The Mill is a beautiful basalt crag located on the rim overlooking Mill Creek Canyon on the edge of the Ishi Wilderness. The area is very remote and offers great adventure to those who come to explore it! The Mill offers both sport and trad climbing on tall steep faces. The rock is very unique and the quality is very good. It is a young crag with tons of untapped potential. Routes are continually getting set and there is room for a whole lot more. If you are the adventuring type and want to have a part in the development of this crag, you are encouraged to join the party. For any new routes put up, please upload route information such as a picture, hand drawn topo, and other pertinent information such as the route name, rating, a quality rating (out of 5 stars, based on aesthetics of movement, and quality of rock), first ascentionist and year, approximate route length, protection type and size (i.e. mixed, bolts and gear to 6”).


        The camping is great at Black Rock Campground, 40.183931, -121.712722. The campground is located at the bottom of the canyon next to Mill Creek. There are fire rings and picnic tables and a pit toilet that is usable but in rough shape. There is a very limited number of sites. It isn't a heavily trafficked campground but in the summer when the swimming is best it can fill up. There are 3 small sites as you drive down the campground rd and 2 sites that share a large area at the end. Share space with other climbers if necessary.

Getting There

The Mill has access from multiple different ways. You can access it from Chico CA by going up highway 32 and from Red Bluff by Highway 36. Both have around 20 miles of dirt road driving. The roads are in very good shape and most any vehicle can do either approach. The way from Chico is the easiest if you have a low clearance vehicle. Google maps gives good directions from both directions. It can be finicky to getting google to show the correct route from Chico if you try to get directions to the crag base. The directions are good if set them to Black Rock Campground. From campground the crag is easily seen on the north rim and is only a couple more miles of driving back up the other side of the canyon.
        Directions from Chico. From the Highway 99 and Highway 32 overpass head east up Highway 32 for 37 miles. There will be a dirt road on the left. As a marker as your driving up 32 you will come to two passing lanes that are a couple miles apart. The dirt road you are looking for is past the second of two passing lanes by about 2 miles.  It is in the middle of a short straight section of the highway. This road is marked as 27N08, google maps names it Dumb Deer Rd. There is also a sign at the turn that says Deer Creek 7 miles. You will take this road for 13 miles down into deer creek canyon and back up the otherside. There will be smaller dirt roads but it is pretty obvious just stay on the main path. After 13 miles you will come to a 4 way intersection with another main rd. This road is Lassen Trail. Your going to turn left onto Lassen trail which takes you down a short steep hill. Follow this rd down for another 5 miles. After 5 miles keep an eye out for a main rd that turns off right down into the canyon to the north, this is Ponderosa Way. Follow this rd for 5 miles down to Black Rock. Black Rock Campground is located on a side shoot to your left just after you cross mill creek bridge. To get to the crag keep going past Black Rock up Ponderosa Way for 2.8 miles.  
       Directions from Red Bluff. Take Highway 36 east for 20 miles. When you come to the town of Paynes Creek turn right onto Paynes Creek Loop. In 0.3 miles turn right, just after the little store, onto Plum Creek Road. Follow Plum Creek Rd for 8.3 miles and turn right onto Ponderosa Way. From here you will follow Ponderosa Way to the south. It is 17 miles till you arrive at the crag. To get to the campground go past the crag 2.8 miles and turn right into the camp just before the Mill Creek bridge.
      There are also other ways to get into the crag but these are the recommended two. If you are looking for an adventurous path from Chico you can take Cohasset Road up passed the town of Cohasset where you can turn left onto ponderosa way heading to the north. This is actually the shortest way in miles from Chico, but it is a rougher road and takes a long time to navigate the rocks. 4wd is definitely recommended if entering from this way.

Crag trail beta: The Mill crag trail is located on Ponderosa Way 2.8 miles north of Black rock campground. Coordinates to the trail are 40.191718, -121.725739. The approach trail is short. It is only about 200 ft up from the rd to the crag, but it is steep. The rim rock across this section of the canyon is expansive, over a mile long. Many sections of the cliff band do not have trails or routes currently. The section that has routes is very easy to find. It is a very prominent section of the cliff band and the road passes underneath it within 100 yards. The trail goes up the steep grassy hill underneath the tallest section and then follows along the base of crag both directions.

19 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Mill

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Tiger Moth
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Sacred Ground
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Tiger Moth
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Sacred Ground
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Mill »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Adam Scardaci
Chico, CA
Adam Scardaci   Chico, CA
Here is a link to detailed weather forecasts that seem to be pretty accurate.… Jun 3, 2015
Katie Carpenter
Red Bluff, CA
Katie Carpenter   Red Bluff, CA
For current temperature and wind this station is the most accurate for the crag This weather station is situated in the same drainage, and at about the same elevation.…
If this link is ever unusable; you can find the station by using
The station can then be searched for directly as: KCACALIF23
A good forecast for the area can also be found throuh wunderground at:… Dec 7, 2015
Katie Carpenter
Red Bluff, CA
Katie Carpenter   Red Bluff, CA
These are directions to reach the Black Rock campground site which is a short drive to the crag.
Black rock campground directions from chico, ca

This is a link to the campground directly.…@40.1921425,-121.7259848,140m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!1m2!2m1!1sBlack+Rock+Campground,+California!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x20241aac55ede6b8 Dec 7, 2015