Elevation: 7,000 ft
GPS: 36.607, -118.699 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 21,758 total · 208/month
Shared By: Brad Brandewie on Sep 1, 2012 · Updates
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Access Issue: Always check SEKI road conditions and peregrine closures Details

Description

The Watchtower is one of the larger and more easily approached objectives in the front country of Sequoia National Park’s 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 that’s nearly 1,000 feet tall.

First climbed in 1970 by Galen Rowell, this formation didn’t 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 don’t 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.

Getting There

The Lodgepole parking area is located in Sequoia National park just north of Giant Forest.

From the south (Visalia) follow HW 198 into the park. Form the north (Fresno) follow HW 180 into the park.

6 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: The Watchtower Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at The Watchtower

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI4
 3
Hoppy's Favorite
Ice, Alpine 3 pitches
WI4 M4-5 Easy Snow
 7
Moonage Daydream
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine 5 pitches
AI1 M1 Steep Snow
 4
Comedumpster 69 Memorial Route
Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 10
Timex Route
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 14
Big Time
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Hoppy's Favorite
 3
WI4 Ice, Alpine 3 pitches
Moonage Daydream
 7
WI4 M4-5 Easy Snow Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine 5 pitches
Comedumpster 69 Memorial Route
 4
AI1 M1 Steep Snow Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine
Timex Route
 10
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Big Time
 14
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
More Classic Climbs in The Watchtower »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos