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Areas in Trinity Arêtes

High Country Head Wall 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Nimby Wall 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Paisano Buttress 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Safari Wall 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Shooting Gallery 2 / 16 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 18
Tower of Babble 2 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Visions Wall 2 / 8 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Elevation: 4,000 ft
GPS: 40.77, -123.503 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 36,025 total · 260/month
Shared By: Rick Shull on Jan 4, 2007
Admins: Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Description [Edit]

The Trinity Aretes are a steep, high quality limestone sport climbing area located above the Trinity River. The rock is of excellent quality with routes ranging from 5.8 to 5.14a. The cliffs are generally north facing and quite cold during the winter. Summer and Fall are the best times to climb. While some routes are only 35 feet, most are 100 feet or longer, and up to 250, so a 70 meter rope is highly recommended. Some locals use 100 meter ropes for ease of lowering on the longer lines. After following rumors of a big limestone crag, Paul Humphrey finally drove the right dirt road and found one of the highest quality limestone crags on the west coast. Since 1996 route development has been spearheaded by Eric Chemello and Humphrey and there are now over 50 routes.

Some routes do require gear so check your line before launching. A helmet is highly recommended as there is some loose rock above and around the climbs.

Getting There [Edit]

Directions to the crag:
(1) Take a right on Underwood Mountain Road (just east of Burnt Ranch) if coming from Arcata on Hwy 299. Set your odometer to zero.
(2) At 4.0 miles, take a right on 5N40 Rd.
(3) At 6.2 miles (from Hwy 299) you'll see the Trinity Aretes. Park on the side of the road or in the small camping area (please do not park in the camping area if you are not camping). Less than 5 minutes to the base of the Visions Wall.

46 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Trinity Arêtes

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
I've heard of this area, and I'd love to check it out in the Fall.

What is the driving time from the Crescent City area? I'm coming from Portland, and I'm having a hard time figuring out if it's better to go through the Redwoods area on the coast and cut over, or to just come straight down I-5 and then go West at Redding. What would you recommend? Jul 24, 2007
Rick Shull
Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Rick Shull   Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Driving time to the Aretes is about 2.5-3 hrs from Crescent City or about 2 from Redding. I think cutting across to Crescent City is probably a little faster than coming from Redding. The other way is to drop down from Yreka to Callahan and down Rte. 3 to Weaverville and intersect Hwy. 299 there. Also, if you come down the coast, you can pick up the guide book for the Aretes in Arcata. Jul 24, 2007
are the dirt roads low-clearance car friendly? Aug 4, 2007
Rick Shull
Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Rick Shull   Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
The roads are standard Forest Service gravel. 2wd passenger cars should be fine but I wouldn't take a lowered street racer up there. Aug 8, 2007
Thanks, I'll leave my low rider at home. Aug 11, 2007
Tucson, AZ
JMo   Tucson, AZ
so it says trinity aretes is cold in winter. are we talking cold unclimable or cold dress warm and there should be almost no one else there? Nov 10, 2010
Rick Shull
Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Rick Shull   Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
The aretes tend to seep during winter due to the north facing aspect and heavy rainfall in the area. The cliffs are in the shade all day in the winter and temps are often in the 30's. Cecilville or Marble Caves are the best bet for winter limestone in the region. Nov 11, 2010
Frank Sosa
Frank Sosa   Washington
How 'bout some route info and photos of the nearby grotto? That is one of the most magical places iv'e ever been. Apr 27, 2011
Rick Shull
Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Rick Shull   Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Yes, the Grotto is spectacular. There is one photo on the main Redwood Coast page but the area should be added.... May 13, 2011
I am headed up here in a few months and was wondering if there are any topos on this area? Mar 30, 2012
Rick Shull
Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Rick Shull   Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
All of the routes are in the guidebook which is available in the gear shops in Arcata and Eureka. Mar 31, 2012
Would it be too cold to visit the Aretes over Thanksgiving break? Thanks for any beta. Nov 23, 2013
Christian Cota
Arcata, CA
Christian Cota   Arcata, CA
Probably a little late to be asking this, but a friend of mine got my #3 camalot stuck in the crack on visions of impalement a few months back. Came back the following weekend to try to get it out, but it was gone. i would really appreciate getting it back if anyone came across it. it had some pink paint on the stem for identification. thanks! christian Mar 2, 2014
Crimper E6
cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Crimper E6   cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
north facing and probably not the best place to be in winter, especially the tendency for local fog and some seepage. Crag bottom is a steep loose (muddy) slope, bring a rope bag. Small area really, vertical crimping wall is ok but the 45degree wall is world class for the >7c climber, and without the polish! Nov 9, 2014
We just visited this area the other day and had fun. It's mid April, chilly and still small patches of snow about.

The steep slopes at the base of the routes are very slick and muddy, however, the fixed ropes to help pull yourself around the base of the crag still appear to be in good condition and were extremely helpful (and appreciated) for getting around.

We bought the guide book for the area in town and there do appear to be new routes. So make sure you're getting on the right route in the book before winding up on something harder.

Final note. Helmet is a MUST here. Especially for the belayer. We had issues with very large, loose rock. Be kind to your belayer and watch where you are stepping or pulling on. Apr 16, 2015

Any new routes that are not in the guide book are here on mountain project. If you have any questions about the area let me know. Promontory the sea crag by present city just got rebolted, and has a bunch of new routes. so if you're in the area you should check it out. May 5, 2015
How are the Aretes right now? Any idea if they are wet? May 18, 2015
Verdi, NV
Lurker   Verdi, NV  
Maybe some minor seepage from recent rains, but otherwise good to go.

Wait, are you Corinna's friend? I think I tried to give you directions to Lover's Leap awhile back. May 18, 2015
Benjamin Poirier
Twin Bridges, CA
Benjamin Poirier   Twin Bridges, CA
My partner lost a small black thermos mug with a bunch of stickers on it at the Aretes last Saturday (May 30th). If you found it, please get in touch with me because it would be great to have it back. Thanks. Jun 1, 2015
Anyone knows how the road to the crag is right now? Is it fine for a Sprinter van?

Also, how is the hangout there? Good enough for kiddos?

Thanks! May 7, 2017
Anybody know what the conditions are like? Did Trinity Aretes survive the fires relatively unscathed? Oct 9, 2017
They are fine luckily. Conditions are good until the rains come. If anybody knows about how Hayfork and the Caverns are with those fires... let me know. Oct 9, 2017

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