Phantom Spires Rock Climbing
|GPS:||38.79, -120.242 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Aron Quiter on Feb 10, 2004 · Updates|
|Admins:||Aron Quiter, Lurker -, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen|
Many climbing areas are closed along highways 50 and 88 as the fast moving Caldor Fire spreads (as of Aug 30, 2021). Read the Mountain Project forum discussion above, and the Cal Fire incidents map here fire.ca.gov/incidents/ for latest map and information. Be safe mountain neighbors!
Amongst a barren rock field you will find many traditional routes, along with some more difficult sport and mixed routes in an excellent, yet unsheltered setting that's almost eerie at times. Watching other parties climb is easy, since there are absolutely no trees surrounding the spires.
Wind can be unbearble, but because they face south, you can climb here from late fall to early summer before it gets too hot.
The black and white granite of The Phantom Spires will remind you of Yosemite, but like most Tahoe granite, isn't as glasslike.
Camping: around the the lot, just past the parking area.
Bring a 4X4 to access if it's been raining, or cross your fingers and drive REALLY carefully with your lower (not low!) clearance vehicles to get in on the 1+ mile long access road. If the access road is snowed in, or if you can't get in with your vehicle, you can always walk in, which is a very pretty and awe inspiring view of the surrounding valley and the Phantom Spires.
Phantom Spires conditions forum.
Take Highway 50 to Kyburz, which is 31 miles East of Placerville. From Kyburz, continue East 4.9 miles to the marked Wrights Lake Road, which is a left turn.
Continue using the directions below.
From the East:
Head approximately 20 miles West on Highway 50, 4.1 miles past the small town of Strawberry (and Lover's Leap), to Wright's Lake Road, which is a right turn. Continue using the directions below.
Once on Wright's Lake Road:
This will wander up a around for a while, getting narrower as it climbs. After 2.3 miles, the Phantom Spires will leap into view to the left. As soon as you can see the spires, take the next left onto a gravel logging road (Road 11N26B) that's REALLY easy to miss. This road heads downhill from the road and moves more in line with the gradient around the valley, and can be seen from the paved road below the spires if missed. Follow the gravel road (slowly in 2wd vehicles!) until the road ends in a parking lot in about a mile. There is a pullout about 1/2 way in on the road if you feel that your vehicle can't take the road, and this will shorten the longer approach.
The mapquest map below will get you to Kyburz.
Classic Climbing Routes at Phantom Spires
Days w Precip