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Elevation: 5,972 ft 1,820 m
GPS: 38.7653, -119.8463
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Milton Mugambe on Feb 17, 2009 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description Suggest change

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 Suggest change

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.

178 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.
V8 7B
 17
Danos Arete
Boulder
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 104
The Perfect Lie Back
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 60
I Be Jammin'
Trad
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 53
Cat Scratch Fever
Trad
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 55
Neutron
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 118
One Of These Days
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 29
Sun Wall Left
Trad, TR
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 35
O.U.L.D.
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 32
Arrowhead
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 18
Hillside Strangler
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 34
Proton
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 19
The Hand of God
Trad 4 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 24
Little Miss Manners
Trad
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 23
Livin' A Dream
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 8
Lightning Dream
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Danos Arete Woodfords Canyo… > Mama Cat Boulders > Mama Cat Boulder
 17
V8 7B Boulder
The Perfect Lie Back Fortress > 6 - Liebacks Area
 104
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
I Be Jammin' Fortress > 4 - Second Alcove
 60
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Cat Scratch Fever Fortress > 1 - Books Area
 53
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
Neutron Cloudburst Canyon > High Energy Wall
 55
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
One Of These Days Cloudburst Canyon > One Of These Days But…
 118
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Sun Wall Left Fortress > 8 - Sun Wall Area
 29
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, TR
O.U.L.D. Fortress > 4 - Second Alcove
 35
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Arrowhead Fortress > 3 - Donnie G
 32
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Hillside Strangler Crystal Springs… > Strangler Cliff
 18
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Proton Cloudburst Canyon > High Energy Wall
 34
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
The Hand of God Fortress > 2 - Wood Hood
 19
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 4 pitches
Little Miss Manners Cloudburst Canyon > One Of These Days But…
 24
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad
Livin' A Dream Cloudburst Canyon > One Of These Days But…
 23
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Lightning Dream Cloudburst Canyon > High Energy Wall
 8
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Woodfords Canyon »

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