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Crystal Springs Canyon

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The Steeple 
Storm Trooper Buttress 
Strangler Cliff 
Wood Cutters Wall 

Crystal Springs Canyon Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 5,200'
Location: 38.76514, -119.84812 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,197
Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Milton Mugambe on Mar 24, 2010


66° | 36°

67° | 36°
Memorial Day

72° | 38°

74° | 39°

75° | 40°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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The spectacular rock formation The Steeple AKA Th...


The gullies that lie on the south side of highway 88 offer sun or shade depending on conditions. The area is under development and offers fine base roues as well as multi-pitch climbs up to 350 feet in length.

This summer area lies above and to the west of the Crystal Springs Campground, along and around a prominent ridge that splits two long gully systems. The formation faces north, however the east and west facing side wall offer sun or shade depending on the conditions. The approach can be quite windy on some days, but the Steeple area is usually less so and can offer good climbing even when the Woodcutter Wall is "blown out". The rock quality is excellent, with most climbs follow corner systems or well defined cracks. This area is not to be missed.

Getting There 

Park on the dirt pullout/loop road, 100 yards to the west of the entrance to the Crystal Springs Campground, below a dirty looking broken cliff. From the parking area walk west towards a large granite boulder, head up and left through the talus following a well marked cairn trail towards the right edge of the cliff band (Strangler Cliff).

Continue up and to the west, following the trail through some low vegetation towards a small wall with an obvious arete on its left(east) edge and an angling splitter crack to the right. Walk past a large, lone pine tree, then go left and climb up and through a "notch" in a broken ridge-line (4th class). Grind straight up a steep dirt trail, then up and left through some low bushes. Stay left avoiding the rock step trail that leads to the small wall that lies up and to the right (Woodcutter Wall). Continue basically straight up the center of the broad gully following numerous cairns. At a large rock a dead branch barrier go up and right towards the top of a small ridge. From the top of the ridge go up and left going a large rubble covered boulder that sits below a small cedar tree. Go up the gully above until nearly even with a large fir tree on the ridge line to the right. Walk right on a trail that cuts behind the large fir tree. Go up the talus slope, then left and up and right on a trail through some Mt. Maple trees. Climb over some smooth rocks to an area marked by very large boulders and obvious cairns. A trail that follows a "catwalk" to the left, accesses the east side routes.

The West Side Routes, Bear Trundle Gulch And the Double Hump area all lie directly above the boulders marking the trail to the Cat Walk.

Climbing Season

For the Woodfords Canyon area.

Weather station 2.1 miles from here

13 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Crystal Springs Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Crystal Springs Canyon:
Right Branch   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Wood Cutters Wall
Regular Route   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, 260'    The Steeple
Nevada/Utah Border   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Strangler Cliff
Hillside Strangler   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   Strangler Cliff
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Crystal Springs Canyon

Featured Route For Crystal Springs Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Hillside strangler

Hillside Strangler 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  CA : Tahoe Vicinity : ... : Strangler Cliff
A great test in finger cracks, the Hillside Strangler is powerful, interspersed finger locks leading to a desperate finish. Short, but high quality....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Crystal Springs Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo:  The vast stretches of the Upper Crystal Springs A...
The vast stretches of the Upper Crystal Springs A...

Comments on Crystal Springs Canyon Add Comment
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By Justin Johnsen
Aug 11, 2014
Admin FYI: Since Woodfords content has exploded and drifted a bit since this page was created, I'm renaming it from Southside Crags to Crystal Springs Canyon.

I might roll the content from "The Upper Crystal Springs Area" page (another one of Milton's contributions, thanks!) into this one for improved usability.

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