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Info on The Needles


Original Post
Jon Hartmann · · Ojai, CA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,325

I’m wanting to head up there this weekend with my wife but I don’t know where to look to find out if the road is cleared. Also if any climbers have been there recently with any beta on the conditions that would be awesome. Thanks in advance to anyone who replies. 

Jason Brown · · BRIGHTON · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0
Clint Cummins · · Palo Alto, CA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 783

Assuming you mean the Needles in Sequoia National Forest,
and you want to access them via the upper road 21S05
call one of the ranger stations listed on the main Needles page to see if the road is open.
https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105851693/the-needles
Actually I've heard the number for the Western Divide Ranger District may be the best one to call:  (559) 539-2607
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sequoia/recarea/?recid=79578

Please post up a reply indicating the status of 21S05!
[Edit: see Jon Clark's post below - it's still closed.]

The Needles kind of straddles the Nor Cal and So Cal regions, and there is a similar thread on the So Cal forum,
with a post 21 hours ago saying the road is not open yet:
https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/116819629/needles​​​

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

If you're thinking of climbing WPOD, you would probably take a different road, Lloyd Meadows Rd.  That is a much shorter approach hike for that route and that dome. So you could ask if that road is open, if applicable.

Juan Vargas · · Bakersfield, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 792

I was there on Sunday. Voodoo is great right now. Completely dry and clear of snow both on the approach and descent trails. The east and south faces of the Warlock, along with the notch separating it from Voodoo Dome appear also to be dry and clear of snow. I heard from another party at the top of Voodoo that people have been driving up the upper road and that the gate is open, but i haven’t been up there yet, so i’m not sure that’s true

Anyways, temps are warming up fast, so right now is a good time to climb those areas.

Jon Clark · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 700

As of Friday FS21S05 was not open and there are downed trees yet to cleared.

Juan Vargas · · Bakersfield, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 792
Jon Clark wrote: As of Friday FS21S05 was not open and there are downed trees yet to cleared.

Thanks for the heads up Jon!

Jon Hartmann · · Ojai, CA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,325

You guys are awesome! Thank you for all your responses!

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311
Juan Vargas wrote: I was there on Sunday. Voodoo is great right now. Completely dry and clear of snow both on the approach and descent ....

Anyways, temps are warming up fast, so right now is a good time to climb those areas.

So many great longer climbs at Voodoo. White Punks gets the attention but other climbs like Summer Sojourn are remarkable. And The Emperor one of the best crack climbs ever. 

It is to bad the lower road stays closed as long as it does now. When logging was going on the road back in their was opened up in March some years, Voodoo was the place to climb. 
JLV · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 60

Heading up to the Needles Tuesday night. Any more info if the roads are open?
Plan B would be to do Voodoo dome. Can you access Needles from Voodoo?
Any and all info greatly appreciated

carla splitter · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 111
JLV wrote: Heading up to the Needles Tuesday night. Any more info if the roads are open?
Plan B would be to do Voodoo dome. Can you access Needles from Voodoo?
Any and all info greatly appreciated


Try calling one of the ranger offices (see Clint's post above) for the Needles access road. You could also phone the Ponderosa Lodge and ask if anyone there has seen if the gate is open.


You can access Needles from Voodoo but it's a slog. Dome Rock is also worth a visit.

Cody Sargeant · · Long Beach, CA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

I was in the Needles this past weekend and the road is apparently open.  My partner and I had heard that it was closed, so we climbed on Voodoo from the lower road.  However, once up there, we saw many who had approached from the Needles campground.  They let us know that the road is open, albeit a bit rough still.  Hope this helps!

Jeremy Romero · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 15

Thanks for the update

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Cody Sargeant wrote: I was in the Needles this past weekend and the road is apparently open.  My partner and I had heard that it was closed, so we climbed on Voodoo from the lower road.  However, once up there, we saw many who had approached from the Needles campground.  They let us know that the road is open, albeit a bit rough still.  Hope this helps!

This thread says it's still closed:

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/117100545/needles-612-614#ForumMessage-117106791
Lucas Barth · · Yosemite, CA · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 171

I also heard the road (21S05) was open. Can anyone that's been out there comment on the conditions? Can a normal sedan or Prius make it out there right now?

Cody Sargeant · · Long Beach, CA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
FrankPS wrote:

This thread says it's still closed:

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/117100545/needles-612-614#ForumMessage-117106791

Yeah, I also saw that.  But I was there over the weekend and can confirm it is open.

carla splitter · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 111
Cody Sargeant wrote:

Yeah, I also saw that.  But I was there over the weekend and can confirm it is open.

In the past the rangers have told me it's closed and when I told them I had a confirmation the gate was open, they said it could be because they were working on the road prior to officially opening it. If the road is under official closure the FS has said one could possibly be cited for being out there, but I doubt you'd see anyone.

Cody Sargeant · · Long Beach, CA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
carla splitter wrote:

In the past the rangers have told me it's closed and when I told them I had a confirmation the gate was open, they said it could be because they were working on the road prior to officially opening it. If the road is under official closure the FS has said one could possibly be cited for being out there, but I doubt you'd see anyone.

Good to know!  Yeah, we saw a handful of people who were up there.  But no confirmation from the rangers.  Thanks!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern California
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