Elevation: 8,399 ft
GPS: 39.109, -120.237 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 6,476,263 total · 34,729/month
Shared By: Orphaned on Feb 18, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker -, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen

Description

The Lake Tahoe Basin and surrounding region covers a vast expanse of the northern Sierra Nevada and holds a lifetime of climbing, mostly on fine-grained, high-quality granite. Trad climbing is the name of the game here and notable/large areas include Donner Summit, Lover's Leap, Woodford's Canyon, and Calaveras Dome, among countless other "smaller" areas that are just as good. Although not necessarily a bolt clipper's paradise, there are a few concentrations of sport climbing, including Big Chief (volcanic), the Emeralds, and Bowman Lake. Further, most of the major (and minor) trad areas host at least a smattering of sport routes, if not a fairly substantial number (e.g., Donner Summit). Boulders are literally everywhere in Tahoe and to even try to grasp the volume of problems, pick up any of the 4 (!) bouldering guides currently available for the region...

Much of the climbing in the Lake Tahoe area is at higher elevations (6000-9000'), and is covered with snow for a substantial portion of the year. As such, the large majority of crags are best in late spring/summer/fall, although it can depend on how wet the winter is. Fairly reliable winter climbing spots include Sugarloaf, the south-facing side of Woodford's, Auburn Quarry, and a handful of other small, south-facing crags scattered about. 

Getting There

By Road

From the Bay Area, head up Highway 80 to Sacramento, where you will either head up into the hills either on 80, 50, or 89, depending on where you're going.

From Reno, head up Highway 80 to go to North Lake destinations, or down highway 395 , and then West on highway 89 into South Lake Tahoe.

By Air

The nearest city with commercial flights is Reno. For some Tahoe areas, Sacramento's airport might be a viable second option. Each one still requires a drive into the mountains.

By Rail

The first intercontinental railroad in the U.S. went over Donner Summit; one version of this line went through the Snowshed next to the climbing wall of the same name there. Amtrak still runs a train over the Sierra in this area, which runs through Truckee once a day or so. It's not cheap or fast compared to other modern travel to the Tahoe area, but is scenic (though it only goes by Donner Lake north and out of sight of Lake Tahoe).

3,639 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lake Tahoe

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 733
Bear's Reach
Trad 3 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 998
Corrugation Corner
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 86
The Perfect Lie Back
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 278
One Hand Clapping
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 567
The Line
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 337
Traveler Buttress
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 200
Black September
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 162
Fear of Flying
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 365
Hospital Corner
Trad 2 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 232
Candyland
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 88
Seams to Me
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 97
One Of These Days
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 147
The Fracture
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 159
Peter Principle
Trad, TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 115
Monkey Paws
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Bear's Reach Highway 50 Corr… > … > Main Formation > E Wall
 733
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Corrugation Corner Highway 50 Corr… > … > Main Formation > Main Wall
 998
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
The Perfect Lie Back Carson Pass Hig… > … > Fortress > 6 - Liebacks Area
 86
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
One Hand Clapping I-80 Corridor > … > Black Wall > 1. Black Wall - Left
 278
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
The Line Highway 50 Corr… > … > Main Formation > E Wall
 567
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Traveler Buttress Highway 50 Corr… > … > Main Formation > Main Wall
 337
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Black September I-80 Corridor > … > Black Wall > 3. Black Wall - Right
 200
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Fear of Flying Highway 50 Corr… > Phantom Spires > Upper Spire
 162
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Hospital Corner Highway 50 Corr… > … > Main Formation > W Wall
 365
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Candyland Highway 50 Corr… > Phantom Spires > Middle Spire
 232
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Seams to Me W Shore > Eagle Creek Canyon > Eagle Lake Cliff
 88
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
One Of These Days Carson Pass Hig… > … > Cloudburst Canyon > One Of These Days But…
 97
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
The Fracture Highway 50 Corr… > … > Sugarloaf > E Face
 147
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Peter Principle I-80 Corridor > … > N Face > 1. N Face Main
 159
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, TR
Monkey Paws I-80 Corridor > … > N Face > 1. N Face Main
 115
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
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