SPIRE Rock is a man-made rock formation located just outside of Tacoma at the Sprinker Recreation Center. Local climbers enjoy unlimited acces to SPIRE Rock throughout the year although occasionally mountaineering and rescue organization will reserve specific use of the facility for training and instructional purposes. Classes are also offered through various parks and recreation departments during the year. The intention, however is to promote the sport of rock climbing rather than restrict it. Therefore, we are committed to ensuring that all users get fair access.
Known formally as Spanaway Ice & Rock Education, the construction of SPIRE Rock took two years and was dedicated on August 11, 1976. Wayne Cooke served as the chairperson for the SPIRE Rock committee to ensure bringing this project to fruition. It was designed by climbers and was built by climbers for climbers. Thousands of hours of labor were spent on this extraordinary project in the interest of providing a safe climbing facility in Pierce County.
All work was performed by volunteers - from mixing mortar to pumping concrete to hoisting white granite. Manpower was also contributed by the U.S. Army and the use of their 40-ton crane and the Corps of Engineers who helped transport the rocks used to create the facility.
SPIRE Rock cost $4,016 to build, a fraction of the cost had it been contracted out. Monies were donated by Safeco, the Boys Scouts of America, the Tacoma Mountaineers, and various rescue organizations. Over the years, numerous mountaineer groups have contributed monies and time to help keep SPIRE Rock clean and free of debris.
SPIRE Rock is typically restricted for group use from 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. daily. While there may be a group active on the rock during these times which give them priority in the use of the climbing rock, the group is still expected to facilitate the opportunity for others to enjoy it's use. A nominal fee is charged for group reservations.
To confirm availability of SPIRE Rock, to make comments about the operation of the program, to donate monies for further improvements or cleaning of the rock, or to volunteer your time or skills please contact Kyle Wintermute, Community Center Manager, at Sprinker 253-798-4015.
SPIRE ROCK Sprinker Recreation Center 700 Military Rd E Tacoma, WA 98444
From the North/South: From I-5, take exit 127 following the Mt. Rainier/Puyallup signs to Highway 512 going east. Take the second exit (Parkland/Spanaway-Pacific Ave) and at the stop light turn right onto Pacific Avenue (SR 7). Head south for 2.7 miles then turn right on Military Road (152nd St). Sprinker Center is 1 1/2 blocks down on the right.
From the East: Go west on Highway 512. Take the Mt. Rainier/Hiway 7 exit and follow the off ramp around to your left. At the stoplight turn left onto Pacific Avenue. Go south on Pacific Avenue for 2.7 miles and turn right on Military Road (152nd St.) Sprinker Center is 1 1/2 blocks down on the right. As you enter the parking lot, SPIRE Rock is located to the far left of the facility between the ballfields and Breseman Forest.
Area seems neglected compared to other artificial walls in Washington. Lots of graffiti and trash/broken bottles strewn about the area. Thin layers of pea gravel makes for a hard landing in some places.
Rock is solid and routes are plentiful, but it seems not a lot of people have laid their hands on it other than kids to hangout at the top.