Elevation: 7,500 ft
GPS: 36.654, -118.867 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: limpingcrab on Nov 8, 2012
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Access Issue: Always check SEKI road conditions and peregrine closures Details


The Chimney Rocks area is comprised of roughly six granite formations with routes from 1 pitch to 700 feet. There are dozens of beautiful climbs with everything from clean cracks to thin slab, and even some knobs. Many routes are trad, but close to 20 of the routes on Crystal Wall are bolted so there is something for everyone.

Chimney Spire, the most popular formation, has at least thirteen routes of it's own, with Duet (5.8++) being the most popular. The other formations include Chimney Rock, Crystal Wall, Dinner Wall, The Monk, Mocassin Ridge, and Sasquatch Spire. The area has a sporadic first ascent record as attention grew and wained over the years. Many of the routes were pioneered by employees at a nearby Christian Camp that is now closed.

Please respect seasonal falcon closures. Don't jeopardize access for the rest of us.

Getting There

From Fresno take highway 180 east into Kings Canyon National Park. From Visalia take highway 198 east into Sequoia National Park. The two highways are connected and called the Generals Highway within the parks,

From the Generals Highway between the Big Baldy trailhead and the Stony Creek Lodge, take Road 14S29 West. There is a sign that reads "National Forest Organizational Camps, San Joaquin Far Horizons." Follow the main road and signs for about four miles to the end of the road.

At this point you can take a trail (by the old sign post) south to approach via Crystal Wall, or West to approach via Camp Ridge to the notch above Chimney Rock Spire. The trail West leaves from the north side of a downed tree that blocks part of the loop at the end of the road. The two trails can be connected by scrambling along the north side of Crystal Wall

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Classic Climbing Routes at Chimney Rocks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Chimney Rocks »

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Visalia, CA
limpingcrab   Visalia, CA
Closed from now until August 15th or further notice this year.

fs.usda.gov/detail/sequoia/… Apr 10, 2013
Here are a few more routes on this wonderful formation which I have recovered from my notes.


Big Boys don’t Cry 5.10-5.11??, Herb Laeger, Dick Saum a long time ago.
This route is on the main big face of Chimney Rock. As I remember it, this route starts in a wide crack chimney then moves left and eventually leads to a corner below the obvious roof which is then passed and leads to the summit. Exciting climbing, multiple pitches.

Put Another Burger on the Grill 5.10B, Herb Laeger, Chris Brewer Oct 2002
This route is located on Picnic Pinnacle which is the small pointed pinnacle across the main gully from the Big Boys Don’t Cry face of Chimney Rock; it is part of Moccasin Ridge. The climb starts in the main gully and climbs past three bolts and goes directly to the summit. The route is one pitch long and double ropes are required for the rappel. Small to medium gear is required.

Double Whammy 5.11+, Herb Laeger, Chris Brewer Aug 2003
Located just left of the Duet Route on the spire, this route follows the obvious line of bolts on the slab leading to the steeper headwall above. The climb is two pitches long and both pitches are excellent. Start the climb in the obvious small corner to reach the first bolt. Passing the first bolt is the crux of the climb; after which good slab/face climbing (3 bolts) leads to the short bolted headwall (3 bolts) below the first bolted belay. (The three smallest Camalots can be used for extra protection if desired on this pitch.) The second pitch moves out left from the belay past two bolts, and then up a steep and tricky ramp past three bolts to better holds. A few medium cams protect a crack at this point; then continue up easier rock past one more bolt to a bolted belay at the top. A single double rope rappel will make it to the ground.

Barbecue Buttress 5.10+, Chris Brewer, Herb Laeger Aug 2003
Only quick-draws are needed for this short route which is easily accessed by rappelling from the top of the buttress. Barbecue Buttress is the largest rounded formation just up the gully from Picnic Pinnacle. It has a narrow steep start then ends in a low angle rounded slab. Two rappel bolts with rings are located on top of the buttress. Rappel down to a comfortable ledge next to a flake leaning against the wall which is the start of the route, and just follow the bolts to the top.


Moccasin Ridge has a beautiful four hundred foot plus face of perfectly clean and steep golden granite. The face is not visible from the top of chimney rock or the spire, and thus has largely remained unclimbed. The climbing is primarily on the west face and access from the parking lot to the top of the rappel route takes about 40 minutes of leisurely walking. From the parking lot take the trail leading up to the top of the main part of chimney rock (skirt around the summit) and walk the ridge past the Chimney Rock/Moccasin Ridge gully to the next gully which is easily followed down to the top of the Moccasin Ridge itself. The best way to approach the climbs is to gain the long sloping horizontal ledge about 100 feet below the summit of Moccasin Ridge and walk southward to the last small pine on the ledge. Just below the pine is a bolted rappel route which requires double ropes (150 foot ropes) and gets one to the base of the face after three rappels.

Catch Me If You Can 5.11, Herb Laeger, Chris Brewer, Sep 2003
The name derives from a Laeger fall while trying to place the first bolt after a flake broke off during drilling. A good catch was made, thankfully! The route starts just right of where the rappel ends and follows bolts and beautiful face climbing up to a two bolt belay.

Precision and Power 5.11C, Herb Laeger, Chris Brewer, Sept 2003
Simply one great climb combining excellent face and crack. The route starts about 80 feet right of the rappel and follows bolts for 140 feet up to a comfortable two bolt belay below an overhanging layback flake against a vertical wall. The first pitch requires two or three cams in the ½ to 1 inch size range, and one 2 inch cam; the remainder of the pitch needs only quick draws. The well protected crux of this pitch (5.11B) is just before the belay and can be done two ways. The next pitch requires cams from 1 to 4 ½ inches for the ever widening layback crack (5.11B/C). At the top of the crack follow bolts left and slightly down to a hanging belay. Pitch three follows bolts up the beautiful face to easier rock above.

Bold Text Aug 21, 2016
Visalia, CA
limpingcrab   Visalia, CA
Awesome! Thanks Herb, I may contact you in the future with more questions. Currently gathering info for SEKIclimbing.com Aug 22, 2016
ryan albery
van world
ryan albery   van world
Just a heads up, I spoke with a ranger today, Chimney Rocks is closed for falcons until the middle of August (2017), perhaps opening earlier if the chicks have left the nests. For future reference, a very nice ranger named Jeff has the up to date closure info for everything in Kings and Sequoia: 559-338-2251, ext. 380. May 24, 2017
Paul Webber
Three Rivers, CA
Paul Webber   Three Rivers, CA
Please respect the falcon closures at chimney rock. I’ve noticed some recent ticks from this summer. Let’s not ruin this great area for everyone by breaking the closure rules. C’mon people Aug 6, 2018