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Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville)

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Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville)  

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Elevation: 1,000'
Location: 48.90304, -119.42285 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 14,538
Administrators: Peter Franzen, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: applewood on May 27, 2013
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View of the "trailhead" and parking lot ...


Located about 14 miles north of Tonasket, and 3 miles south of Oroville, Whistler Canyon Trailhead is the only public access to the west side of Mt Hull from highway 97. It is being managed cooperatively by Okanogan County, BLM, the Forest Service, The Backcountry Horseman, Pacific NW Trails Association and other local user groups.

One aspect of this area is that each cliff though relatively small is distinct and delightful in the quality of the hiking and climbing experiences. The rock cleans up to provide excellent climbing (on what is the best quality rock in Okanogan County), and there is plenty of shade at different times of the day. It is also possible to climb here every month of the year, weather permitting.

Access from Hwy 97 is directly across from Gavin Rd (turn East up the white gravel road). The trail map and climbers kiosk is at the edge of the parking circle. Climbers information is on the back side of the kiosk. The trail (#100) to the main canyons (Whistler and North Canyons) begins just east of the parking area and heads north before turning SSE up the hillside to the old road bed. To access the NW Face hike north along the orchard fence line, for the North Canyon (and Windy Point) climbing follow trail #100 up a quarter mile, and turn left and follow the trail north towards “Frog Pond”.

The main Whistler Canyon hiking/biking/horse trail (#100) is on up the main canyon to the East (ending after 11 miles near Summit Lake). There is an abundance of other wildlife to encounter here, including turkey, hawk, eagle, vulture, sheep, coyote, deer, bear and cougar. Watch out for snakes (rattlers!) from mid-April to mid-October, especially in loose rocky areas.

There are now over 80 (mostly bolted) routes established, on good to excellent rock (granodiorite and gneiss), ranging from 5.3 to 5.12+, 50 to 300' long . Lots of variety of climbing exists in a relatively compact area. Generally the bolting ethic here expects gear to be used when possible and safe. Be prepared for loose and/or dirty rock in places; helmets are advised!. The grading (especially in the lower grades) tends to follow old school standards, rather than newer and softer trends.

  • Note to all climbers this is the most popular family friendly hiking area in the Okanogan Valley, please do your best to minimize your impact and presence; pack it in-pack it out, and leave no trace. Potential route developers, please respect local etiquette and make any bolts or top anchors camouflaged, use stainless steel hardware as much as possible and don't mix your metals. Any comments and input on existing or new routes is much appreciated.

  • Note - a key to route descriptions;
NAME; grade and quality (* - good, ** - very good, *** - great, **** - world class classic); (length); type of pro. used - G = natural/gear, F = fixed (b - bolt, p - piton, fn - fixed nut), M = mixed; TR = toprope, R = runout/dangerous, PG = scary/risky; Description; FA (first ascent date), GU = ground up ascent, TR = top rope ascent.

There are several distinct areas developed;
NW Face -The area to the left of the main lower corner - easy to moderate trad, mixed and sport climbs.
SW Face - The lower and upper left and right sides of the main corner, easy to moderately hard bolted climbs, both short and long.
West Face- Includes the slabs above the lower trail, mostly easy bolted routes, as well as the lush Garden Ledge with the short, steep and hard bolted faces!
Windy Point - The best rock at Whistler Canyon! Mostly moderate to hard (trad, mixed and sport) climbs in a great setting.
North Canyon/Frog Pond Trail - 4 separate areas with diverse easy to hard mostly bolted climbs.
Upper Canyon - Remote spread out area includes several crags with easy to hard bolted and trad climbs in a great location. Some remote crags are completely undeveloped. Banded Wall is especially fine.
Upper East Canyon - The last trailside crag before the gate to Forest Service land. Unique feeling place with some great slab (trad, mixed and sport) climbing.

Getting There 

Follow the signs on the highway to the parking area on the east side of Hyw 97, 3 miles south of Oroville/14 miles north of Tonasket (white graveled road and parking lot).

A 5 to 15 minute hike along the horse trail gets you in to the different crags (30 to 45 minutes for the upper crags). There is some climber info posted on the back side of the main sign-in kiosk.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.1 miles from here

86 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',14],['2 Stars',44],['1 Star',26],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville):
Sheepish   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 95'   West Face : Garden Ledge Wall
First Thought Best Thought   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 90'   North Canyon (Frog Pond Tra... : North Canyon - Sleeping Tur...
Browse More Classics in Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville)

Featured Route For Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville)
Mock Turtle follows the shallow corner up the midd...

Mock Turtle 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a  WA : Okanogan : ... : North Canyon - Sleeping Tur...
MOCK TURTLE 5.3 ** 70’ F (5b)About 200’ directly north of the Sleeping Turtle outcrop, begin in the corner behind the Service Berry trees and climb directly up the shallow groove on the SE facing wall to the chain anchors on the lip of the top roof....[more]   Browse More Classics in WA

Photos of Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville) Slideshow Add Photo
Whistler Canyon Trailhead overview of crags
BETA PHOTO: Whistler Canyon Trailhead overview of crags
Climbing areas of Okanogan County
BETA PHOTO: Climbing areas of Okanogan County
Upper NW Face
Whistler Canyon Trailhead
Whistler Canyon Trailhead
Windy Point from the South
Windy Point from the South
Lower and upper cliffs from the parking lot.
BETA PHOTO: Lower and upper cliffs from the parking lot.
Climbers on "Sheepish" (5.6 *** on West ...
Climbers on "Sheepish" (5.6 *** on West ...
Banded Wall from the lower trail (#100) on a Winte...
BETA PHOTO: Banded Wall from the lower trail (#100) on a Winte...
Whistler Canyon topos for Upper NW face and Windy ...
BETA PHOTO: Whistler Canyon topos for Upper NW face and Windy ...
View West (to the Pasaytens) from upper Whistler C...
View West (to the Pasaytens) from upper Whistler C...
Lower SW Face - showing "Diamond Head"
BETA PHOTO: Lower SW Face - showing "Diamond Head"
Climber's kiosk
Climber's kiosk
Rattler in early spring
Rattler in early spring
View west from the top of Windy Point.
View west from the top of Windy Point.
View North across the Okanogan Valley from the low...
View North across the Okanogan Valley from the low...
Newly planted apples at the base of WCT
Newly planted apples at the base of WCT
View North from upper Whistler Canyon (top of Band...
View North from upper Whistler Canyon (top of Band...
WCT Crag in summer from the Okanogan River
WCT Crag in summer from the Okanogan River

Comments on Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville) Add Comment
Show which comments
By Hanzane
From: Squamish
Aug 6, 2014
This is a great newly developed area!! Still some loose rocks on certain routes but James has put a lot of hard work into route development here. You could easily spend at least a day or two on great diverse routes
By Mountain Heather
Nov 10, 2014
This is a great little crag! We stopped here on the way to Skaha a month ago and did a couple of fun climbs on great rock. Looking forward to going back.
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