Seasonal Raptor Closure starts Jan 15 each year; No top access - private land MORE INFO >>>
2014 Season: Trout Creek is open to climbing as of May 15, 2014.
SEASONAL RAPTOR CLOSURE TAKES EFFECT JAN 15 EACH YEAR. The golden eagle nesting season is underway and climbers continue to demonstrate 100% compliance rate with the closure, and we need to make sure to repeat that showing. This closure is mandatory for all users groups including climbers and hikers, and violators are subject to a ticket and fine. The BLM will be monitoring the territory, which includes all of the crags and the approach trails. The soonest the closure could be partially lifted is May 15th, depending on the nesting scenarios at that time. Please spread the word and stay tuned for updates.
NO TOP ACCESS - PRIVATE LAND
Please respect adjacent private landowners. While the climbing area is mainly BLM, a portion of the cliff and access may be on private property. The mesa on top of the columns is private ranchland. Please do not top out or approach from above to rappel or set top ropes. Local climbers have established a positive relationship with the adjacent private property owners and it is important to maintain their trust for long-term access.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
Trout Creek is Oregon's premier destination for pure crack climbs. The climbing is physical, the rock is rough, and the approach is long if you're not used to hiking. The bulk of the climbing is vertical cracks in corners and stem-boxes on enormous basalt columns coming in at the 5.10-5.12 range. There are also a handful of lower angle crack climbs on the North side of the crag that come in at 5.7-5.10. The main wall faces west and this fact dictates when it is best to climb there. It is possible to climb at Trout year round if you climb in the sun/shade accordingly. There is a published guidebook that is free to download at stores.lulu.com/jeffwenger. It is an excellent resource and comes highly recommended, especially if you're interested in ethics, history, and thoughts behind grades. It was recently updated in October 2009.
The position of the crag is spectacular and contributes to Trout's special vibe. It's possible to climb there without tape, but it sure feels nice to have something between your skin and the rock. In terms of gear, lots of people have complained about how many cams you need, but my experience is that you can get by with a double rack if you have a couple choice supplements for specific routes. Extra hand and finger sized pieces are definitely a good idea. There are still a couple lines that haven't been done, but they're mostly thin and difficult.
Additionally, one of Trout's most outstanding characteristics is the sense of welcome, stewardship, and community that the people who climb there bring to it. Evidence of this can be found in the steel carabiners that the chains on the vast majority of the classic routes are equipped with. These are meant for simplifying the top-rope-cleaning process and were contributed by the generosity of others. Please respect that by leaving them in place. Additionally, there is a community bucket currently located under a boulder in the vicinity of the bench-like columns beneath Gold Rush. It usually contains a guidebook, a first aid kit, various odds and ends, and a quart mason jar of hand cream that, while it looks slightly dubious, is reputed to be very good stuff. This bucket, like all the other human artifacts 90% of Trout's visitors use during their stay, (bolts, hangers, chains, carabiners, etc...) are there thanks to the generosity of others.
It's worth noting that Trout's Main Wall requires exposed boulder-hopping to enjoy fully. People and/or dogs not comfortable walking and 3rd/4th classing in exposed situations probably won't enjoy visiting. Lastly, FA information is based on the guidebook but is a sticky subject due to the area's development history. For the whole story, check out the guidebook.
From the city of Madras: drive 97 North past Safeway and out of town. Turn left of NE Cora Drive. It'll turn into NE Clark Drive which you'll follow into the town of Gateway, OR. Cross the train tracks and take a right following signs to Trout Creek Recreational Area. From the day-use area at the up-stream end of the campground, follow the trail/road up stream for about 10 minutes. There are currently two trails up to the crag. One leaves the river right after the road jogs around a small berm (right after you pass a bench on your right) and switchbacks up to the Northern End. To get to the other, older trail, follow the road past the first trail for another 5 minutes, cross a small cattle guard (the second you will have encountered if you include the very first one you cross after leaving the parking lot), and look for a trail heading up and left during a long straightaway.
Monster starts as a tricky tips crack that gradually opens up to fingers and hands.The technical crux comes fairly low, but after a couple of decent rests in the middle you'll still find yourself looking at a good deal of ever-widening hands before you reach the chains.The opening sequences can be made significantly easier if you cheat a bit by laybacking and using the next crack over to the left, but if you're a purist try going straight in.This is an incredibly fun route....[more]Browse More Classics in OR
This is an amazing area, and I want to thank all of the people who have worked on its development.
I was really struck by the rock here-- I came expecting the usual slick-as-ice basalt that we're used to in the Northwest, but I was surprised to see that it has an incredible texture that is reminiscent of the tuff at Smith Rock. Among other things, that tends to make the climbing a bit sportier than some other purely trad areas that you might visit; because of the abrasive texture there's a chance that you might actually stick that desperate deadpoint to a far-away fingerjam.
Passive pro does work well in many places, but there are certain routes where you do actually need triples or quadruples of a given size in order to place gear every ten feet. "You'll be able to climb with a "regular" rack on many of the routes. If you climb solid 5.10 and have a double set of cams and stoppers you should be fine on some of the most popular climbs like Wonder Twins, U2, The Guillotine, Sleepy Hallow, Gods Must Be Angry, Two Step, Usual Suspects, Talkin' it Clean (and the routes close by), The Long March, Rock Around the Block, Mr Squiggles, Lively Up Yourself...and many others. So don't let the lack of gear talk you out of heading up there.
Jr Token, Gold Rush, Fingerlings, Alchemy and many of the finger cracks (typically) require more than doubles." -Jeffw (a pretty knowledgeable guy) on the subject of gear requirements at Trout.
The closure does not include the campground. The river road and campground are unaffected by the closure. If you do hike the river road, do not leave it and head up the trails to cliff. The closure only affects the climber's trails and crag. There should be signs after a couple hundred feet of trail.