Elevation: 2,110 ft
GPS: 36.471, -121.182 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 14,933 total · 144/month
Shared By: powderfinger on Dec 17, 2013 · Updates
Admins: andy patterson, Bruce Hildenbrand, Aron Quiter, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Salamanizer Ski
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


The Yaks are worth a visit If you enjoy seclusion, beautiful scenery, varied climbing, and do not mind a slightly longer approach. Some of the routes are typical bolted Pinnacles face climbs but the majority feature climbing in water chutes, wide cracks, and chimneys. Route lengths are for the most part a full rope length and sometimes up to 3 pitches. A good deal of the routes are bolt protected with supplemental gear or all gear protected. Generally the rock quality is decent but due to the lack of traffic in the area it is beneficial to be accustomed to and aware of climbing on loose Pinnacles rock with 15 to 20 feet between placements.

This area is subject to closure for raptors so it is advisable to check the status at the visitor center beforehand.

Getting There

The Yaks are located on the backside of the hill East of Bear Gulch. If you look east uphill from the Monolith there are slabs with grooves in them. The Yak Wall is located directly behind the slabs on the other side of the hill.

There are two ways to approach the Yaks. Both start from the Moses Spring trail in the Bear Gulch. The first way is to approach them from the North via the slabs on the hill above the Monolith. Take the Moses Spring trail to the North side of the Monolith to about where the cave trail rejoins the trail. At the trail marker numbered 15 there is a climber's trail that splits off uphill to the East. Follow this trail uphill to the slabs. Continue up the slabs for a few hundred yards. At this point you have two options. Cut back left (north) and walk until you reach a notch in the Marmot Rocks or continue up the slabs to the top of the ridge. Once you reach the Marmot Rocks follow them uphill pass over the ridge and continue on a climbers trail that wraps around to the East to the right side of the Yaks Wall. If you follow the slabs all the way up walk along the ridge to the North and then take the same climber's trail.

It is also possible to approach the Yaks from the South. This is achieved by using the Chalone Peak trail that is located past the reservoir. Take the Moses Springs Trail to the reservoir. Cross over to the East side by the Sisters until you reach the Chalone Peak Trail. Follow the Chalone Peak trail until it reaches a saddle(by the formation The Driver) where a climber's trail splits off up the ridge to the North.
Follow the ridge staying high to avoid dropping down into the brush. This will require passing through a few rock formations. Eventually The South Yak will come into view(the largest formation in the distance) Drop down to East to skirt around the base of the South Yak to reach the North Yak and the beginning of Yak Wall.

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Yaks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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