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Area 51

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Abducted S 
Adam S 
Alien Autopsy T 
Alien Invasion T 
Alien Observer T 
Black Ops T 
Cattle Mutilation S 
Close Encounters S 
Cosmic Debris S 
Crop Circles S 
Death Star S 
Dreamland S 
Eagle Has Landed, The T 
Earth First (We'll Log the Other Planets Later) S 
Erased Memory T 
ET (Extra Trad) T 
Event Horizon S 
First Contact S 
Friend or Alien T 
Hoss S 
It Taint Human S 
Lies and Deception T 
Little Grey Men S 
Luna S 
Mars S 
Men in Black S 
Mothership, The S 
Open the Pod Bay Door HAL T 
Out of this World S 
Ponderosa S 
Probe T 
Resistance is Futile S 
Rocketman S 
Roswell T 
Shape Shifter S 
Solar Flair T 
Stargate T 
Sunspot T 
Take Me to Your Leader T 
To Boldly Bolt where No Man has Bolted Before S 
Uranus Has Rings T 
Vulcan Mind Meld S 
War of the Worlds S 
We Are Not Alone S 
Wormhole T 
Young Jedi S 

Area 51 Rock Climbing 

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Location: 45.34836, -121.43762 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 19,138
Administrators: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Peter Franzen on Jun 19, 2007
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Alien midget climber guarding the secret,,,,albiet...


Area 51 is a sport climbing crag that's located in the forest on the eastern flanks of Mt. Hood. It's a single cliffband around 60-70ft. high that's composed of nicely featured andesite.

There are a few dozen bolted sport routes here that range from 5.7 to 5.13. There is about 30 more routes that require gear of some sort. The routes are very well bolted with up to date hardware.

Getting There 

Drive South on Hwy-35 out of Hood River. Take a left on NF-44 towards Dufur. Drive up this road for a few miles and take a right when it splits at a large intersection. Keep driving for a couple more miles and take another right on NF-4420 towards 15 Mile Campground and Flag Point.

This road will split after a few hundred meters-- stay right on the paved part (the left fork goes to a small crag named Bulo Point). Take this road for another few miles; you will pass 15 Mile Campground, and shortly after that you will pass the turnoff to Flag Point. Stay on the road, and look for a large pullout a few hundred meters past the cattle guard. Park here and take the trail down below the bluff and follow it down and around to the right to the cliffs.

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.1 miles from here

47 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',21],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',7]

Classic Climbing Routes in Area 51

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Area 51:
Out of this World   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
ET (Extra Trad)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   
Wormhole   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   
Roswell   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   
Vulcan Mind Meld   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Alien Observer   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   
First Contact   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
Solar Flair   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Luna   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Sunspot   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Rocketman   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   
The Mothership   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Cattle Mutilation   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Shape Shifter   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
Little Grey Men   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Lies and Deception   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Event Horizon   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Area 51

Featured Route For Area 51
Rock Climbing Photo: Huge blocks, fat cracks: Rocketman!

Rocketman 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  Oregon : Mt. Hood : Area 51
A great climb that offers a variety of climbing styles. Start with a few boulder moves to get over the large bulge onto the face. Use nice hand cracks and thin crimps to get up to the crux at the small roof. A heady leaning move off the ledge puts you on the exciting arete to the anchors....[more]   Browse More Classics in Oregon

Photos of Area 51 Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Directions to Area 51
BETA PHOTO: Directions to Area 51
Rock Climbing Photo: area 51
area 51

Comments on Area 51 Add Comment
Show which comments
By phillip Hranicka
Jun 23, 2007
Beautiful but quite chossy. I pulled a microwave-sized hold off of one of the better routes with little effort and pulled more rock off of the crux bulge of another "3 alien head" rated route. There's some fun stuff, but IMO not worthy of a long drive.
By snowdenroad
Jun 25, 2007
I have been climing at A51 for about 8 years now. Most route anchors can NOT be reached from the top - and should NOT be given the fragile dry soils and plant life. So you really need to be able to lead 5.10. And 1/3 of the routes are mixed gear/bolts, so bring a rack. And bring a helmet - folks ain't kidding about the choss! And don't snub the locals when you are out there, a hello would at least be nice....

Edit to Add: Peter, I was hoping you would take my picture last Saturday when I was climbing the dirty chimney!
By pdx climber
Jul 11, 2007
Finally checked it out. Disappointing.... Let's do the math, from Portland:

20 minutes to the ozone (with better rock, and lots more moderates than A51)

2 hrs, 20 minutes to A51

2 hrs, 40 minutes to Smith.

Why folks from Portland would go there is beyond me, I won't be back...

By elmo mecsko
From: Lyle, Washington
Jan 28, 2008
It always blows me away to hear climbers rant about an area when they have nothing positive to say. It would be nice for people to really climb at an area a few times before making statements like "this place sucks" and "Why folks from Portland would go there is beyond me". Where would our sport be if not for the hard working folks who take the time to find new areas and put up new routes; show some respect to those who strive to make our sport better. If you do not like something about an area find a respectful way to post your concern.

As far as Area 51 is concerned, it is not my favorite crag, but it would be well worth the drive just to hike thru a very unique and beautiful ecosystem, as well as a good opportunity to meet some new climbers... plus there are some excellent routes that are well worth climbing. I have been climbing there for 7 years now and still find enjoyable routes that challenge me.

Thanks for letting me Rant! (and thanks for all the new routes over the last few years everyone!)
By Steve Wolford
Aug 21, 2009
Area 51 Rocks! There are some sweet climbs here as well as some mungy ones. But because there are so many, you can be picky. The Mothership Wall is great hard sport climbing. There are many other hard clean lines. Well worth a few visits. Enjoy the solitude!
By forrestrae
Dec 7, 2009
By Patrick aalto
Apr 20, 2015
I look forward to warmer and dryer weather so we can get out to Area 51. If you like having a fantastic and fun climbing crag to yourself (on a weekday) and you are a fan of wilderness crags NOT filled with music and crowds then get out to Area 51. The place is fun. Sure, wear a helmet, you should be wearing one anyways, but the more the climbing community climbs a new place, the safer it will be. If you are a solid 10 and 11 climber this crag is great. Not very many easy/moderates but that's ok. Even a selection of great 12's. The crag is NOT 2 hours and 20 minutes away. From SE Portland to crag takes 1 hour and 15 Minutes. Soooo worth it. Bring a brush and help out. You'll have fun.
By another Chad
Apr 20, 2015
"From SE Portland to crag takes 1 hour and 15 Minutes."

Unless you are going by helicopter this is absolutely untrue. It takes a little over an hour to get to Government Camp from inner Portland. From Government Camp it takes about an hour get to Area 51.

By Micah Klesick
From: Vancouver, WA
Aug 31, 2016
New guidebook released that features Area 51.

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