Elevation: 2,846 ft
GPS: 40.492, -123.104 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 5,006 total · 117/month
Shared By: Crimper E6 on Jun 7, 2015
Admins: Lurker, Rick Shull, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Access Issue: aboriginal heritage site Details


High Rock, though not as spectacular as Natural Bridge, is much larger and offers quality climbing on a number of faces, with traditional and sport routes that average 70'. High Rock's walls face north, west, and south, providing climbers with considerable temperature control throughout the year. Occasional poison oak.

Keep a very low profile. Dont strip more moss/vegetation than needed to climb the routes or leave quickdraws as these are things mentioned in the access report from 2004

Bring a wire brush and clipstick. Most routes are covered in 10yrs of dust

Most of the climbing is slightly overhanging super technical frictionless limestone. Difficult to onsight.


Getting There

Finding the crag: From Weaverville, head southeast on California Highway 299 for 6.1 miles to Douglas City. Turn right where California 3 branches off to the right, and proceed toward the town of Hayfork for 17.6 miles to Wildwood Road. Turn left, following Wildwood Road for 5.4 miles to a dirt road on the right signed "Natural Bridge 1." Wind up this narrow dirt road, then turn downhill onto a spur road on the left and follow it across a shallow ford to a parking area with old shed. From the picnic area adjacent to the parking area, take the level trail on the right to reach the actual natural bridge. To reach most of the established climbs, take the left-hand path uphill from the picnic area, reaching High Rock near the foot of Gray Wall.

15 Total Climbs

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With renewed interest and access to this area, the link below was the guide known at the time just prior to the shutdown aka early 2000.

Natural Bridges Topo circa early 2000 Jun 14, 2015
Crimper E6
cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Crimper E6   cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Cheers for that Aaron, much appreciated. This place is awesome! Thanks for all the hard work. Jun 14, 2015
Chris Summit
Santa Rosa, Nor Cal
Chris Summit   Santa Rosa, Nor Cal
Very cool little area that is near and dear to myself and a few other local yokels and has been for a long time. Please be very respectful and low key here. Nice topo Mr Rough :) Jul 28, 2015
Truckee, CA
Lurker   Truckee, CA  
Man, this area looks cool, but who named some of these routes? Massacre? Indian Burn? Skeletal Remains? Pretty tasteless, in light of the history of the area. Sep 17, 2015
Rough's guide misstates the mileage from Red Bluff to Wildwood or Highway 3. It is not 15 miles but around 60. We found out the hard way. :)

Plan for 1.25 hours from Red Bluff and you can take wildwood road off Highway 36, you don't need to go to Highway 3 up to hayfork.

The Natural Bridge dirt road is just north of a open meadow area with some homes and barns. You'll see Rhinestone Castle on the right a mile or so before the turnoff going north. Feb 18, 2016
Given the history (both distant and recent) of this special place, I thought I'd share the following:

Last weekend a friend and I camped and climbed at Natural Bridge after a few days at the Trinity Aretes. I knew about the history of tension between the local Wintu tribe and climbers regarding bolting on the bridge formation, but had understood that climbing on High Rock and the other walls was not frowned upon.

In the morning when my partner and I were gearing up, we heard drumming, singing, and some call and response using ram's horns. Steeped in the dense conifer forest and surrounded by the stunning limestone formations, this created an amazing and surreal atmosphere. We immediately questioned whether we should climb at all that day, but after some deliberation decided to go ahead, based on our understanding that the tribe was accepting of development on the upper cliffs. We roped up at the Tucked-Away Wall, far from where it sounded like the ceremony was taking place. We consciously tried to keep a low profile while doing a few pitches, wanting to be as respectful as possible.

After some time (i.e., a couple of hours), we saw a group of people on the trail leading to underneath the Natural Bridge. They called up to us, said hello, and told us that climbing was not permitted anywhere in the area. Not wanting to cause trouble, my friend and I apologized and told the group that we would promptly leave. We began to go our separate ways when the group leader called out again, asking that we help them. He invited us back to their camp to talk.

My friend and I packed up our gear and drove over to the camp. It turned out that the leader of the group was a council member on the Wintu Educational & Cultural Council of Northern CA. His name is Dave Hayward, and he and some members of his community were not only performing a culturally important ritual, but also spending the day cleaning graffiti off of Natural Bridge. Dave wanted to enlist our help in removing the bolts from all of the formations in the area.

My friend and I tried to explain all of the nuances of the situation from our perspective, including the fact that climbers are often incensed when people chop bolts they have placed. Dave seemed sympathetic to our sport - indeed, he mentioned that if he were a climber, he'd probably love to get on the rock at Natural Bridge. The group also acknowledged that they don't have any legal right to exclude climbers from the area, as the land is federally owned. However, they also were adamant that the cultural heritage of the area should be respected.

I am personally reluctant to remove hardware that another climber took the time to place. I also have been involved in the development of new crags, and in fact have recently spent several weekends scouting, cleaning, drilling, and setting new lines. So I understand the work involved and the joy of the creative process.

Nevertheless, I also think that the wishes of the Wintu tribe should be respected. There's a lot of rock out there, and most of it is not on sensitive land. If you're not familiar with the 1852 massacre of the entire community except for 5 children, you should read about it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridg….

I ask that if you are or were involved in the development of the Natural Bridge / High Rock area, to please send me a PM so that we may begin a dialogue with the Wintu Educational & Cultural Council. Sep 6, 2016
I stopped by this weekend for a little solo exploration adventure. A few things I noticed; the area is small, not in number of routes, but in size. If there are lots of people around, (or especially a ceremony going on) do not climb anywhere in the vicinity! It seems like common sense to me. Tucked Away wall is not that far tucked away. I rope soloed a few routes to collect bright red bail-biners. If you must leave a biner, please bring one that is painted grey to blend into the rock. I also noticed that it really is infrequently traveled; a lot of top outs are covered in moss and there are a few routes with poison oak at the base. There were two signs in the bridge that both said no camping and no fires. There was no mention of no climbing. That night I hung out in a bar in Hayfork and met a few people from the Wintu tribe. It seems that their main concern is of general disrespect for the area, specifically; trash, off trail travel, graffiti and especially people stealing things from their memorial tree. If I lived closer, I would go back and paint all of the bolts/hangers to camouflage into the rock. If anyone local can at least get a start on that, it would show our desire to reduce climber's impact and visibility and I am sure it would greatly improve access. Nov 26, 2018