Royal Columns Rock Climbing
|GPS:||46.725, -120.809 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Page Views:||42,311 total, 321/month|
|Shared By:||andyf on Feb 20, 2007|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick|
DescriptionWith more than 70 routes and some great entry-level cracks, the Royal Columns is the historic heart of Tieton River climbing. It's still the most popular crag in the area.
About every five years or so someone touts the Columns as a "new" area. There's a lot of history here. Washington pioneers Tom and Meade Hargis cut their teeth at the Columns in the 1960s. In the 1970s, a talented group of Yakima climbers including Paul Boving, Matt & Jamie Christensen, Matt Kerns, and Kjell Swedin explored the crag before leaving their mark at Leavenworth, Index, and beyond. And, contrary to its reputation as a "trad" area, sport routes were being established at the Columns (and elsewhere in the Tieton) in the 1980s, before the first bolts were ever drilled at Little Si, Exit 38, or Frenchman Coulee.
The rock at the Columns is well-featured with horizontal edges, making for some fun footwork along the cracks and fun crimping on the face routes. The rock is generally quite solid, although there's a fair bit of loose stuff on the slopes above the cliff. Keep an eye out for rock fall when people are above the cliff, particularly if (or rather, when) an instructional group shows up.
In summer, the crag is shaded and cool in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. Be alert for rattlesnakes on the approach hike and along the cliff base. If you run into a snake, please leave it in peace.
Temporary Closure (From April 28, 2017) Details
One column fell over. See condition report below.
Getting ThereThe Columns are directly across the Tieton River from the Oak Creek Wildlife Area headquarters, about 3 miles west of where Highway 12 splits off from Highway 410. Park either on the broad shoulder along the river, or in the huge Wildlife Area lot across the highway. If parking in the lot, you'll need a Washington Discover Pass or you'll risk a ticket. This is the same pass you need to park at Frenchman Coulee or Little Si.
Cross the Tieton River on a nice footbridge, then follow the signs and cut to the right through a gated fence to pick up the Tieton Nature Trail. In a few hundred yards, the trail to the crag branches left and heads up the hillside. Please use this trail both getting to and leaving the crag. The trail reaches the crag around the area of Orange Sunshine.
Classic Climbing Routes at Royal Columns
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season