Elevation: 6,412 ft
GPS: 36.5647, -118.77339
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 878,459 total · 7,415/month
Shared By: Limpingcrab DJ on May 17, 2013
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Access Issue: Always check SEKI road conditions and peregrine closures Details


The Area: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) is a land of giants. Near or within it's borders lie the largest trees on earth (Sequoias), the highest mountain in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney), arguably the deepest river canyon in North America (Kings below Spanish Mountain), the tallest granite dome in the Sierra (Tehipite), the longest cave in California (Lilburn), and steepest river in the United States (Kaweah). Scattered throughout these superlatives are high quality climbing areas where you can enjoy the beauty of these parks in relative solitude.

To keep things organized, this area covers the climbing that is accessed from the west side of the parks. The highest peaks, Sierra crest and northern areas of King Canyon should be in the "High Sierra" area until a better system is in place.

Climbing: The climbing is excellent and a bit more spread out than it's neighbor to the north, Yosemite. Some rocks are virtually roadside with five minute approaches, while other formations will take at least one full day to get to and test the endurance of the strongest legs and lungs. The resulting experience is similar to what the original explorers of the area got to enjoy; solitude. The rocks are mostly composed of solid granite, with some marble and other forms scattered throughout the park. No matter your climbing style there is enough variety for you to find something to enjoy. Dozens of areas offer slab, steep face, big wall, cracks, alpine, and even a bit of sport climbing.

Many of the major formations were first climbed around the same time Yosemite was getting developed, and by some familiar names such as Robbins, Rowell and Beckey. Most of the modern routes were pioneered through the 80's and 90's by a handful of strong climbers including, but not limited to, Herb Laeger, Richard Leversee, Eddie Joe and David Hickey.

The only guide for the region, "Southern Sierra Rock Climbing: Sequoia Kings Canyon," is long out of print and costs a pretty penny online. Many routes have been put up by park employees and a few other folks since the book was published in 1993, so some exploring will reveal many more developed routes than most people think. That being said, there are still miles of untouched rock for those willing to earn it.

If you're looking for somewhere to explore, get the wilderness experience, and enjoy some awesome climbing, this is the place to be!

PS: For some cool history, stories, topos and photos of this and surrounding areas visit southernsierraclimber.blogs… and vertical20.com/

Also, a small online guide that continually gets updated can be found at sekiclimbing.com/

Weather and Roads

SEKI is the same as most of the Sierra; hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. This means that some roads get closed in the winter, but there is climbing at at least one of the areas year-round.

Visit the SEKI website for updated road and weather conditions at

Getting There

To access most areas in the Kings Canyon half of the park take Highway 180 out of Fresno. For the southern Sequoia areas the best approach is via highway 198 out of Visalia. A few backcountry spots around the Obelisk are accessed from trailheads near Wishon Reservoir. If you need more specific directions ask Google Maps for help.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0 4
Hay Ride
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Saber Ridge traverse, south to n…
Trad, Alpine 20 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
West Face
Trad 7 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
South Face
Trad 8 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pennies On The Patio
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A2
The Regular Route (Castle Rock S…
Trad, Aid, Alpine 8 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mowing the Yawn
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
The Subliminal Verses
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Kitty From Hell
Trad 4 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Tokopah Reality
Trad 5 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Liquid Gravity
Sport, Alpine 5 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Big Time
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Modern Guilt
Trad 10 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Hay Ride SEKI Bouldering > … > Northwest Lot > Boulder # 5
V0 4 Boulder
Saber Ridge traverse, south… Tamarack Lake Area > Saber Ridge
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 20 pitches
West Face Obelisk
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 7 pitches
South Face Moro Rock (SEKI) > S Face
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 8 pitches
Pennies On The Patio Moro Rock (SEKI) > W Face
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
The Regular Route (Castle R… Castle Rocks > Castle Rock Spire
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A2 Trad, Aid, Alpine 8 pitches
Mowing the Yawn Buck Rock
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
The Subliminal Verses Hamilton Lakes… > Hamilton Dome
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Kitty From Hell Chimney Rocks > Chimney Spire
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 4 pitches
Tokopah Reality Tokopah Valley > Lower Tokopah Dome
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 5 pitches
Krymptonite Panther Peak
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Friends Cliff Creek Canyon > Spring Lake Wall
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Liquid Gravity Panther Peak
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport, Alpine 5 pitches
Big Time Tokopah Valley > Watchtower
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Modern Guilt Moro Rock (SEKI) > W Face
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad 10 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP »

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Prime Climbing Season