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Areas in Truckee River Canyon

Big Chief 0 / 78 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 79
Deep Creek Crags 5 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 10
Shirley Canyon Cliffs 3 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Twin Crags 14 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15

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.

Many guide books cover the lower parts of the Truckee River Canyon in their Reno area chapters. But since Mountain Project is organized by states, all California crags from the outlet of Lake Tahoe to the California border are in the TRC area now.

See individual crag pages for specific directions.

Developed areas here include the Amphitheater, Bear Cave Cliff, Big Chief, the Columns, Deep Creek Crag, Light Deprivation Buttress, Little Chief, Sawtooth Ridge, Shirley Canyon Cliffs, the Truckee River Basalt Area, and Twin Crags.

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.

111 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Truckee River Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 126
War Path
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 117
War Paint
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 44
Times Up
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 12
Jitters
Sport, Alpine
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 59
Route Stealers From Hell
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 36
Festus
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 103
Mohawk
Sport, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 37
Too Light to Wait
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 41
Witch Doctor
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 44
Sweating Bullets
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 21
Flamethrower
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 78
Pow Wow
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 29
Raindance
Sport, TR
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 21
Totally Chawsome
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 8
All Guns Blazing
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
War Path Big Chief > Center Wall
 126
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
War Paint Big Chief > Center Wall
 117
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Times Up Big Chief > Honeycomb Wall
 44
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Jitters Deep Creek Crags > Arena
 12
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport, Alpine
Route Stealers From Hell Big Chief > Center Wall
 59
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Festus Big Chief > S Wall
 36
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Mohawk Big Chief > Center Wall
 103
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
Too Light to Wait Big Chief > Center Wall
 37
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Witch Doctor Big Chief > Center Wall
 41
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Sweating Bullets Big Chief > Honeycomb Wall
 44
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Flamethrower Big Chief > Center Wall
 21
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Pow Wow Big Chief > Center Wall
 78
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Raindance Big Chief > Center Wall
 29
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, TR
Totally Chawsome Big Chief > Center Wall
 21
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
All Guns Blazing Big Chief > Center Wall
 8
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Truckee River Canyon »

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Bill Grasse
Carbondale, CO.
Bill Grasse   Carbondale, CO.
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. Jul 17, 2007
Greetings,

I'm a sport climber from Bakersfield, CA and will be staying at Goose Meadows for a small camping trip with some non-climber pals from work next week on August 9th and 10th. I'd love to spend a day checking out the local crags, maybe Deep Creek Crag or Big Chief, but am in need of a partner(s). I lead a solid 5.9, have my own gear, and am always up for new challenges. Please hit me up if you'd be down for a plus one!

Thanks,
Caleb Jul 31, 2017

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