Elevation: 1,837 ft
GPS: 34.724, -98.745 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 233,238 total · 1,716/month
Shared By: J C Wilks on May 8, 2009
Admins: Drew Nevius, Kevin Diaz
Access Issue: Access is always an issue here. Details
Access Issue: This area is designated as Charon Details

Description

The topography of Charon's Gardens can be a complex maze with small outcrops which can obscure features that are relatively near. There are good to fair trails leading to the major destinations. These areas include Tiny Bubbles, Pear & Apple, Treasure Cove, Elk Slabs and Crab Eyes, but even then, once you are close there can be a bit of route finding to get to the base of the actual climbs.

There are several areas with no maintained trail leading to them. Pick up a USGS map, a condensed version of the Refuge from the Visitor Center or print out a satellite image to aid you in finding these places on and around Mt. Lincoln, West Horizon Pass, Sunset Peak/Big Whiskey and other more obscure crags. The advantage of these areas is that you will avoid the crowds at the Narrows and Mt Scott.

The original 1980 book by Duane Raleigh and Bill Thomas 'Southern Exposure - A Climber's Guide to Oklahoma' simply states: "CHARON'S GARDENS - To the west of Elk Mt. is a rugged wilderness area known as Charons Gardens. Throughout this area there are many excellent one pitch and shorter crack climbs. These can be difficult to locate and no listing of the specific routes will be given.

Climbing is year 'round but you will want to avoid the roasting south facing cliffs in summer and the shady north facing cliffs in winter. Encounters with wildlife can be sudden. Watch out especially for rattle snakes, elk and rogue bison bulls.

There is a designated camping section within Charon's Gardens. You must backpack in a couple of miles and the camping is primitive. Check at the Visitor Center for permits.

Getting There

Residing on the far southwestern end of the Refuge, there are two main parking lots for this large area and a few pull-outs in between. Drive west on 49 to the north, Sunset Pool Parking which provides access to most of the major climbing areas. Off of the Indiahoma Rd is the south parking lot at Treasure Lake. This is the best point to start in to areas such as Panther Canyon, West Horizon Pass and Mt Lincoln. It's also a good way in to Elk Slabs. This lot has had high incidences of break-ins from time to time so keep your valuables with you or hidden if you must leave them in the vehicle.

316 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Charon's Gardens

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 75
Great Expectations
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X
 24
Water Streak
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 76
Worm Hole
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 45
Little Sherman Creature Crack
Trad
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 38
Fuson's Folly (aka Larry's Folly)
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 64
Frosted Flakes
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 52
Ladybugs and Gentlemen
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 57
Come and Get Your Love
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 24
Crack a Lo Lo
Trad, Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 31
Power Series
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 21
Slime of the Century
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 20
Ra
Trad
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 36
Rap Bolters from Hell
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 12
Lost My Religion
Trad, Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 9
500 Roses
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Great Expectations Elk Slabs
 75
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Water Streak Elk Slabs
 24
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X Trad 2 pitches
Worm Hole Echo Dome
 76
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Little Sherman Creature Crack Echo Dome
 45
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Fuson's Folly (aka Larry's… Lost Dome Region > Lost Dome Main Area
 38
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Frosted Flakes Echo Dome
 64
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Ladybugs and Gentlemen Echo Dome
 52
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Come and Get Your Love Lost Dome Region > Lost Dome Main Area
 57
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Crack a Lo Lo Lost Dome Region > Lost Dome Main Area
 24
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
Power Series Crab Eyes > E Face
 31
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Slime of the Century Lost Dome Region > Lost Dome Main Area
 21
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Ra Crab Eyes > E Face
 20
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad
Rap Bolters from Hell Lost Dome Region > Lost Dome Main Area
 36
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Lost My Religion Lost Dome Region > Lost Dome Main Area
 12
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, Sport
500 Roses Lost Dome Region > Lost Dome Main Area
 9
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
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