Description

Texas Canyon, located in the high desert, between Santa Clarita and Aqua Dulce, consists of a collection of large sandstone conglomerate domes, isolated rock formations, and boulders nestled in the rolling hills of canyon country in NW Los Angeles County. Texas Canyon or Table Rock, the USFS designation, and the nearby Rowher Flats OHV Area are managed by the USFS, in cooperation with Los Angles County, and the State of California. Texas Canyon lies at 2500 ft in elevation. Currently, Texas Canyon hosts 100+ climbing routes from 5.0 5.13b. Most routes are bolted sport routes, and require only quick draws and lead to Fixe rings, chains, or shuts/hooks. A 60 meter rope is useful in climbing and descending most formations, some up to 200 in height.

The use of the Texas Canyon/Rowher Flats area spans several thousand years when local springs and the diverse landscape provided sufficient water and food to support the Tataviam Indian village. The area has been popular with OHV enthusiasts and rock climbers since the early 1960s, as evidenced by old rusty bolts and fixed pitons on some of the formations. Loomis, Leventhal, and Draper began putting up routes as early as 1992. Savage established several moderate sport routes between 1998 - 2000. Many of the moderate lines were filled in by Chapman and Neal from 2010 -2014. The area was closed for eighteen months, due to the October 2007 Buckweed Fire. The climbing at Texas Canyon can be characterized as bolted sport climbing on abundant pockets, knobs, and inclusions or weathered cobbles protruding from the surrounding rock. Climbing varies from low angle slab to steep overhung faces. The area has become popular due to the range of quality, well protected moderate routes and the short approach. Climbing is possible year round, with the exception of the coldest and hottest days. A cautious approach is advised as the sandstone conglomerate is friable and hand and footholds frequently break. Use of a helmet can not be overemphasized, especially for belayers.

An article in the Southern California Mountaineers Association (SCMA) Cliffnotes (August 1999), by Savage, provided documentation of climbing routes at Texas Canyon. Other guidebooks to Texas Canyon include; Southern California Rock Climbing, Vol. 2 by Tom Slater (2013) and Southern California Sport Climbing, 3rd edition by Troy Mayr (2004). While both guidebooks provide basic directions, approach information, photos, and rudimentary route topos, neither guidebook is comprehensive or current. The latest route descriptions are found on the Mountain Project database. There is rumor of a new guidebook in the works.

Getting There

Texas Canyon is an easy 30 minute drive north from the San Fernando Valley. Take the I-5 or the 405 north to Hwy 14 toward Palmdale/Lancaster. Once through Santa Clarita, exit Sand Canyon Road and turn left and continue two miles on Sand Canyon Road to the T-intersection at Sierra Hwy. Turn right on Sierra Hwy and go ~ 5 miles to Rush Canyon Road. Turn left on Rush Canyon Road (5N13), which is marked as Rowher Flats OHV area. It quickly becomes a graded dirt road. Continue on Rush Canyon Road for 1.8 miles to a gated fire road at the ridge. Park and follow the fire road as it meanders 1/4 mile to a diagonal cutoff on the right, to the now obvious crag. It is permissible to park on either side of the road, but be cautious of parking too near the gate (no parking signs).

120 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Texas Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 33
Hyperion
Sport 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 27
Tethys
Sport 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 31
Humpty Dumpty
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 56
Cascada
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 17
Pick A Pocket
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 43
Sophie's Choice
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 20
Betty Does Brownsville
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 37
Itsy Bitsy Spider (climbed up th…
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 35
Slotterhouse
Sport
Egg
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 25
Boneyard
Sport
Egg
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 30
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Sport
Egg
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 6
Amarillo By Morning
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 31
Before The Storm
Trad, Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 14
Bilbo Surfs Galveston
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 27
The Green Mile
Sport
Egg
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Hyperion Elephant Head (& Hype…
 33
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport 2 pitches
Tethys Pangea Wall (or Panga…
 27
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport 2 pitches
Humpty Dumpty Diner
 31
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Cascada First Corridor
 56
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Pick A Pocket First Corridor
 17
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Sophie's Choice First Corridor
 43
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Betty Does Brownsville First Corridor
 20
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Itsy Bitsy Spider (climbed… First Corridor
 37
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Slotterhouse Egg
 35
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Boneyard Egg
 25
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Egg
 30
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Amarillo By Morning Elephant Head (& Hype…
 6
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Before The Storm First Corridor
 31
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
Bilbo Surfs Galveston First Corridor
 14
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
The Green Mile Egg
 27
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Texas Canyon »

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Photos

Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
The road that accesses Texas Canyon is Rush Canyon Road, and is so marked. The sign at the turnoff from Sierra Highway indicates that the road to the left (Rush Canyon Road) leads to the Rowher Flats OHV Area.







Jun 17, 2011
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
This is a nice local lead area, and while the rock is not of the highest quality the climbing is fun and engaging, plus the scenery is practically unspoiled. Chris Savage had the good taste to make the moderate Hyperion Slab routes nice and run out, which gives them a distinctly non-Sport climb feel and adds to the spice on the easier second pitches - and as such are probably more for people very steady at long run out 5.7 leads.

I have only climbed a few routes here but I would recommend adjusting the quality star rating system because it seems like we're using some other area (a granite area?) as the datum for the quality ratings, for example I would say that Hyperion is at least 3 stars based upon the surrounding climbs, it has good moves between widely spaced bolts plus a cool hanging belay. Anyway MHO. Nov 28, 2011
Have you ever heard of a "canyon" that you could touch both walls at the same time? I don't know, seems like a corridor to me, but since you bring Spider Savage into this as some kind of legitimizing voice here, WTF makes him the arbitrator of any of this? He can name his routes whatever he wants but I fully can't stand the names he has put on the formations.But for the sake of argument, let's accept his word on this one:
Feb 12, 2013
Steve Hermosisima
Torrance, CA
Steve Hermosisima   Torrance, CA
I parked road side with no adventure pass expecting a $25 ticket, max. upon leaving I have a $125 fine waiting for me. Has anyone else received a fine recently because this is an outrageous price? Mar 16, 2014
Spider Savage
Los Angeles, ID
Spider Savage   Los Angeles, ID
As mentioned in the CAUTION in the intro. The routes are NOT clean and a helmet is advised, especially for the belayer or 2nd below. A good climber never drops rocks on others and does their best to clean potential hazards. This rock exfoliates. What is solid today may come off in your hand in a few years. Rain and heat will work things loose. Most folks establishing routes have cleaned for safety. But be wary all the time. Sep 21, 2014
"National Forest Fee Area" is not the same as "Parked Vehicles Must Display an Adventure Pass". Rowher Flats seems to be a jointly administered area of California State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service. It's ambiguous as to what "fee" refers to in that sign. ORV people have to pay a California fee, and that money is used for facilities and administration of the off-road area, which is the main purpose of Rowher. Rock climbing just happened to come along because of the rocks there and is not related to ORV activity.

It seems the Forest Service loves to play games with the public. Most climbers know that the "Area Closed" signs were removed from Williamson Gorge at least three years ago. Could that be because they really don't have the right to close that area?

Since the court decision earlier this year against the Adventure Pass--the third time it has been thrown out by Federal Court--the Forest Service seems to want to propagate a sort of myth about the pass, even though most of the "Must Display" signs have been removed. All they have to do is put up the proper signs, which I'll bet they realize they have no right to do. "National Forest Fee Area" doesn't mean a thing unless there is further instruction as to what the fee is and what is required of users. And I haven't seen any such thing around Rowher, except for the information billboard about how ORV fees are used. Sep 30, 2014
It's probably worth mentioning that a ranger talked to one of our Texas Canyon group and asked her to spread the word among others to display the Adventure Pass. The ranger then talked about the need for facilities for climbers there, such as toilets and picnic tables. (Just what we need--picnic tables.) I guess that's sort of like the highway patrol stopping you for going 90 miles an hour and asking you to spread the word among your friends to slow down a bit, it makes the road safer. I sure wish they'd operate that way.

However, my personal opinion, I think TC is getting overused, just the way Williamson Gorge was getting so crowded in the years before its closure. Climbers, especially beginning climbers, seem to get stuck on a favorite area, like going to the same gym all the time. Echo Cliff was that way for awhile, and now it's often a ghost town. When you get this kind of heavy use, you can expect the land managers to get concerned and want to do something about it. I'd advise spreading out a little--Devil's Punchbowl, Horse Flat, Tunnel Crags, Corpse Wall, Tick Rock, Malibu Creek, Echo Cliff--all an hour or so (or even less) from the city, all acceptable and challenging climbing on our beloved chossite. Oct 1, 2014
Spider Savage
Los Angeles, ID
Spider Savage   Los Angeles, ID
As TC has become popular the visitor impact has become a concern. In order to protect your freedom of access, please pack out all your trash, every little bit. Pick up after others. Reduce visual impact by leaving only natural colored slings. Any gardening or landscaping must be nearly invisible to the casual viewer.


HUMAN WASTE: Pack out yer paper folks. It's the NEW cool thing to do. Bring a zip-lock for this purpose.

Really cool people pack WAG-bags. Oct 13, 2014
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
Happy new year everyone! We had a great day of climbing after a great day of mountain biking! That is, until we got back to the parking area and my freinds 1700 dollar transition bike was cut from a 3/4 inch cable and stolen. It is such a shame that people- (excuse my language ) have to be so sh**ty-so please watch your belongings and climb safe everyone. Jan 2, 2015
DynoTee
Bellingham, WA
DynoTee   Bellingham, WA
Of all the areas I've climbed at, I was surprised to find Texas canyon with such good rock quality. The sandstone is solid, no loose sand although there may be thin holds that may fall out, but very good footholds and excellent huecos. May 31, 2015
As a Saugus resident, I love seeing more development at Texas Canyon but I would hate to see it end up like Williamson due to irresponsibility. I saw this video on YouTube - youtu.be/ALWysLuMXDY

There is no camping allowed at the crag, fires are not allowed there, you can not collect the native vegetation for firewood any where in the National forest and for fuck sakes don't throw glass bottles into the fire you should not have made.

I am all for young people getting into climbing but they need to act responsibly or there will be consequences. Mar 4, 2017
You are actually correct, since it is a recreation area dispersed camping is legal. The OHV staging area would be a better choice as you could have a fire and there are bathrooms facilities. Fifteen people camping means a bunch of turds, I seem to remember a post about turds at the bottom of a climb next to the cave.

No fires are legal. During the lowest fire rating "low" in the ANF, "Wood and charcoal fires in designated sites only, in agency-provided campfire rings and stoves."

You would need a California campfire permit and shovel to be allowed to use a gas stove.

In the video at 1:27-1:29 you can see what is being burned and its not firewood that was brought in. The camera focuses on the bottle in the fire at 1:50. Tanner and Ashley are not using the area responsibly. I posted to ask others to be responsible with using the area. The video was an example of what not to do as it will create problems with the forestry service.

As for being done for decades, so was target shooting. There used to be a dozen or so sites in ANF, including Texas Canyon, for free public target shooting. Irresponsible people got them all shut down.

Mar 16, 2017
Spider Savage
Los Angeles, ID
Spider Savage   Los Angeles, ID
My 20th anniversary visit to TC today. I've not been here for several years now. Great to see so many people there having fun. When I found it 20 years ago there were a handful of hard routes, very little activity and The Canyon notch was choked with poison oak, bushes surround areas where there are now routes and the place was open to 4WD, camping and shooting and the surround hills covered with trash from people shooting stuff up and leaving it. I cleared the poison oak, trimmed some of the bushes gently, and picked up lots of trash. My vision was to move it to the state it is now in today where many people enjoy this fun climbing area. A big thanks to Ben Chapman, Pam Neal and others who have contributed to making this area nice. Thanks to the USFS for restricting the 4WD access so it can be clean and natural again. Feb 10, 2018
Spider Savage
Los Angeles, ID
Spider Savage   Los Angeles, ID
The rock here is aqueous sandstone conglomerate. I softens very much when wet. DO NOT CLIMB WET.

There is a real danger of conglomerate boulders/inclusions popping out and clobbering people below. When it is dry it's pretty hard.

One exception may be inside the cave. There are a number of difficult sport routes there that get no moisture at all. Mar 8, 2018
There has been a recent uptick of new route development at Texas canyon. Thanks to Jack and the others for all the hard work putting these up. We really appreciate your efforts Mar 16, 2018
Spider Savage
Los Angeles, ID
Spider Savage   Los Angeles, ID
Thanks to Katie Hill for filming her congressional ad at TC. youtube.com/watch?v=4N5ObWQ…

What's the route there left of The Shrike crack on Shrike Temple? Looks great! Please post up. It's not in our guide here.

If you don't come forward with the name, it may forever be known as the Katie Hill route. ;-D May 2, 2018
Brian Reitz
Yorba Linda, CA
Brian Reitz   Yorba Linda, CA
Is there any camping near the climbing area. May 12, 2018
Spider Savage
Los Angeles, ID
Spider Savage   Los Angeles, ID
Regarding Camping: It is open National Forest land. See their web site for camping policies.

What is your definition of Camping? There are no adjacent "Campgrounds." No good places to park and camp from your car.

If you backpack in to the crag there are several interesting spots to sleep, eat and leave no trace. Including the cool Chumash Cave on the trail in.

The area is too dry for campfires most of the year. If you do make a campfire, make it a minimalistic "leave-no-trace" campfire and then only in the few weeks of the year after the rains make things green and before the grass matures and dries.

In the early 1990s this area was open to ORV camping, shooting and free-for-all. It was littered with trash, broken bottles, shot up garbage, and bullet casings. Also heavy damage to the land by off-roading. As you can see there is little evidence of this now.

Care for and respect the land. It belongs to you and me. May 14, 2018
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
In the interest of keeping those trees in The Corridor green and healthy, as they provide a modest amount of shade, perhaps if you have any water to spare you could water the trees as you leave the First Corridor? Thank you. Nov 15, 2018
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
An article from the Access Fund posted by Jake Jones regarding climber behavior and conduct that threatens access to our crags.

AF article on areas in crisis:

accessfund.org/open-gate-bl…

I know it's probably common knowledge by now, but it's still worth posting for any that don't know that "impact" applies to everyone. I try to drop deuces before I hit the trail, and I always end up packing out trash that was left by aloof or generally lazy, selfish or inconsiderate people that don't really value pristine outdoor spaces and make a concerted effort to keep them that way as close as humanly possible. I also stay on trails, use hard surfaces/exposed rock to place my pack on and stand on whenever possible to minimize erosion. I try, against every instinct that steers me toward being anti-social, to tactfully approach people that are doing dumb shit and help if I can. This includes:

pooping (yes, I have done that to someone that dropped Scuds mere feet from the wall)
littering
top-roping through fixed gear
making ginormous tick marks
blocking trails with hammocks or other gear
parking like asinine shitheads (I've been called out on this as well)
being generally incompetent with best practices for safety
veering off established trails


Unfortunately, I have seen quite a few people that don't do any of these things, and treat outdoor spaces like a gas station bathroom.

You name it, I've probably approached someone on every issue that involves the dos and don'ts of outdoor climbing at some point or another. I donate to the AF (yearly) and to NRAC every time I visit the NRG (which is a dozen times a year, give or take). I know for the region that I visit the most, there have been public meetings occurring bi-annually for the past year or two discussing a climbing management plan. Given this article, and the general sentiment that land managers have regarding the increasing impact of areas being "loved to death" (although, shitting in a place that you 'love' and leaving it there seems a bit ironic to me), it's likely that we all see more restrictive access and management plans moving forward into the future.

No one likes to approach other people and "correct" them when they're doing something wrong. It's awkward, tense and it sucks. But considering all the organizations and coalitions and Access Funds and AACs out there, and considering that there are so many popular areas that are still "in crisis" despite all these things, I don't see how, as a user group, we can afford NOT to correct people.

The last thing I or any other avid outdoor climber wants is to show up to the crag one day and then "oh surprise, you can't climb here this year because it's now a lottery or limited permit basis now because of all the impact" or something similar. And if you don't think it's heading that way, you're mistaken and/or willfully ignorant. All it takes is one area to implement and have success for that to be a precedent for other areas on how to move forward and mitigate this impact.

I don't climb super hard. I don't climb outside as much as I'd like. I'm not a developer. I'm just a dude that loves climbing and loves the spaces and venues in which I climb. If I approach you outside, just know it's not because I'm trying to be a dick, or trying to impose some sort of authority- and I'm certainly not enjoying it. I'm just trying to keep the worst case (or second to worst case- worst being closure) from happening.

And If I'm doing something jacked up, please correct me. Call me paranoid or silly or whatever you want, but I fear if we don't start policing our own a little more, crackdowns are not a matter of if, but when. Let's help each other out. Donate to orgs, make conversation at crags, get to know people, and be better stewards and correct one another if it's needed.

Thanks
74 Dec 4, 2018