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Areas in Trout Creek

Cool Wall, The 14 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Main Wall, The 64 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 64
Northern End, The 24 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 24
Elevation: 2,101 ft
GPS: 44.802, -121.109 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 152,909 total · 1,469/month
Shared By: Max Tepfer on Aug 2, 2009
Admins: Micah Klesick, Nate Ball


Trout Creek is Oregon's premier destination for pure crack climbs. The climbing is physical, the rock is rough, and the approach is long if you're not used to hiking. The bulk of the climbing is vertical cracks in corners and stem-boxes on large basalt columns coming in at the 5.10-5.12 range. There are also a handful of lower angle crack climbs on the North side of the crag that come in at 5.7-5.10. The main wall faces west and this fact dictates when it is best to climb there. It is possible to climb at Trout year round if you climb in the sun/shade accordingly, but the crag closes every January 15th for Golden Eagle nesting. There is a published guidebook. It used to be free, but is now published through Rakkup and can be purchased in digital form for $4.99 at this Link. It is an excellent resource and comes highly recommended, especially if you're interested in ethics, history, and thoughts behind grades.

The position of the crag is spectacular and contributes to Trout's special vibe. It's possible to climb there without tape, but it sure feels nice to have something between your skin and the rock. In terms of gear, lots of people have complained about how many cams you need, but my experience is that you can get by with a double rack if you have a couple choice supplements for specific routes. Extra hand and finger sized pieces are definitely a good idea. In terms of new route potential, there are still a couple lines that haven't been done, but they're mostly thin and difficult.

Additionally, one of Trout's most outstanding characteristics is the sense of welcome, stewardship, and community that the people who climb there bring to it. Evidence of this can be found in the steel carabiners on the chains of the vast majority of the classic routes. These are meant for simplifying the top-rope-cleaning process and were contributed by the generosity of others. Please respect that by leaving them in place, but feel free to clip directly to them when TRing. Additionally, there is a community bucket currently located under a boulder in the vicinity of the bench-like columns beneath Gold Rush. It usually contains a guidebook, a first aid kit, and various odds and ends. This bucket, like all the other human artifacts 90% of Trout's visitors use during their stay, (bolts, hangers, chains, carabiners, etc...) are there thanks to the generosity of others.

It's worth noting that Trout's Main Wall requires exposed boulder-hopping to enjoy fully. People and/or dogs not comfortable walking and 3rd/4th classing in exposed situations probably won't enjoy visiting. Lastly, FA information is based on the guidebook but is a slightly sticky subject due to the area's development history. For the whole story, check out the guidebook.

Possibly the most important thing to know about climbing at Trout is it's central access issue: golden eagles. There is a nest at the south end of the Main Wall and there are another three nests at the Cool Wall. The overhanging, broken columns adjacent to the nest (the columns that are bent over) are closed to climbing and the entire area is closed to all access. (hiking and climbing) from January 15th through August 31st. While no climbers have violated the closures by actually tying in when the crag is closed, the BLM has encountered climbers who hiked up to check the place out during the closure. It can't be stressed enough that you should not be hiking above the river during the closure period!
Seasonal Raptor Closure starts Jan 15 each year@SEMICOLON@ No top access - private land Details

Getting There

From the city of Madras: drive 97 North past Safeway and out of town. Turn left of NE Cora Drive. It'll turn into NE Clark Drive which you'll follow into the town of Gateway, OR. Cross the train tracks and take a right following signs to Trout Creek Recreational Area. From the day-use area at the up-stream end of the campground, follow the trail/road up stream for about 10 minutes. There are currently two trails up to the crag. One leaves the river right after the road jogs around a small berm (right after you pass a bench on your right) and switchbacks up to the Northern End. To get to the other, older trail, follow the road past the first trail for another 5 minutes, cross a small cattle guard (the second you will have encountered if you include the very first one you cross after leaving the parking lot), and look for a trail heading up and left during a long straightaway.

102 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Trout Creek

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Trad, TR
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Gold Rush
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Lively Up Yourself
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Talkin' It Clean
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
JR Token
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Mr. Squiggles
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
The Space Between
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Dame El Oro
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Winter Sustenance
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
U3 Main Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Gold Rush Main Wall
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Lively Up Yourself Northern End
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Talkin' It Clean Northern End
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
JR Token Main Wall
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Wondertwins Main Wall
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Mr. Squiggles Main Wall
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
The Space Between Main Wall
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Suzuki Main Wall
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Fingerlings Main Wall
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Gateway Main Wall
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Dame El Oro Main Wall
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Monster Main Wall
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Alchemy Main Wall
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Winter Sustenance Main Wall
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Trout Creek »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
The crag is closed for the winter. The earliest it would open is mid-May, but we won’t know more specifically until shortly before then. 7 days ago
Micah Klesick
Vancouver, WA
Micah Klesick   Vancouver, WA  
I added the Rakkup Guide to the Guidebooks link, since it is now the only guide. You'll need to buy and download it from Rakkup. Mar 15, 2016
anybody know anything about access right now? 7 days ago
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
Word came in from the BLM today that Trout Creek is now partially open for the season. The south (original) approach trail is closed as is all climbing and hiking south (climber's right) of the Gold Rush area. (Gold Rush is open, Alchemy, Pan Handlin', and Midas Touch are closed) In short the vast majority of climbing is good to go and we should only walk up there via the steeper trail that climbs directly to the northern end.

The BLM also confirmed today that the eagles have two nestlings. It can't be emphasized enough how critical it is that we obey the closure and stay out of the closed area. If the young birds successfully fledge this season then it's a huge win for everyone in that it demonstrates that climbers and eagles can coexist with this amount of buffer. (not something that's been well established to date-many other golden closures are more restrictive in buffer size) May 15, 2017
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
There isn't any free camping or overnight parking. It's a paid BLM campground without water and with bathrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings.…

The timing of the approach is subjective. It usually takes me about 30 minutes up the North Trail, but if you're carrying a lot of gear and don't like walking uphill, and go the long way, it wouldn't be unreasonable to take an hour. An additional factor is how good you are at talus hopping and where you choose to start climbing/which trail you take. If you hike up on the North but are going to warm up by Gold Rush and are slow crossing the base, that can add time. Sep 18, 2016
20 kN    
How long does the approach take? Parts of the guide make it sound rather long and others make it sound short. Sep 18, 2016
kendallt   Tahoe
What's the camping and day use fee situation here? Is the campground free BLM camping or paid? Is there any primitive camping that's free, or overnight parking? Sep 17, 2016
M Alexander
M Alexander   SLO, CA
After missing the further trail and mobbing straight up the hill, if it is your first time I would recommend taking the closer trail and boulder hopping to the main wall. Also, main wall is in shade until about 2pm, with the north end staying in the shade much longer, we left around 5 and it was still fine. Rodeo Crack in particular had a cool breeze running through it and felt very nice to sit by. Aug 12, 2016
Rob Price
Seattle, WA
Rob Price   Seattle, WA
Hi Chris,
I notice the 'Guidebooks' link says (3) guidebooks but there's nothing on the page when I click. You can get the rakkup guide at… or just install the app for iPhone/iPad or Android and find Trout Creek in the 'Store' tab. Have a great trip! TC is amazing. Mar 15, 2016
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
Hey Chris,
I'm not sure what's wrong. I just tried clicking the link and it took me straight to Rakkup's TC page. Alternatively you could try googling it. For clarity, I'm talking about the link to Rakkup in the description. I'm pretty sure that the link that Luke posted is no longer current. (Jeff took the book off of Lulu after he switched to Rakkup's platform) Mar 1, 2016
Chris Kisio
Chris Kisio   Beaverton
Does anyone have a link that is not broken for the Trout Creek guidebook or anything I can use please and thank you. Planning a trip May 19 and havent been able to get this link to the guidebook to work. Feb 29, 2016
Chris Sepic
Bend, OR
Chris Sepic   Bend, OR
In case anyone is curious, Forrest Kaye and I recently timed the approach trails. With full packs, the long (south) trail takes 30 minutes from the start of the north trail to the Gold Rush staging area. The shorter, steeper north trail takes 20 minutes from its start to the northern end. Aug 1, 2015
Lan Dogan
Seattle, WA
Lan Dogan   Seattle, WA
FYI, looks like closures are listed on this BLM page:…

for 2015 open as of May 15 May 19, 2015
Catherine Conner
Phoenix, AZ
Catherine Conner   Phoenix, AZ
Gosh I want to go here so bad, it's been on the bucket list for at least 5 years. Someday I tell ya! Sep 14, 2013
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
The closure does not include the campground. The river road and campground are unaffected by the closure. If you do hike the river road, do not leave it and head up the trails to cliff. The closure only affects the climber's trails and crag. There should be signs after a couple hundred feet of trail. Mar 17, 2013
Black Hawk, SD
AndyKemedy   Black Hawk, SD
Does the golden eagle closure include the campground? Mar 17, 2013
Sounds good. Thanks Max. Nov 2, 2009
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
Passive pro does work well in many places, but there are certain routes where you do actually need triples or quadruples of a given size in order to place gear every ten feet.
"You'll be able to climb with a "regular" rack on many of the routes. If you climb solid 5.10 and have a double set of cams and stoppers you should be fine on some of the most popular climbs like Wonder Twins, U2, The Guillotine, Sleepy Hallow, Gods Must Be Angry, Two Step, Usual Suspects, Talkin' it Clean (and the routes close by), The Long March, Rock Around the Block, Mr Squiggles, Lively Up Yourself...and many others. So don't let the lack of gear talk you out of heading up there.

Jr Token, Gold Rush, Fingerlings, Alchemy and many of the finger cracks (typically) require more than doubles." -Jeffw (a pretty knowledgeable guy) on the subject of gear requirements at Trout. Oct 19, 2009
Does passive pro work well here or do you have to rely mostly on cams? Not everyone has three or more cams of one size... Oct 14, 2009
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
This is an amazing area, and I want to thank all of the people who have worked on its development.

I was really struck by the rock here-- I came expecting the usual slick-as-ice basalt that we're used to in the Northwest, but I was surprised to see that it has an incredible texture that is reminiscent of the tuff at Smith Rock. Among other things, that tends to make the climbing a bit sportier than some other purely trad areas that you might visit; because of the abrasive texture there's a chance that you might actually stick that desperate deadpoint to a far-away fingerjam. Oct 13, 2009

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