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Truckee River Canyon

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Truckee River Canyon  


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Location: 39.2219, -120.201 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Aron Quiter on Oct 7, 2002
Forecast:
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Laine exiting the crux and heading into the sustai...

Description 

Containing many basalt formations holding many fine routes in the Tahoe area, in this region, located above highway 89, you will find an excellent view of the large ski areas on the eastern rocks of the canyon.

You will find a diverse range of climbing here, including some of the best sport climbing around. There are also a fairly large selection of traditional routes as well.

Being high up in the Sierra, this area will only be climbable when the snow resides on the approach in the spring, usually in April or May, and continuing through late December, depending on the year. On a dry year, you might find this area climbable year-round.

The entire Truckee River Canyon area is about 15 miles long. See individual crag pages for specific directions.

Getting There 

Climbs around here are accessed either from highway 89 between Tahoe City and Truckee, or from interstate 80 near Truckee.

See the Big Chief page for driving directions from Truckee to the Big Chief parking area, and other nearby crags along forest road 6. These are closed seasonally.

Other Truckee River Canyon crags are reached using highway 89, as are the forest road 6 crags during winter and other snowy months, when the gate stays locked.

For the Truckee River Basalt Area: Head South down Highway 89 out of Truckee towards Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City. You will see the Basalt cliffs of the Truckee River Basalt Area on the left, and you can park in the campgrounds in front of the rocks, yet still on the west side of the Truckee river.

For The Ampitheater:Head South down highway 89 out of Truckee towards Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City. Park just before the turnoff to Alpine Meadows. You will be able to see the Ampitheater just before the bridge heading over The Truckee River.

Climbing Season

Traffic By Month

93 Total Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',40],['2 Stars',38],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',2],['5.8',4],['5.9',17],['5.10',38],['5.11',24],['5.12',4],['5.13',3],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Truckee River Canyon:
War Path   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Big Chief : Center Wall
War Paint   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Made Of Silk   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Twin Crags
Jitters   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 70'   Deep Creek Crags : The Arena
Route Stealers From Hell   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Festus   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Big Chief : South Wall
Half Baked   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Big Chief : North Wall
Climb Like a Madman   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Deep Creek Crags : The Arena
Mohawk   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Killer Bee   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Oh, my my!   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Deep Creek Crags : The Arena
Flamethrower   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 130'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Realm of the Overhang   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Big Chief : South Cave
Big Chief Arete   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Pow Wow   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Headrush   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Flying High Again   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Big Chief : South Cave
Raindance   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Big Chief : Center Wall
Totally Chawsome   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Big Chief : Center Wall
All Guns Blazing   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   Big Chief : Center Wall
Browse More Classics in Truckee River Canyon

Featured Route For Truckee River Canyon
Laine exiting the crux and heading into the sustained face

Oh, my my! 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  CA : Tahoe Vicinity : ... : The Arena
We started directly below the 2nd bolt at the base of a short roof. Climb up to the roof, place a cam, pull the roof and clip the bolt (crux). Continue up a splitter. Follow the bolt line left then back right. Great exposure! The original line traverses in right from near Yosemite Crack....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Comments on Truckee River Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bill Grasse
From: Durango, CO.
Jul 17, 2007
Does anybody know if there is good free camping somewhere near this area? I'm headed this way to work/climb for a couple of months and I'd like to just camp to save money.
By Justin Johnsen
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 14, 2014
I've expanded this page a bit since Aron first wrote it, combining areas in this chapter of John Jackson's North Tahoe guide.