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Tum Tum

Washington > Northeast Corne… > Spokane Area


Good solid granite cracks and slab, this place really deserves to be more popular than it is. Currently, the routes are somewhat dirty and mossy, and definitely need some TLC. If people climbed here more often, this would be some of the best trad climbing in the area. There is also plenty of room for development, both trad and sport.

Some of the bolted slab routes have studs that are missing hangers.

If you climb here, I recommend bringing a large brush, especially for the slab routes.

WARNING: There are rattlesnakes in this area.

Getting There

30 miles from downtown Spokane. These directions assume you are coming from the city.

  • Head out Northwest Blvd. It turns into 9-Mile Road, and eventually Corkscrew Highway. All are still the same road (Hwy 291).
  • Past the town of Tum Tum, you will go through a switchback up and to the north, then around a bend back south towards Long Lake.
  • Soon, you will pass some amazing looking granite cliffs with houses and mobile homes in front of them on your right. These, unfortunately, are not your destination.
  • Continue until you see the dark colored slabs on the right that come very close to the road. There will be a parking lot, and a boulder with a chainlink fence around it (the pictographs). Park here (Discovery Pass Required).

There are trails here that go up to the smaller and higher domes, or head east back down the road to a clearing for the Apron and the Banana Split Dome.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Climber leading "You Name It" (5.6 ***) back in the fall of '93 - an unknown route on an undocumented crag just uphill from the parking lot pictographs
[Hide Photo] Climber leading "You Name It" (5.6 ***) back in the fall of '93 - an unknown route on an undocumented crag just uphill from the parking lot pictographs

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Many new routes have been added and the old ones upgraded and cleaned in 2015. Plenty of variety for all levels of climbing ability. Longest multi pitch sport routes in the area. Beautiful setting overlooking Long Lake and close to Spokane. Oct 14, 2015
Troy Isakson
Spokane, WA
[Hide Comment] Access update....All routes near and north of the state parking lot are on state land. Highway Rock and Banana Split Dome are on two separate pieces of private property. Access is permissible for the upper half of Highway Rock (The Apron) and Banana Split Dome as this is on a larger piece of land owned by a landowner that has given permission to climb. However, the base of Highway Rock is on a small four acre piece of land that is off-limits per this land owner. Please stay off the land at the base of Highway Rock/The Apron. This makes many new sport routes inaccessible. Please respect this land owner's wishes and do not climb or be at the base of Highway Rock. Highway Rock is the big slab area close to the highway with the sweeping overhang in the middle. This includes the climbs left and right of Orion. If access is granted in the future, we will update on here. Jun 8, 2016
[Hide Comment] As of summer 2016, the owner has posted signs all over the base of Tum Tum for no trespassing. Super lame to have someone going there and bolting the crap out of private land and not keeping a low profile - you really blew it for those of us that enjoyed the area!

And the bolted cracks too - just an incredible shame and lack of ethics and judgement.

Should I go on about how the "developer" didn't even research MP and climbed a route already done and posted a year before? You guys are bolting over an area that has been climbed because you aren't reading up on the history of the area. Don't make me chop this - get yourself under control and read some old guide books before screwing up this rock more. Oct 14, 2016
Troy Isakson
Spokane, WA
[Hide Comment] Pete, the developer has purchased the land and it is now privately owned by him. Permission was granted by the previous land owner to climb and bolt before the land transferred ownership. So, yes, he did do research and inquire before bolting. There was a misunderstanding as to where the exact property line was near the base of the Apron/Highway Rock. I don't think the owner who put up the signs for that area was even really aware of where the line is either. The developer has talked to them and everything is fine, but they don't know what they want to do with the property at this point, thus the No Trespassing signs. Those climbs on this tiny sliver of land will be accessible soon, hopefully. But ALL of the upper climbs and the property to the east with Banana Split Dome are all on the developer's property now. If you want to climb there, go in through the gate to the east and park near the picnic tables... Just updating you on what happened there so there's no misunderstanding as to access, etc. Also, countless hours of time was spent by him and other volunteers making trail, cleaning rock, and providing access to the many cliffs in the area, so nothing is "screwed up". Not to mention the price of the 35 acres that he purchased with his own money to allow climbers access to this area. If you want to criticize bolting of Banana Split pitch one, talk to the owner, I don't think he felt that pitch one was safe to do on lead or it at least needed a bolt or two, I'm not sure really. I sport climb mostly :) Jan 17, 2017
[Hide Comment] I am really glad to hear that this is owned by a climber and that hopefully those signs will come down! I will look forward to climbing them when permission is opened up.

However, I've still seen a number of lines at Tum Tum that are old, classic lines, particularly cracks that are being bolted over. Climbs that are listed in both the Rock Climbing Washington book, and Jim Speaker's guide. We already have few enough trad cracks with this Selkirk granite, we don't need to bolt the ones we have, especially that have already been established. You dont pull bolts from people's lines because you think they are too closely bolted, and you shouldn't add bolts to a several decade old route either.

I really hope this doesnt become a "just bolt everything" area... it feels like it is heading that direction... Mar 18, 2017
Jacob Schmidt
Spokane, WA
[Hide Comment] I'd second Pete's assessment of the bolting. I watched someone working on a line
in the summer of 2015 and tried it after they had gone. There was still drill dust next to each bolt, so I assume they had just finished it that day. I was able to comfortable climb past every bolt and place occasional gear. It was nice of them to update rappel anchors, but the act of retrobolting pre-existing lines and bolting cracks is unquestionably bad climbing ethics. Apr 7, 2017
Troy Isakson
Spokane, WA
[Hide Comment] I understand the "ethics" issue with bolting cracks. And agree to a degree. I wouldn't call any of these routes in this area "classic" and I don't know of any true crack climbs that have been bolted here. Nobody ever climbed here, except for the area above the state parking, before the developer cut some trails, since the walls were hardly accessible due to thick brush. So I don't think any "classic" lines have been destroyed by any means. Also, these rock walls owned by the owner can be bolted to his discretion, it's his property that people are climbing on. There's dozens and dozens of good routes here now. Just enjoy them and be grateful. I've climbed so many routes in my day with a bolt next to a crack. Clip the bolt or plug your gear. It's not the end of the world. Apr 27, 2017
John Macias
Spokane, WA
[Hide Comment] Does anyone know if there is going to be an updated guidebook for the area? The books I can find are only from the late 90's and I know there has been a lot of development in the last 5 years. Sep 26, 2018