Elevation: 5,972 ft
GPS: 38.765, -119.846 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 239,565 total · 1,687/month
Shared By: Milton Mugambe on Feb 17, 2009 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

Woodfords Canyon offers year-round climbing. The south-facing side of Highway 88 allows comfortable climbing conditions during the winter months. When the mercury climbs into the 40's in Reno, the temperatures at Woodfords can allow for surprisingly comfortable climbing, assuming there are clear skies and light winds. In summer, the shady walls lying on the south side create perfect conditions during the hotter summer months.

The area is relatively unknown, usually only receiving the attention of a few parties on weekends. The climbing is generally traditional and although there are routes up to four pitches in length, the majority of the climbs are a half rope long, with a 70m rope being extremely useful. The granite on the winter side is generally excellent with some areas of coarse rock. The summer areas have finer grained granite and less coarse rock but more dirt and munge; these climbs required extensive cleaning on their first ascents.

These climbs offer some of the purest crack climbing in the Tahoe area and is a great training area for Yosemite and the High Sierra.

Most of the Woodfords climbs lie on public land in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. You can always check the HTNF website for current access information.

Getting There

Woodford's Canyon is located in Alpine County, California, along Highway 88, 20 minutes from South Lake Tahoe. There are quite a few different parking areas and trail heads.

Driving from the west

Take Highway 50 west from South Lake Tahoe. Drive through the town of Meyers, go left on Highway 89 (south), drive several miles to the junction of Highways 88 and 89. Turn left onto Highway 88 (east), drive down the valley which follows the steep East Fork of the Carson River. Towards the bottom of the canyon the road becomes less steep and to the left is an obvious south facing treeless mountain side. The golden rock formations above the bushy slope is known as The Fortress. Park on the north-side of the road next to rotating road condition sign, where a small stream runs along the shoulder of the road. This parking area is on the left after passing Crystal Springs Campground. Pull a u-turn after passing over the bridge and park in front of the aforementioned road sign. Follow the well beaten trail that goes upstream (west) towards a tree covered rocky ridge. From the ridge follow a decent climber's trail that is marked by cairns through a line of trees that lead to the base or The Fortress. The wall lying directly above the approach trail is known as the Donnie G and can be identified by a prominent "stalactite". Allow 30-45 minutes for the approach.

Driving from the east

From the East, Carson City or Gardnerville, take 395 to the 88 intersection Northwest of Minden. From here, at 395, it is 15.2 miles to the parking area for the "Fortress". On the way you will pass the junction with 89 toward Markleeville.

From this junction, it is 1.3 miles to the "Fortress" parking area, on the right.

141 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Woodfords Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 74
The Perfect Lie Back
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 47
5.8 Hand Crack
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 47
Whisker Biscuit
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 49
The Wind Through the Keyhole
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 44
Tall People Reach Short People C…
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 41
I Be Jammin'
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 41
Cat Scratch Fever
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 52
Bush League
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 38
Orange Wedge
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 36
Neutron
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 92
One Of These Days
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 21
Sun Wall Left
Trad, TR
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 20
O.U.L.D.
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 26
Proton
Trad
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 18
Livin' A Dream
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Perfect Lie Back Fortress > 6 - Liebacks Area
 74
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
5.8 Hand Crack Fortress > 1 - Books Area
 47
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Whisker Biscuit Fortress > 3 - Donnie G
 47
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
The Wind Through the Keyhole Cloudburst Canyon > Tiers > 1st Tier
 49
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Tall People Reach Short Peo… Cloudburst Canyon > Tiers > 2nd Tier
 44
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
I Be Jammin' Fortress > 4 - Second Alcove
 41
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Cat Scratch Fever Fortress > 1 - Books Area
 41
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Bush League Cloudburst Canyon > One Of These Days But…
 52
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Orange Wedge Cloudburst Canyon > Tiers > 2nd Tier
 38
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Neutron Cloudburst Canyon > High Energy Wall
 36
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
One Of These Days Cloudburst Canyon > One Of These Days But…
 92
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Sun Wall Left Fortress > 8 - Sun Wall Area
 21
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, TR
O.U.L.D. Fortress > 4 - Second Alcove
 20
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Proton Cloudburst Canyon > High Energy Wall
 26
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Livin' A Dream Cloudburst Canyon > One Of These Days But…
 18
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Woodfords Canyon »

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