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Routes in (zz) Upper Gorge

Approach Gully T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Big Tuna S 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Bushwhacker S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Celibate Wives S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Colorsplash T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Conflicted Goddess S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
E type Jag S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Feminazis S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Land of the Lost T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mojomatic S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Natural Art S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Naxis S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Seep, The S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Shark Infested Waters S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Sign Of The Priest, The S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Unique Monique S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Up Country S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Urge, The S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
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Steller basalt sport climbing with a small sprinkling of trad climbs. Mostly upper grades 11's and up.

Getting There

Up stream from the Lower Gorge. Either bushwack or take a long walk and scramble down from the top of the North side of the Gorge.

18 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Upper Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
E type Jag
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
E type Jag
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Upper Gorge »

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Prime Climbing Season


Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
Condition update on the approach:

Apparently, nobody goes here any more. After dropping down the gully from the rim we were faced with some hellish bushwhacking through 8ft. tall reeds and underbrush. We were able to fight our way to E-Type Jag, but most routes out here will need some significant brush clearing in order to have a place from which to belay.

Full-length pants and sleeves should be considered essential equipment for this approach, and a machete wouldn't be a bad idea either.

E-Type is still worth the hike though. Sep 1, 2008
Are there any access issues with any of the cliffs in the upper gorge? Watts mentions in his guidebook that the Red Columns and the Ivory Coast are closed to climbing due to liability concerns of the property owners. I know this book was written a long time ago and I also know that people have climbed in these areas in recent years. What is the latest? Anyone know anything? Am I going to get shot at if I try to climb here? Dec 16, 2008
Portland, OR
ChrisAlex5   Portland, OR
I'd be interested, very interested, if I could track down a veteran of this area who would be interested and available, especially mid-week, to clean it up a bit, and climb it a bit more. I have good pruners, good loppers, a crappy machete, and a strong will, and, again, mid-week availability (and Tech-nu).

To be clear, I do NOT have any experience in the Upper Gorge. I'd like to find someone who knows the area to minimize wasting time trying to figure it all out, but I'm happy to put some work back into day or two, perhaps even three...Anyone? Apr 5, 2011
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
If you're serious, you might consider contacting Paul Marshall. He's an architect living in Bend. He was Mr. Upper Gorge when I was climbing there in '05. He was talking about moving back East, so he may not be in Bend anymore.

The Upper Gorge is a great crag that deserves more attention. Apr 6, 2011
The routes in the upper gorge with their cryptic, intricate climbing, on high quality rock, makes the dihedrals look like a fluffed up bunch of choss. Why don't Smith rocks "hardmen" climb down here? Feb 3, 2012
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
Its called "Smith Rock". Feb 3, 2012
Brett Yost
Bend, Oregon
Brett Yost   Bend, Oregon
It's important to note that the climbs all face due south and feature baffling friction dependent sequences that are super temperature sensitive. You need cold and/or cloudy days to climb well in the Upper. It's an oven down there May - September and not suitable many spring and fall days as well. Dec 12, 2016

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