The Watchtower Climbing
|GPS:||36.607, -118.699 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||Brad Brandewie on Sep 1, 2012|
|Admins:||M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes|
DescriptionThe Watchtower is one of the larger and more easily approached objectives in the front country of Sequoia National Parks west side. A mere 1.7 miles on the gentle Tokopah Valley Trail and a moderate slab/talus scramble will put you at the base of a wall thats nearly 1,000 feet tall.
First climbed in 1970 by Galen Rowell, this formation didnt see another ascent for 10 years. Even today, only 4 routes have been recorded. That being said, there have likely been a few others over the years. Or maybe not ...
The climbing here has an alpine feel and loose rock and vegetated pitches are not uncommon. Only one of the four known routes goes free, the others all receiving an A3 rating.
The free option is the Timex Route (5.9) which wanders around and finds some good bits of climbing mixed in with bushes and lichen.
Late summer is the best time to rock climb here. Be aware that you need to be able to cross the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River to access this formation. If the water is still raging, a different objective may be in order. On the other hand, if you want it badly enough you could bushwhack up the other side of the river for two miles to the base. Keep an eye out for bears in this area and dont leave food in your vehicle.
Parking for all climbs in Tokopah Valley is in the large lot behind the Lodgepole Visitor Center and Market. From here, walk across the bridge at the east end of the parking lot and take an immediate right on the Tokopah Valley Trail. Follow the trail until you are within a couple hundred feet of the bottom of Tokopah Falls. Start looking for a place to cross the river.
The easiest descent is via the Pear Lake Trail which takes you to the Wolverton area and then on to Lodgepole in an easy three miles.
Always check road conditions and peregrine closures Details
Classic Climbing Routes at The Watchtower
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season