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Elevation: 1,335 ft 407 m
GPS: 47.84769, -121.60991
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 497,785 total · 2,249/month
Shared By: Jesse James on Mar 13, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Zachary Winters
Warning Access Issue: Display Discover Pass, do not block gates, and park off the road DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Gold Bar: the otherworldly pebble-equivalent of the magical Index granite, and the best bouldering near Seattle. 

Heading west on Highway 2, Gold Bar sits just before some of the more rugged Central Cascades, and is the beginning of a valley full of astounding granite boulders that culminates in the world class Leavenworth. While the stunning Town Walls forming the backdrop to the town of Index get much of the attention, formed from the same clean-cut granodiorite are the Gold Bar Boulders. 

There are boulders of every size and shape everywhere in the Skykomish Valley. None so perfectly concentrated for scrambling about and upon than those located northeast of Gold Bar, above Reiter Road and below Zeke's Wall. The beloved Forest, Clearcut and Five Star Boulders have honed the technique and strength of Seattle climbers for more than two decades, through countless waves of exploration and development.

As mentioned above, the Forest and Clearcut are the main (although not most visited) areas of the Gold Bar Boulders. Nestled between two arms of a decommissioned logging road which stretches 2 miles from Reiter Road, the beautiful old growth forest houses classic problems of every grade, offering sun and shade alike. In past years the logging road allowed vehicles, but easy approaches are no more, and one must park on road pullouts and make the trek. Thus, most of today's attention is focused on the smaller but easier-accessed areas: the heavenly sculpted Five Star Boulder, the River Boulders, and the bouldering at Index. 

While clambering about on the fine-grained, sharp-angled granite, expect technical aretes, slopey crimps, strenuous compression and some of the best stone you'll ever touch. If you wish for more features on your stone dinner-plate, head east to Der Leavenworth; but to learn to deftly dance upon nothing and pull hard on false promises to your fingers is a reward like no other. Coupled with the unmatched beauty of the Skykomish's dank forests, idyllic river, and intimidating peaks, and the adrenaline disappointment of a car break-in - Gold Bar, your teacher and friend, awaits you.

Getting There Suggest change

There are boulders scattered everywhere northeast of Gold Bar, both near the road and in the foothills. Almost all approaches, however, begin from parking on Reiter Road. From Highway 2 heading east out of Gold Bar, turn left on this road and drive for 2 miles. Several years ago, a driveable forest service road led up into the main areas, but it has since been closed to motorized vehicles. Thus you'll need to hike it. 

Most begin by parking at one of the two pullouts at 2.6 and 2.8 miles up Reiter Rd. It is important to keeping access that we don't block the gates or the road. The first pullout has trails that lead to the Five Star Warmup and the Grand Line boulders. The second leads to the Five Star Boulder. Past the 5 Star Boulder is a short bushwacky trail that connects with the gravel road. Follow the gravel road for almost 2 miles to reach the main areas, the Clearcut and the Forest.

To stay on gravel roads the entire time, park at the very first pullout/gate at 2.3 miles from Hwy 2 and follow the road left until under the power lines, then right for 2.5 miles to the Clearcut and Forest.

For more details on specific trails, see the individual areas.

362 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Gold Bar Boulders

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2 5+
 41
Eight Bit Slab
Boulder
V2 5+
 64
Beam Me Up
Boulder
V3 6A
 40
Fern Crack
Boulder
V4 6B
 110
Midnight Lichen
Boulder
V4+ 6B+
 33
Gates of Fire
Boulder
V4+ 6B+ PG13
 48
Serenity Now / Debbie Does Dallas
Boulder
V5 6C
 46
Stinkin' Slopers
Boulder
V6 7A
 37
The Five Star Arete
Boulder
V6 7A PG13
 41
Ryan's Problem / Climax Control
Boulder
V6 7A
 63
Metroid Prime
Boulder
V6 7A
 32
Water
Boulder
V7 7A+
 40
Doja
Boulder
V7 7A+
 38
World's Best V7
Boulder
V7 7A+
 67
Obesity
Boulder
V8 7B
 31
Ross Bongo
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Eight Bit Slab Reiter Foothills > … > E Forest > Metroid Prime Boulder
 41
V2 5+ Boulder
Beam Me Up Reiter Foothills > … > W Forest > Beam Me Up Boulder
 64
V2 5+ Boulder
Fern Crack Reiter Foothills > … > Central Forest > Doja Boulder
 40
V3 6A Boulder
Midnight Lichen Reiter Foothills > … > Midnight Lichen… > Midnight Lichen
 110
V4 6B Boulder
Gates of Fire Reiter Foothills > … > E Forest > Thermopylae Wall
 33
V4+ 6B+ Boulder
Serenity Now / Debbie Does… Serene Area Bou… > Camp Serene
 48
V4+ 6B+ PG13 Boulder
Stinkin' Slopers Reiter Foothills > … > Midnight Lichen… > Stinkin' Slopers Boulder
 46
V5 6C Boulder
The Five Star Arete Reiter Rd > Five Star Boulder
 37
V6 7A Boulder
Ryan's Problem / Climax Con… Serene Area Bou… > Camp Serene
 41
V6 7A PG13 Boulder
Metroid Prime Reiter Foothills > … > E Forest > Metroid Prime Boulder
 63
V6 7A Boulder
Water Reiter Foothills > … > Positive Vibrat… > Water boulder
 32
V6 7A Boulder
Doja Reiter Foothills > … > Central Forest > Doja Boulder
 40
V7 7A+ Boulder
World's Best V7 Reiter Foothills > Zeke's Trail Bo… > World's Best Boulder
 38
V7 7A+ Boulder
Obesity Reiter Foothills > Clearcut > Fraggle Rock Group
 67
V7 7A+ Boulder
Ross Bongo Reiter Rd > Five Star Boulder
 31
V8 7B Boulder
More Classic Climbs in Gold Bar Boulders »

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