Elevation: 6,547 ft
GPS: 35.991, -118.44 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 2,928 total · 53/month
Shared By: Twinboas on Jul 4, 2017 · Updates
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes


Kenu Wall is a small and compact granite crag that is situated at 6500' in elevation. This south facing wall appears much taller from the road, with much of the wall ranging in height from 100' to 150'. The approach is moderately long and somewhat steep (1100' of gain in 1.3 miles) but is worth the effort. One will find solid and featured granite with quiet solitude in a beautiful location. Situated north and just outside of the Domelands Wilderness, this may be a fun option should you find the Cherry Hill Rd/Sherman Pass gate locked in the early season when headed to the Domelands Wilderness or Kern Plateau climbing destinations further up the road. For current conditions and gate status, check with the Kern River Ranger Station (760) 376-3781, located in downtown Kernville before heading up. As you drive up Sherman Pass Rd you'll see Kenu Wall on your left hand side. Positioned above the wall are "The Grandfathers" (the two large block pillars), to provide an obvious landmark indicating that you've arrived are at the correct area (see the 'Getting There' section). Additionally, the Grandfathers can be seen from below at Kern River near the Limestone campground and also on the drive up Sherman Pass Rd. The best time to climb here is from early winter to late spring. The crag faces south and can get warm at times. Be sure to pack in plenty of water!

A bit of history regarding Kenu Wall. The word 'kenu' (pronounced "thoo-no") comes from the Shoshone word 'grandfather'. Most “white folks” pronounce it "key-new". The area was named by Kernville local John Newman, back in the 1980's when the area saw a few early ascents by the likes of Scott Loomis, Guy Keesee, John Newman, Herb and Eve Laeger. These ascents included two short trad routes, both 5.9; one ascending the east facing crack on the northern block of The Grandfathers. The other route ascends the west face of the same block.

More recently, Kenu Wall has seen development which has yielded several beautiful and well thought out lines. Of the climbs established, the climbs are traditional in nature, with bolts placed where needed. Be aware that most of the climbs require a 70 meter rope to lower from anchor points. Also, please be mindful of existing projects and inquire should the desire arise to aid in their completion. Ultimately, it is the hopes of all that this area keeps a somewhat low profile. In addition to that intent, it is encouraged that all FAists put up engaging and well thought out climbs. Enjoy!

Getting There

This area is accessed via Sherman Pass, just before the gated turn off to Domelands. The formation is visible from the road.

Use the 'Approach To Kenu Wall' photo in order to aid for the quickest approach. Here's a more specific description on how to get to the approach trailhead:

Locate a small dirt pullout on the right side (at a right hand bend in the road), approximately 4.8 miles up Sherman Pass Road from Mtn 99. Park here and cross to the left side of the road. You'll be able to see Kenu Wall and The Grandfathers from here. There is a tension wire gate that allows access. Please close it as you leave and enter since this is leased national forest land for cows to occasionally graze. Follow a fairly well cairned trail that initially meanders along the west (left) side of ridge. The trail will eventually lead toward the center portion of the ridge and lead directly to the wall.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Kenu Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Skyline Arete
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Skyline Arete
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
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