Elevation: 5,798 ft
GPS: 38.799, -120.141 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 929,522 total · 4,415/month
Shared By: Aron Quiter on Jun 3, 2003 with 5 Suggestions
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

This area is an excellent 250 to nearly 600 foot tall chunk of mostly vertical granite, containing hundreds of cracks crisscrossed with thousands of horizontal dikes. These dikes are key to reducing what would otherwise be very steep and difficult traditional routes, into routes with good rests and abundant holds, resulting in an area with relatively moderate grades. You will find over 250 developed routes that range from low bouldering traverses to 4 pitches tall. Some routes are bolt protected, but most of the sport climbing is 5.10+ YDS or harder, as the abundance of traditionally protected routes in close proximity to each other discourages squeezing in a bunch of moderate sport face climbing. All of the routes demand less than 20 minutes to "hike" into, as the entrance path is part of the pioneer trail, and therefore excellently maintained and quite wide.

Lovers Leap can sometimes seem crowded in certain areas, especially in the summer on weekends. However there is an almost limitless number of adventure routes and hidden classics that rarely ever see any traffic. As long as you're willing to step outside the box and try something that is not a "trade route", you will never have to wait in line or climb anywhere near other climbers... ever! Lovers Leap has a higher concentration and number of routes in close proximity to each other than any other crag in California. Add to that it's wide range of difficulty in routes and there is more than enough to keep everyone busy for a long time.

The main formation is traditionally divided into these walls, from right/west/closest to the campground, to left/east/furthest:West Wall, Main Wall, Central Wall, and East Wall. The second largest formation is the Hogsback. Many other small developed walls abound, mostly not yet covered on this site (seven or more of these are covered in Carville's Tahoe climbing guide). The nearest and most popular of these are the Lower Buttress and Dear John Buttress. The Loaf Boulder and Monks Rock are major boulders right outside the campground; other potential abounds in less convenient and obvious pieces of granite.

Getting There

From the Bay Area / Sacramento: Head East on highway 50 towards Placerville. Continue past Placerville to the town of Strawberry, which is approximately 8 miles past the more marked Kyburz. Turn off the highway onto Strawberry Ln that parallels the 50 just on the far side of the Strawberry lodge, which is hard to miss on your right. This is about 40 miles past Placerville. You get a good glimpse of the west and main walls as you get close to the Lodge on a clear day.

From Lake Tahoe: Head 18 miles West on Highway 50 to the town of Strawberry, where you should head a left just before the Strawberry Lodge, which will approach on your left after a magnificent view of Lover's Leap looming to the left on the way to the lodge.

From the Strawberry Lodge: Follow the Strawberry Ln that Parallels the 50.  After the bridge, turn left onto Strawberry CT and travel through the small neighborhood quietly and slowly, as advised by local signs. You will run directly into the parking lot about 1/3 mile later.

DO NOT PARK ON STRAWBERRY CT (road that takes you into campground).  If you cannot find parking in the campground, you can park at near the Strawberry Lodge or at Strawberry Market(please check in either before leaving your vehicle for the day).

The trailhead is towards the rear of the lot.

Camping and Amenities

There is a developed campground (first come, first served) at the western foot of the cliff. To find the campground, pull into the Strawberry Lodge parking lot. Follow the road to the left of the lodge past several cabins until you cross a small bridge over the river. After the bridge take an immediate left up a single lane road. Follow this road until it ends at the campground.

Camping is $16 (U.S.) a night and $8 (U.S.) for an extra car per day. There is limited day use parking ($8) in the campground for climbers. Overflow parking is found along the road 100 yards past the bridge/river on the right side of the road. Do not park alongside the road leading to the campground or in the Strawberry Lodge parking lot. Your car may be towed at your expense, (up to $1000 dollars in fines and/or a 30 day impound can be applied).

Conveniently located at the edge of the campground are a few large boulders worth doing. From the parking lot, head uphill and cross over the small foot bridge to the Pony Express Trail. Hang a left, and walk up the gently sloped trail for about 3 minutes.

Almost all multipitch routes are best to walk off, both for the preservation of existing vegetation, and that most routes don't have any fixed protection at the top of the rock due to the abundance of trees, cracks, and large rocks at the top.

You can get pretty good food at the Strawberry Lodge, breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve food at the bar as well and is a bit cheaper too. The Lodge is very climber friendly and showers can be purchased for a small fee. Just ask at the front desk.

Across the street is the Strawberry Station, where you can pick up drinks and basic goods. There is also well stocked gear room which carries all your basic (and then some) climbing gear. They also rent shoes and crash pads. It is owned and operated by a great and friendly local family the head of which is Squirrel, a local climber with all the beta you'll ever need. Be sure to stop in and support their friendly business.

Access

CRAGS, the local affiliate of the Access Fund, is responsible for all access issues at Lover's Leap, and is currently running a major multi-year stewardship project in conjunction with the Forest Service, Access Fund, other climbing organizations, local trail crews, and the climbing community at large, to help mitigate some of the significant impacts climbers have had at the crag over the last 6 decades.

YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS, OF TIME, MONEY, OR BOTH, ARE URGENTLY NEEDED FOR THIS SIGNIFICANT PROJECT TO MEET ITS OBJECTIVES!

197 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lover's Leap

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 591
Surrealistic Pillar
Trad 3 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 704
Bear's Reach
Trad 3 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 931
Corrugation Corner
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 531
Haystack
Trad 4 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 147
Preparation H
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 287
East Crack
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 543
The Line
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
 151
Scimitar
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 326
Traveler Buttress
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 143
Psychedelic Tree
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 349
Hospital Corner
Trad 2 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 303
Surrealistic Pillar Direct
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 108
Tombstone Terror
Trad
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 84
Power Lust
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 69
Boot Hill
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Surrealistic Pillar Lower Buttress
 591
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Bear's Reach Main Formation > E Wall
 704
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Corrugation Corner Main Formation > Main Wall
 931
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Haystack Main Formation > E Wall
 531
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
Preparation H Main Formation > E Wall
 147
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
East Crack Main Formation > E Wall
 287
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
The Line Main Formation > E Wall
 543
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Scimitar Main Formation > E Wall
 151
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R Trad 3 pitches
Traveler Buttress Main Formation > Main Wall
 326
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Psychedelic Tree Main Formation > E Wall
 143
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Hospital Corner Main Formation > W Wall
 349
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Surrealistic Pillar Direct Lower Buttress
 303
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Tombstone Terror Main Formation > Main Wall
 108
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Power Lust Main Formation > Main Wall
 84
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Boot Hill Main Formation > Main Wall
 69
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Lover's Leap »

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