Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.
Elevation: 3,784 ft 1,153 m
GPS: 36.91845, -119.08309
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 28,829 total · 392/month
Shared By: Brian Prince on May 15, 2018
Admins: Cory B, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description Suggest change

Sitting above the North Fork of the Kings River and the PG&E community of Balch Camp is this amazing cliff band. Patterson Bluff has always had a certain peculiarity to it. Maybe all the hydroelectric activity is responsible for this, or the long winding drive deep into the western slope of the Sierra, or the relatively low elevation that makes for particularly nasty and brushy approaches to the bottom of the bluff (though these tales ignore the top approach, unique in its own right). Perhaps it's the fact that such a mythical offwidth route "JCA's Wide World of Sports" on an even more fantastic flake of rock can possibly exist. I'm not sure, but the place is definitely speical. A real "hidden" jewel of the westside (easily seen from Fresno on a clear day). The area sits within Sierra National Forest.

The bluff can basically be divided into two parts by Patterson Falls. The left side is around 1000 ft. tall and has over a dozen routes, mostly all free and each around 10 pitches. The right side is shorter (~400ft.), good in the winter, more varied, and hosts THE Balch Camp Flake, a piece of granite architecture that is a sight to behold.

There are numerous smaller crags scattered throughout the area as well. Some of very high quality.

See Clint Cummins excellent collection of beta in his (now defunct) Supertopo online guide: http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2106135/Patterson-Bluff-online-guide

Getting There Suggest change

The left side is approached from the top, and is accessed out of Shaver Lake. Roads are closed in winter. 

The right side and other crags have traditionally been approached from the bottom by driving up Blackrock road past Pine Flat reservoir and the community of Balch Camp, or from the top by driving even further up Blackrock Road. See individual pages for directions. Roads are generally open year-round. 

24 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Patterson Bluff Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Patterson Bluff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Patterson Bluff »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos

loading