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Tieton River

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Bend, The 
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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Tieton River  

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Location: 46.64278, -121.39234 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Peter Franzen, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
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Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


The Tieton (Tie-eh-ton) River crags are spread out along a twenty-mile stretch of the Tieton River drainage, on the east slope of the south Cascades. Most of the crags are andesite (similar to basalt), part of a fifty-mile long flow from the ancient Goat Rocks volcano. By some accounts it's the world's longest andesite flow.

There are more than 400 routes, pretty much evenly split between trad and sport. Generally, the crags in the lower canyon (Royal Columns, the Bend, Moon Rocks) have more crack routes while the crags higher in the drainage (the Oasis, the Cave, Rainbow Rocks, Wildcat, Lava Point and South Fork) have more sport routes. Whether it's a reflection of the rock or the primary route developers, the Tieton shines at the 5.10 grade for trad routes and 5.11 grade for sport climbs.

The lower canyon is semi-arid with sagebrush, cactus and oak groves. The higher crags are in mixed forests of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Throughout the area, nearly every crag offers either morning or afternoon shade, and sometimes both. With a little planning, summer climbing in the Tieton can be more pleasant than in Leavenworth.

Watch for rattlesnakes in the lower canyon.

Getting There 

If you're coming from Seattle or north, cross the Cascades on I-90, then take I-82 to Yakima. From Yakima, head west on Highway 12 approximately 20 miles, turning left where Highway 12 branches off of Highway 410. The first major crag (the Royal Columns) is about two miles ahead on the left, across from the Oak Creek Wildlife Area headquarters. Drive time approximately 3 hours.

From the South Sound (Tacoma and Olympia), or from Seattle to reach the upper Tieton crags, it's quicker in the summer to follow Highway 410 to Cayuse Pass, then take Highway 123 through Mt. Rainier National Park to Highway 12. Cross White Pass to the Tieton. Drive time approximately 2 and a half hours from Tacoma, even shorter to some crags.

From eastern Washington, get to Yakima, then follow the directions above.

Climbing Season

Weather station 13.7 miles from here

139 Total Routes

['4 Stars',12],['3 Stars',64],['2 Stars',48],['1 Star',12],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Tieton River:
Mush Maker   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Royal Columns : Main Face
First Blood   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 70'   Royal Columns : Main Face
Ed's Jam   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches   The Bend : Bend Center
Thriller Pillar   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 70'   Royal Columns : Orange Sunshine area
Jam Exam   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Royal Columns : Orange Sunshine area
Inca Roads   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Royal Columns : Main Face
Ride the Lightning   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Trad, Sport, Alpine, 7 pitches, 500'   Goose Egg Mountain
Ring of Fire   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 80'   Lava Point : Dream Wall
Salmon Song   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 85'   The Bend : Bend West
Lava Sundae   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 80'   Lava Point : Dream Wall
Reckoning   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   The Bend : Bend West
Orange Sunshine   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Royal Columns : Orange Sunshine area
Cat Crack   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 90'   Wild Cat Wall
Pure Joy   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad   The Bend : Bend West
Saint Of Circumstance   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Lava Point : Lava Wall/Deadheads
Paul Maul   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Royal Columns : Orange Sunshine area
Keel Hauled   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 110'   Wild Cat Wall
The Price of Complacency   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Royal Columns : Orange Sunshine area
Aboriginal Design   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Cave : Middle Wall
Whitewashed   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   South Fork Cliff : Astral Wall
Browse More Classics in Tieton River

Featured Route For Tieton River
Orange Sunshine.

Orange Sunshine 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b  WA : Tieton River : ... : Orange Sunshine area
Orange Sunshine hooked me on climbing. Of course, I'd already been playing with the hook; I'd blown off much of my senior year of college bouldering at the UW Rock. But on a warm summer evening in 1986, I discovered there was more to climbing than contriving moves on concrete. The rock was bathed in the light of an amazing sunset. Orange lichen glowed around the splitter sweep of the crack. The sound of the river and the strong scent of sagebrush carried up from the canyon below. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in WA

Photos of Tieton River Slideshow Add Photo
Andy & Doug appear to be syncronized at Lava Point...
Andy & Doug appear to be syncronized at Lava Point...
Climbers enjoying a beautiful spring day at Lava P...
Climbers enjoying a beautiful spring day at Lava P...
Andy warming up on "Artificially Insteminated...
Andy warming up on "Artificially Insteminated...
Andy about to crux on "Saint of Circumstance&...
Andy about to crux on "Saint of Circumstance&...
Doug enjoying "Travalava" 5.9 at Lava Po...
Doug enjoying "Travalava" 5.9 at Lava Po...
Andy remembering how steep the routes are at Lava ...
Andy remembering how steep the routes are at Lava ...
Spring in the Tieton Valley!
Spring in the Tieton Valley!

Comments on Tieton River Add Comment
Show which comments
By sqwirll
From: Las Vegas
Sep 27, 2007
The ratings here seem to be sanbagged a little. If you haven't climbed here then you may want to start a grade or two lower and work your way up. The grades seem to become more accurate once you get to the 5.9 and up climbing. If your crack technique sucks, then they may even feel harder.
By Bill Ballace
From: Pullman,WA
Jun 1, 2014
Quietly some of the best climbing in the state...Vantage gets gangbanged and you're likely to have Tieton all to yourself. If you are road tripping through WA Wild Cat Wall, The Bend, and South Fork are not to be missed.
By Swithich
Jul 9, 2014
I wanted to report the washout of Wildcat Rd./NFS-1306. This is a primary access into a number of Tieton River Rocks areas including "The Caldera", "The Honeycomb Buttress", and "Wild Cat Wall".

My friend and I were headed to The Caldera for bouldering and found a cement blockade in the middle of the road at between .8 and 1.2 miles up the road (guess from google maps). Upon returning to Naches and visiting with the ranger at the NFS station, we were shown the pictures of the washout. It pretty much took the whole road at one of the creek pipe bypasses (aka not vehicle passable at all).

The ranger told us there is no money in the budget to fix the road this year or next year. So we are looking at maybe June/July 2016 for reopening of the road.

Just an FYI. Expect to require hiking your gear into the crag.


PS I'm going to post this on the crag pages as well as a heads up for people.
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