Type: Trad, 500 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 25,261 total · 166/month
Shared By: Matthew Fienup on Jul 23, 2006
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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The Tree Route is the true "trade route" of Dome Rock--expect to wait in line.

P1 (5.5, ~110 ft.): follow an obvious hand crack that heads right and then diagonals left to a large yellow pine. An excellent hand jam between the giant conifer and the rock allows you to pull past the tree and onto a generous ledge. From the ledge, climb a slab past intermittent cracks to the belay stance above a second, smaller pine tree. Belay takes 1/2" to 3/4"

P2 (5.6, 120 feet): truly classic for the grade! Jam and lieback an obvious handcrack. Look for excellent foot holds on the face to the left. The first 80 feet or so is sustained 1/2-3/4". Either carry extra gear of this size or leap-frog your gear up the crack with you. When this crack tapers and disappears, step left and follow intermittent thin cracks (TCUs helpful) to an obvious triangle shaped ledge/basin. Belay here (belay takes 2.5" to 3.5"--I often use two #3 camalots).

P3 (5.5, 110 feet): follow a large (4 to 5") crack, which eventually tapers and turns to a shallow, right-facing corner. Belay on an obvious ledge with three bolts.

P4 (5.6, 180 feet): the technical crux and truly memorable! Step off the belay ledge onto a delicate 5.6 slab. Clip a bolt and hope your feet stick. The slab eases and then gives way to a two-foot "roof" (protected by a bomber 2" piece). From here, the technical difficulties are over. A 3rd class slab leads for over a hundred feet to an obvious horizontal crack. Belay here (belay takes 1/2" to 1-1/2"").


Hike down the northern slope of Dome Rock until the obvious pine trees come into view. The approach takes about 10 minutes.


Small to 3.5", especially 1/2" to 3/4"


fun. the last pitch is excellent Dec 21, 2006
On a weekday we were lucky to have this fun little romp all to ourselves. Very friendly rock, and straightforward with easy routefinding. Description above is great. Feet stuck like glue to this rock. I felt like this was a soft 5.6. ie; definitely not like a slippery, "I want to go back home to Red Rock" Eldo 5.6, or a "You've got to be kidding" J-Tree 5.6, or like a "No f-ing way" Tahquitz 5.6. The Tree Route made me so happy that I was almost a Tree Hugger for a split second.

It was a perfect climb to finish off our nice rafting trip.
Thanks Matthew F. for posting this on M.P.! : ) Jul 21, 2007
What fun! This is the most fun easy route I have ever encountered. Not much to say other than GO CLIMB IT. Nice views of the Needles, too. Stick the tree-handjam. Very unique! Jun 13, 2008
Isaac T.
Oceanside, CA
Isaac T.   Oceanside, CA
when facing the top of the dome (from the parking lot) hike off to the left it is much faster this way. I went right and found the motorcycle remains and a few sweet looking boulders but the approach took more like 30 minutes! Jun 23, 2008
Carl A
brooklyn, ny
Carl A   brooklyn, ny
One million stars! Nov 8, 2008
Grand Rapids, MI
ttriche   Grand Rapids, MI
This is also a fun solo. Very secure and you won't be in anyone's way. Nov 24, 2008
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
ANTS everywhere in the bottom of the first pitch crack. 4/29/09 Jun 11, 2009
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
I was able to link the first and second pitches by doing 30-40 feet of simul-climbing. Does anyone know if a 70m rope is long enough to connect these two pitches? Aug 11, 2009
Glenwood Springs, CO
IanBarrett   Glenwood Springs, CO
Great barefoot route! (If you are into that!??) Minus a flat tire leaving the parking lot. It was a great evening route to bring a red delicious on if camping at the needles. Feb 22, 2010
Thee BEST!

5.6 in the southern half of the state.

The definition of fun climbing.

No matter what level I was climbing at we always ran up this one on the way out of the Needles.

I've lost track of the number of times I've done it.

One of the trees is now dead though.

Gone like an old friend. Jul 30, 2010
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
Fun and easy. Ants at the tree and first belay. Best to do the route in two pitches by linking one and two and three and four. Jun 14, 2011
Mark Roth
Mark Roth   Boulder
Yes, a 70 reaches for the first 2 pitches. Make sure to go around the right side of the tree so your rope doesn't "bother" it... Such a great beginner's route. Varied climbing with slab and crack moves on great rock with great protection. Jun 15, 2011
Ken Noyce
Layton, UT
Ken Noyce   Layton, UT
Super fun route. First pitch follows an ant filled crack and is quite enjoyable as long as you don't pay attention to all of the ants that are everywhere. The second pitch is absoutely classic, I don't know the last time I had that much fun on something this easy! Make sure to bring a couple of number 3 camalots for the third pitch, the first 30 feet of the third pitch along with the belay atop the second pitch are perfect #3 size (I only brought one and had to use #2 camalots for the belay which made it a bit low for comfort). The fourth pitch was the least memorable of the climb, it consists of a single 5.5 or 5.4 move off of the belay ledge to gain great holds that take you to the bolt, after the bolt the rock gets even more slabby and is more like 4th class up to the "roof" which gives you one more 5.supereasy move before it mellows to third class for the rest of the pitch Aug 8, 2011
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
the small tree at the first belay is dead as a doornail, and waiting to come off. I tried to pry it out the other day, but it only sways side to side just enough to freak you out, but not enough to be removed from the crack so be careful everyone! May 29, 2012
Why on gods green earth, in this case brown, would you try to remove the tree Greg C? Is that something you do in Utah because as far as I know, we don't do that around here. Jun 26, 2012
Justin Tomlinson
Monrovia, CA
Justin Tomlinson   Monrovia, CA
On the fourth pitch, going up and right on a series of small but easy ledges leads to the dihedral. Go this way for technically easier climbing than going to the bolt.

From what I've been told, that is The Tree Route. The bolt is on a different climb. Aug 22, 2012
Ted Sumers  
Fight for the second pitch! Jun 3, 2013
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
Have to agree with Ted. You're a chump if you don't get to lead the 2nd pitch. If swinging leads, this also sets you up for the fourth (crux) pitch! Jun 11, 2013
The small tree shown in the photograph and mentioned at the end of the first pitch (not the huge yellow pine tree along the first pitch) was not there when I climbed this route last weekend. The climb is four pitches as described, but if you belay partway up the crack, you can do the entire climb in three 180' pitches to the very top. The slab above the bolt looks fairly blank, but is easy friction due to the low angle. You can also traverse right to a dihedral, which can be followed for about 20' and then traverse back to the left. Nov 5, 2013
Melissa W.
Melissa W.   CA
Climbed Tree Route this weekend in 3 pitches. Fun climb! Watch out the flakes on the final slab pitch. The large, thin bottom flake might look tempting to grab onto after being on nothing but friction, but it is LOOSE and moved when I touched it! Jul 5, 2016
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
Fat Dad   Los Angeles, CA
I did this climb last weekend and, with the small tree gone on the first pitch, had complete dementia as where you normally belay. This was compounded by a set of belay bolts that someone recently installed that are down and right of where the tree used to be. Avoid these, obviously. Once past the big tree, head up and right toward the small stump sticking out of the crack, which is where lots of folks used to belay. Nowadays, I'd recommend climbing a few feet past it to reach a small, triangular ledge that you can't really see until you're just below it. It's a nice stance and you can get bomber 1/2-3/4" cams for anchors. Just make sure to bring additional 3/4" gear for the next pitch since, as the route description makes clear, the crack remains that size for the next 80'. Having no other 1/2-3/4" pieces, I was barely able to cram a .75 C4 part way up, but that was my only piece in 80'. Good thing it's easy. Some might want to bring a #4 C4 for pitch 3. Contrary to what someone has written here, blue C4s will not fit, and you'll probably have used them for the pitch 3 belay anyways. Jul 15, 2016
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
For many years, there has been a set of belay bolts located down and right of the (now missing) tree at the end of the first pitch of Tree Route. The bolts are on the first pitch of the route Last Homely House.

When I was guiding in the area back in the 90s, I would often lead the first pitch of Tree Route and then climb right, clipping one bolt on the route Arwen to reach this anchor. The first pitch of Last Homely House is a nice top-rope for beginners. As I recall, there is even a second top-rope anchor located above this one, on the right (on the face just left of the Last Line).

I second your opinion that it is VERY disorienting to not have the small tree at the top of Tree Route's first pitch. The triangle that you refer to is actually where the tree used to be:
Aug 2, 2016
The middle bolt at the top of P3 has a loose hanger, but more worryingly the bolt itself seems to be loose - it wiggles a bit. May 30, 2017
kern county, CA
climberkalen   kern county, CA
Matt has it right...Those bolts out to the right are on two different climbs. The third pitch belay has had a loose bolt since I've climbed it, it will not tighten up I've tried many times. But off to the left there's a bomber set of fixe double rings perfect for anti-jello, is also good for tree routes first belay...Be sure to have some micros to protect the traverse up into the crack. Jun 7, 2017
Evan Glessner
New Haven, CT
Evan Glessner   New Haven, CT
I love The Tree Route. We belayed from the bolts on Anti-Jello after the first pitch. Made it easier but the traverse to the crack was a little spicy. The second pitch is unreal. A perfect splitter for 80 feet. This was my first multi-pitch trad lead, a total classic, have fun! Aug 30, 2017
My partner went off route on this climb on 10/23 resulting in us leaving 3 pieces on the wall. Should be a sling, a BD .3, and a nut. If anyone is able to retrieve these pieces, please DM me for good karma! We live in Colorado but will pay for shipping Oct 30, 2017
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
The titular tree has died. Very sadly, it seems it's only a matter of time until the wind brings the tree down. The route will never be the same.

Oct 31, 2017
Faafo .
Faafo .   Woodson
Did this route car to car in 15 minutes 44 seconds as a party of 4 on 8/10/2018 Aug 16, 2018