Chewiliken Creek Crags (Tonasket) Rock Climbing
|GPS:||48.628, -119.448 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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Upper - This is the farthest east end of the upper cliffs, including several large south and east facing cliffs.
Middle - This is the hillside to the east of the lower (main) canyon. It includes about a half dozen distinct mostly south facing smaller crags.
Lower - This is the main canyon which is the first cliff reached when hiking east from the river (and mouth of Chewiliken Creek). It is divided in to 4 subsection along the length of it's long East Face, and as well includes the small south facing slab along the approach trail.
Creek Side - This is the southernmost area along Chewiliken Creek and includes just two small south and east facing cliffs.
Note to all climbers, this is a remote crag on public land, off the beaten trail, but also accessed adjacent to a private orchard (although the parking by the river is on State Fish and Wildlife land), so please do your best to minimize your impact and presence; pack it in-pack it out, and leave no trace. Potential route developers, please respect local etiquette and don't place bolts next to possible gear placements, make any bolts or top anchors camouflaged, use stainless steel hardware as much as possible, and don't mix your metals. Any comments and input on existing or new routes is much appreciated.
Note - a key to route descriptions;
NAME; grade and quality (* - good, ** - very good, *** - great, **** - world class classic); (length); type of pro. used - G = natural/gear, F = fixed (b - bolt, p - piton, fn - fixed nut), M = mixed; TR = toprope, R = runout/dangerous, PG = "pucker grade" - scary/risky; Description.
1) From the W - instead of turning left up McLaughlin Canyon Rd at the calcite depot keep going down the Janis Bridge Rd (1.5 miles) the last half of which crosses the railroad lines which is technically private, but public visitors are welcome if respectful. Park along the river road at the bridge at the south end of the orchard, and hike east up Chewiliken Creek. To stay on BLM land the whole time, hike south over the bridge along the railroad track for about 100 yards and turn left just after the pair of pine trees to hike up the flats on the south side of the creek. Join a deer trail before the slickrock stream bed. At about a quarter mile in (5 min. from parking area) cross the stream and hike up deer trails on the left to reach the south end of the secluded hanging valley of the lower crag. This is the shortest approach route (less than a third of the distance of the N option), 3/4 mile and 20+ minutes total hike in. To reach the Middle and Upper Crags continue east across the flats and up the slope for another 10 to 30 minutes.
2) From the N - park along the McLaughlin Canyon Rd as for accessing the Main Canyon. Head south all the way to the end of the South Canyon (25 min.), then east on the cattle trail until you've climbed the hill past the Slot Face area of the S By SE crag (5+ min.). Then head south again towards the obvious cliffs on the right (5 min. to the north end). Continue down the valley (10+ min) to the south end (2 miles from parking area - 50 minutes total). The north and south ends of the valley are full of fallen snags and the middle is brushy (so it's best to stay on the open slope to the far left).
A better alternative if heading in to the South Wall of the Lower Crag from McLoughlin Canyon is to stay on the trail on the west side of the hill. After passing through the South Canyon head east and drop down to the dry stream bed below the West End of the S By SE crag, turn right and follow the cattle trail along the fence south. Before reaching the huge boulders along the trail, just as it starts heading downhill, head cross-country up and left towards the south end of the canyon. About 50 minutes for the 2 mile total approach.
Classic Climbing Routes at Chewiliken Creek Crags (Tonasket)
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