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Burnt River Canyon

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Astronomy Tower 
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French Gulch Slab (West Side) 
Mother's Day Wall 
Timewave Wall 

Burnt River Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Location: 44.5516, -117.6265 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 13,850
Administrators: Brennan Crellin, Nate Ball, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: androo.daveass on Sep 18, 2009
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [3 people like this page.]
Beautiful limestone climbing on Mother's Day Wall


-The Burnt River Canyon has many limestone cliffs and spires. Some of these have been explored for their sport and trad climbing potential. There are currently around 100 established routes in the canyon, with potential for many more.
-Approaches are short and the sport climbs range from 30 to 100 feet tall, so one rope and a dozen draws is all you need. With routes ranging from 5.6 slabs to 5.13 overhangs, there is something for every climber. The majority of the routes are 5.10 to 5.11.
-Temperatures can be comfortable for climbing year-round, but summers do get hot. Winter and spring are best.

-There are no facilities or amenities of any kind in the Burnt River Canyon. Carry out what you carry in.
-Don’t leave your TP in camping areas or at the crag! Bury human waste and bury, burn, or pack out your paper.
-The water in the Burnt River may or may not be suitable for drinking, but there is no plumbing in the canyon, so bring your water with you.
-There are many scenic places to camp in throughout the canyon.

-While the stone is high quality, this is not a high-traffic area, so loose rock does exist. When in doubt, wear a helmet.
-Rattlesnakes! Watch where you step, especially during the summer.
-The nearest hospital is in Baker City.

-There is a very brief mention of the area in Rock Climbing Oregon by Bolf and Ruef.

-Most of the land in the Burnt River Canyon is public. However, there are a handful of private mining outfits that have federal mining claims within the canyon. You will see gold miners while climbing here. Mostly, the miners are retiree’s and are essentially panning for gold.
-Since they don’t make noise with heavy machinery, the biggest inconvenience miners can cause arises from their curiosity as to what exactly you may be doing with the rocks near or on their mining claim.
-Just saying ‘hello’ and politely talking with them about climbing goes a long way toward preserving access in this area.

Getting There 

Driving directions:
From I-84 take
Exit 327 for Durkee
Drive to the stop sign at the junction with Vandecar Rd.
Turn West onto Vandecar Rd, toward Durkee. Drive .5 mile through town.
Cross RR tracks. At the stop sign, turn right onto Old Highway 30.
After 1.5 miles, turn left (West) onto Burnt River Canyon Lane.
Drive 11 miles until you see the first high-quality limestone on your right (French Gultch).

Climbing Season

For the Northeast Oregon area.

Weather station 8.8 miles from here

22 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Burnt River Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Burnt River Canyon:
MILF   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 50'   Mother's Day Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Burnt River Canyon

Featured Route For Burnt River Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Working out the moves on Momma's Boy

Momma's Boy 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  Oregon : Northeast Oregon : ... : Mother's Day Wall
With powerful moves and a technical crux, this route is full-on from the first move. After the first two bolts, follow the good holds left to the third bolt and into the direct line. Milk the rest if you can find it; you’ll need to have some power left after the crux to hit the huge quartz-crystal jug!Note: There is one off-route bolt that was used to equip the start of the route. Don’t bother trying to clip it, it won’t help. Move left to the third bolt instead.History: After getti...[more]   Browse More Classics in Oregon

Photos of Burnt River Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: walking the canyon road
walking the canyon road
Rock Climbing Photo: Cragmap for the Burnt River Canyon.
BETA PHOTO: Cragmap for the Burnt River Canyon.

Comments on Burnt River Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By Billcoe
Jan 5, 2010
Andy, your layout of the Burnt River area looks fantastic. Sh*t - it seems clear, easy to read and understandable even for me!

Kudos, congrats and good job dude!
By snowdenroad
May 16, 2010
That mother's day wall looks great!

Nice write-up Andy.
By Kenny Thompson
From: Cottage grove oregon
Nov 27, 2010
any chance of climbing here in winter?
By Nathan Bell
From: La Grande, Oregon
Nov 26, 2011
I have been here four times now and every time I find more routes hidden away that I did not know about before. Anyone know of, or know how to get ahold of, a guide for this place? I don't even care if it is hand drawn on a napkin. If however I just need to be adventurous and find all the routes myself then so be it.
By Tedd Thompson
Jan 31, 2012
There is a limited route guide on Go to the Other Areas tab and you will find some route info.
By TimmDe
Aug 8, 2014
Hey a buddy and I are headed here this weekend and would love if any locals would meet up and show us around a little. PM if ya think ya can come out. Looking for easy 12s hard 11s in the area.

This is very last minute and dont expect to much but hope to see yall out there crushin!
By Old lady H
From: Boise, Idaho
Aug 8, 2016
Nice area. We only climbed Mother's Day wall, but checked out some of the other bits. Saw my first bighorn sheep, too! Don't know the actual elevation, but high enough to be a bit cooler. Lots of different orientations, so it should be easy to chase sun/shade here.

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