Elevation: 9,500 ft
GPS: 40.482, -121.51 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 10,591 total · 230/month
Shared By: Muscrat on Jun 10, 2015
Admins: Aron Quiter, Muscrat, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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On the south-eastern aspect of Lassen Peak, this is an area of great climbs, from 5.7 to 5.12+, sport, trad and mixed. The long approach and descent, committing climbing, and beautiful exposure make for a full day. Seldom will you see anyone else here.
The Park frequently changes rules about approaching and climbing on the Belly Button; it is best to call and ask. Snowfields can be difficult to cross much of the year, depending on snow fall.
Much of the early development of the area was done by talented, bold climbers, hence some of the routes and descents are challenging for the grades. Admoniti Estis!
The area has been divided into 2 sub areas. The Bellybutton can be very confusing, routes crossing, taking off from other routes, etc. Bolted lines can be confused for other lines, it can be easy to get off route onto something other than what you intended to climb.
Also, because of it's location, photographs are difficult to take. The best way to scope out lines, the best source of photo's, is Paul Bernard's book "ROCK CLIMBS OF NORTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA". Much of the info for this particular area is from his great book. If you plan on spending any amount of time at the Bellybutton, the book is a must have.

Getting There

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT CLIMBERS USE THE FOLLOWING APPROACH AS REQUIRED BY THE PARK SERVICE. From the Lassen Peak parking lot follow the peak trail approximately 1.1 miles to a right switchback where you will see a sign titled "Piercing the Rubble". From here leave the trail in a westerly direction (towards the base of the crag). Stay low and in the boulder-field (or snow if there). It makes for some difficult walking at times, but is of much lower impact on the flora and fauna.
The approach can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes.. Trekking poles are awesome. The descent can take as long. Remember headlamps!

43 Total Climbs

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Location: The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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such a cool crag. I never had the desire to go with the old topos. The new guide makes you stoked to go.

The last bit of the hike up to the crag needs carins as there are several ways to get there, some with more impact than others. We tried our best to stay off the loose stuff. With more traffic this last section could develop erosion issues.

Great featured rock, mostly solid, but don't let your guard down.

Thanks for adding all these north state climbs, Muscrat. Jun 12, 2015
Henry Kroeker
Henry Kroeker   Greenville
The Plug is really awesome! The approach beta is good, however; it took going there to really "get it". The cut left (facing the summit) off the main summit trail at "Piercing the Rubble" puts you a little bit above the natural scree "shelf" and we were swimming in the loose stuff all the way across. I agree that with increased traffic there could be issues, but if you step carefully and don't leave trash there it's a rad place to go. We did "Clast Von Bulow" (from Paul Bernard's book), super fun, amazing view, I didn't bring gear for the runout - little sketch but doable. Left doing only one climb but had time to go to the summit and back- an nice plus. Jan 5, 2016