Castle Rock Rock Climbing
|GPS:||38.995, -119.897 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Refuge Jared on Oct 9, 2010 · Updates|
|Admins:||Lurker -, Justin Johnsen|
While signs are posted in the area, do not hike or climb routes that near the top of the crag. This includes any multipitch route, most of Armory Wall, and may include Village Wall, The Torture Chamber, and North Castle.
If you see a raptor diving or hear loud bird calls, you may be too close to the nest; please go somewhere else to climb. Disruption of falcons may keep them from nesting and could result in seasonal closure of the climbing area.
About half of the climbs here are moderate routes (5.5-9) set in 2015. However, in the early 90s some more challenging sport routes (5.9-11d) were set up on the vertical walls in the gullies. Mussy hooks are at the top of all moderate routes. Open cold shuts are found over the burlier, preexisting sport routes.
Very featured and colorful rock--dense, volcanic and mostly quite good, very similar geologically to Luther Rock or Luther Spires. Moderate erosion has carved out deep, solid jugs, making for vertical but quite easy "climbing gym" routes particularly on the Village Wall. Very fun!
The moderate routes are great for first time leads and first time climbs. There are some bolted 2 pitch routes that are also good for introducing multipitch protocol to the learning climber.
There are routes such as Rapunzels Hair 5.7 (feels more like a "modern 5.9"), 5.9 Wall, and Space Pants 5.8 that are nice for leaders who arent first timers but arent looking for an intense challenge like Excalibur 5.11b or the routes in the gullies. Routes in the 5.8-10 range are a little sparse here, the majority of the climbing here falling into one of two projects that focused on either amazing moderate scenic (Todd Offenbacher, 2015) or classic vertical sporty (Chris Dornsife & Chazz Spaeth, early 90s).
You can climb everything here with a 60 meter rope and 15 draws. The only easy toprope setups are found at 5.9 Wall and Space Pants 5.8. Besides that, toproping may be possible for the other 5.10-11 routes in the gullies but requires sketchy scrambling/solo and is not recommended.
There is shade between buttresses or by trees at the base. East facing routes within gullies have shade in the afternoon. It is reliably breezy or windy at the West Gully (we sometimes refer to it as the Wind Tunnel).
Mostly dog friendly terrain. However, the approach to the West Gully, Court Jester 5.8, and routes on Armory Wall Left/North of Space Pants 5.8 require minor scrambling and can be very difficult with dogs. Also "The Platform" at Armory Wall may risk a possible fall if your dog wanders near the edge.
Sounds like an awesome place right?! It totally is, and its developers intended for it to be shared. Please be respectful of other climbers and the area in general by keeping it clean and "family friendly." Climb on!
- 00-06 5.5 - Least intimidating spot for first ever climbs or leads
- Court Jester 5.8 - Fun, long, juggy climb with a 5.8/9 crux roof
- Village People 5.6 - Great for first ever *multipitch
- The Pike 5.9 - *Multipitch. Very easy 1st pitch; fun vertical crux at the 2nd pitch. Top out for a full panoramic view!
- In Depends Pants Day 5.6 - *Multipitch. Vertical juggy climb with various terrain and killer view!
- Warhammer 5.8 - Giant low angle dihedral with an exciting variety of jugs, blocks, and a slabby finishing crux
- Excalibur 5.11b/c - Classic pumpy sport climb on an impressive slightly overhanging wall
- Untitled 5.10b (with 11+ var.) - Burly start to rad features and hidden jugs on slightly overhanging, colorful rock
Nearby places to eat:
- Super Tacos & Taqueria Jiminez - In the Stateline area
- Ca Burger Co. - Pricey, but beefy! Great beer selection, bottomless "sidewinder" fries, and a reasonable happy hour
- Basecamp Hotel - Has a beer garden with a full menu, cornhole, firepits, smores, and live music every night.
- The Coachman Hotel - Great place to hang out. Lacks hearty food but is walking distance from tacos. Firepits, smores, solid espresso bar (serving Stumptown Coffee), beer, and a few very simple food options available
- Lakeside Inn (and other casinos) - Inexpensive solid breakfast 11pm-11am
DIRECTIONS / PARKING / APPROACH:
From Stateline, take Kingsbury Grade (SR-207)
Left before the summit at N Benjamin Dr (toward Kingsbury North Trailhead)
Continue onto Andria Dr
Continue into parking area
GPS coordinates for parking/trailhead:
Youll find the trailhead after the last house on the street, as soon as the road (Andria Dr) enters a large parking lot. The approach is about 20 minutes--1.01 miles to Village Wall. Do not start hiking at the Tahoe Rim Trailhead (just North of the Castle Rock trailhead), otherwise you will be hiking quite a bit longer. The approach is well maintained trail, even bikeable, until you pass the Castle Gates boulders and descend loose sandy gullies to the base of the rock. Hiking shoes recommended.
From the beginning of the trail, follow signs to Castle Rock. Youll join the Tahoe Rim Trail at the first trail marker, then take a hard Left toward CR at the next one. At this point youll gain some altitude before coming to a breezy vista and the "Castle Gates" boulders on either side of the trail.
Here are the approach beta for the different areas within Castle Rock. See Area Map for reference.
To get to the main climbing area (South facing routes and Armory Wall), look for a climber trail and cairns on your Left immediately after the Castle Gates (about 20 feet). This will take you down to the main climbing area approach trail at the base of Castle Rock; follow the cairns down through the East Gully.
If you want to check out the Central or West Gully, continue straight ahead toward Castle Rocks peak. The Central Gully can be found by heading downhill on the first apparent trail after the Castle Gates where youll see a gray weathered stump. The West Gully is found shortly afterwards, does not have an apparent trail, and can only be accessed hiking in from above, down some boulders to loose terrain. You can see bolts on the West Gully walls as you get closer. 5.9 Wall is on the Left and Torture Chamber is to the Right.
To find Rapunzels Hair 5.7 (arguably a 5.9) at North Castle, go North at a trail marker on a rock just after the Castle Gates. The trail wanders unnecessarily between two large boulders. Trails wander and disintegrate here; hike a trail in the general direction of the North West end of Castle Rock until you come around the backside of CR to a steep rocky gully that can be hiked to the summit. Rapunzels Hair 5.7 can be found on the Left side of this gully.
Classic Climbing Routes at Castle Rock
Days w Precip