Tieton River Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: Watch out for rattlesnakes on the approaches! This...
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.
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.
Weather station 13.7 miles from here
172 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',15],['3 Stars',78],['2 Stars',62],['1 Star',18],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Tieton River
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Tieton River
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Tieton River:
Featured Route For Tieton River
Andy warming up on "Artificially Insteminated...
Tieton Wall from the Road
Climbers enjoying a beautiful spring day at Lava P...
Andy about to crux on "Saint of Circumstance&...
Doug enjoying "Travalava" 5.9 at Lava Po...
Andy remembering how steep the routes are at Lava ...
Spring in the Tieton Valley!
Andy & Doug appear to be syncronized at Lava Point...
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
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.
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.