauty of these parks in relative solitude.

To keep things organized, this area covers the climbing that is accessed from the west side of the parks. The highest peaks, Sierra crest and northern areas of King Canyon should be in the "High Sierra" area until a better system is in place.

Climbing: The climbing is excellent and a bit more spread out than it's neighbor to the north, Yosemite. Some rocks are virtually roadside with five minute approaches, while other formations will take at least one full day to get to and test the endurance of the strongest legs and lungs. The resulting experience is similar to what the original explorers of the area got to enjoy; solitude. The rocks are mostly composed of solid granite, with some marble and other forms scattered throughout the park. No matter your climbing style there is enough variety for you to find something to enjoy. Dozens of areas offer slab, steep face, big wall, cracks, alpine, and even a bit of sport climbing.

Many of the major formations were first climbed around the same time Yosemite was getting developed, and by some familiar names such as Robbins, Rowell and Beckey. Most of the modern routes were pioneered through the 80's and 90's by a handful of strong climbers including, but not limited to, Herb Laeger, Richard Leversee, Eddie Joe and David Hickey.

The only guide for the region, "Southern Sierra Rock Climbing: Sequoia Kings Canyon," is long out of print and costs a pretty penny online. Many routes have been put up by park employees and a few other folks since the book was published in 1993, so some exploring will reveal many more developed routes than most people think. That being said, there are still miles of untouched rock for those willing to earn it.

If you're looking for somewhere to explore, get the wilderness experience, and enjoy some awesome climbing, this is the place to be!

PS: For some cool history, stories, topos and photos of this and surrounding areas visit southernsierraclimber.blogspot... and

Also, a small online guide that continually gets updated can be found at

Weather and Roads 

SEKI is the same as most of the Sierra; hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. This means that some roads get closed in the winter, but there is climbing at at least one of the areas year-round.

Visit the SEKI website for updated road and weather conditions at

Getting There 

To access most areas in the Kings Canyon half of the park take Highway 180 out of Fresno. For the southern Sequoia areas the best approach is via highway 198 out of Visalia. A few backcountry spots around the Obelisk are accessed from trailheads near Wishon Reservoir. If you need more specific directions ask Google Maps for help.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.4 miles from here

185 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',30],['3 Stars',69],['2 Stars',55],['1 Star',29],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP:
Moonage Daydream   WI4 M4-5 Easy Snow     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800'   The Watchtower
Mt. Harrington, North Ridge   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b     Trad   The Gorge of Despair
Saber Ridge traverse, south to north   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 20 pitches   Tamarack Lake Area : Saber Ridge
West Face   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 7 pitches, 700'   The Obelisk
South Face   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 8 pitches   Moro Rock (SEKI)
The Boardwalk Chimney   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 550'   Lower Tokopah Dome
Duet   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   Chimney Rocks : Chimney Spire
Lunch Bucket Ledge   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Hospital Rock Area : Main Wall
Wall of Early Morning Fright   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   Chimney Rocks : Chimney Spire
Pennies On The Patio   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 100'   Moro Rock (SEKI)
South Cracks   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches   Moro Rock (SEKI)
Timex Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900'   The Watchtower
The Regular Route (Castle Rock Spire)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A2     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1000'   Castle Rocks : Castle Rock Spire
Welcome to Little Baldy   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Little Baldy
Levity's End   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Trad, 7 pitches, 1000'   Moro Rock (SEKI)
Welcome to Wallmart   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 550'   Lower Tokopah Dome
Kitty From Hell   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Chimney Rocks : Chimney Spire
Race Crack   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 210'   Danland : Race Crack Area
Valkyrie   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 17 pitches, 2200'   Hamilton Lakes and Valhalla : Angel Wings
Lizard Run   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Danland : Race Crack Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP

Featured Route For Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP
Rock Climbing Photo: view to the south with the Prism on the right

Saber Ridge traverse, south to north 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  CA : Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP : ... : Saber Ridge
Being a ridge traverse there are many ways to go on some sections. Choose you own adventure. I found the most sustained part to be surmounting the first headwall.In relation to something like Matthes, it's longer, more sustained and more exposed....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Rainbow at sunset near the Great Western Divide - ...
Rainbow at sunset near the Great Western Divide - ...
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Zumwalt Meadow in Kings Canyon
Zumwalt Meadow in Kings Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Table Mountain
Table Mountain
Rock Climbing Photo: Great Western Divide from Moro Rock
Great Western Divide from Moro Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: L to R= the Fin, Moro Rock, Hamilton Towers w/ Ham...
L to R= the Fin, Moro Rock, Hamilton Towers w/ Ham...
Rock Climbing Photo: the Whitney Crest as viewed from the Kaweah Peaks
the Whitney Crest as viewed from the Kaweah Peaks

Comments on Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Add Comment
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By kfox
Apr 29, 2014
Here is the link to any current rock climbing closures in the park(s)

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