Elevation: 8,533 ft
GPS: 36.014, -118.347 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 2,047 total · 559/month
Shared By: Dave Daly on Aug 2, 2019
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes


The Sherman Pass area is situated northeast of The Domelands Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest, sporting several short walls and craggy granite formations, all surrounded by majestic sugar and yellow pine forest growth. At an average elevation of 8000', Sherman Pass is a great place to climb when it's too hot down in the Kern River Valley during the summer and fall months. Most of the climbing is found along Sherman Pass Rd (Forest Rd 22S05), mainly near the Trout Creek drainage, and is fairly accessible by 2-wheel drive vehicles. The granite at Sherman Pass is well textured and provides for engaging climbing. From steep patina walls to cracks to slab, Sherman Pass area has something for everyone. One will find that most of the routes developed here are bolted in the traditional style and most are single pitch in length. In addition to the crag climbing, there are plenty of great bouldering spots scattered along Sherman Pass Rd, some already established by the old guard dads like Bill Leventhal, Scott Loomis, Herb Laeger and Randy Levitt, just to name a few. However, there are places yet to be discovered, if you're an ambitious explorer and don't mind white thorn brush and manzanita.

Camping is pretty much free and there are several scattered locations along the road where one can just plunk down and establish a base. Be sure to check for fire restriction at the Kernville Ranger Station or Black Rock Ranger Station. Be sure to snatch up a fire permit before torching up a campfire. Rangers will ask for them.

Getting There

There are two possible ways to approach the area. Ideally, the best route is coming in from the Kern River Valley. The other requires coming in from east, at the intersection of Hwy 395 and Nine Mile Canyon Rd. At this time, the route from Hwy 395 is CLOSED past Black Rock Station due to road repairs.

From the town of Kernville, drive approximately 19.8 miles on Mountain Hwy 99 to Sherman Pass Rd (Forest Road 22S05). Just before you reach Sherman Pass Road, you'll pass Brush Creek Campground on the left. This is a good landmark to reference before making a right semi-hairpin turn onto Sherman Pass Road. Sherman Pass Road is a narrow gauge "two-lane" road, which winds it way to gain 5000' elevation to Sherman Pass (9155'). Drive 15.3 miles to the pass, which is signatured by a vista area with a forest service outhouse on the right. Be sure to check out Kenu Wall and The Grandfathers on the left, a fairly new formation in development (Mile 4.7, along Sherman Pass Rd). Information on this formation is found here on MP. From the pass, drive an additional 3.2 miles to Trout Rock, one of the first formations encountered in the Sherman Pass area. Trout Rock is located just off the road on the left side and somewhat obscured by yellow pine. There is a subtle spot on the left, just off the road to park for at least three vehicle. Other formations along Sherman Pass include: Beach Meadow Rocks, Boone Rocks, and Jackass Rock, to name a few. Information regarding these crags will be listed at a later time.

The alternate "dreaded" way is to take Nine Mile Canyon Rd, just off of Hwy 395, a mile north of Pearsonville. Drive approximately 24 miles up Nine Mile Canyon and into the Kennedy Meadows area. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 22S05, passing the Kennedy Meadows Store on the right corner. Drive 12.8 miles to the three way intersection near Black Rock Ranger Station (on the right). Continue on 22S05 an additional 13 miles before reaching Trout Rock and Beach Rock areas.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sherman Pass

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