Central Sierra Rock Climbing
Between the populous climbing destinations of Yosemite
and the Tahoe area
lies a more obscure section of the Sierra Nevada. It includes better known areas such as Table Mountain
and the Calaveras Domes
, as well as seldom visited or climbed mountain rock. Like all regions the span the breadth of the Sierra Nevada, it can be climbed in all seasons by moving to a currently comfortable elevation.
Much of this region falls within the boundaries of the Stanislaus National Forest
, including some overlapping wilderness areas at its borders.
The last major towns you'll pass on the west side of this region are where the three highways leave highway 49 in the Gold Country: Jackson (for highway 88 climbing areas), Angels Camp (for highway 4), and Sonora (for highway 108). All three are historic and thrive on tourism. You'll find food, gas, and at least basic outdoor supplies at all three. Sonora has at least one outfitter selling climbing gear.
Sonora Pass' Highway 108 has its own dedicated hard copy guide book, and a website
to supplement that.
The Carson Pass areas major climbing spots are kindly documented by Tim
at the Climb Highway 88 website
The three main trans-Sierra highways of Carson Pass (highway 88), Ebbetts Pass (highway 4) and Sonora Pass (highway 108) are used to reach these areas by visitors.
All three of these state highways close during the winter, in response to current conditions. See the Cal Trans website for these. State Road 4 conditions
. State Road 88 conditions
. State Road 108 conditions
Weather station 9.1 miles from here
208 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',25],['3 Stars',77],['2 Stars',72],['1 Star',31],['Bomb',1]
Classic Climbing Routes in Central Sierra
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Central Sierra
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Central Sierra:
Featured Route For Central Sierra
Heart of the Artichokes 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
: Central Sierra
: ... : Emigrant Wilderness
A beautiful line that follows obvious weaknesses up a rounded buttress. For us, this route started under a small roof, climbing out left from underneath it up a short dihedral, followed by run out featured face climbing to a nice big belay ledge. From here pitch 2 climbs up right to a nice hand crack. Finish pitch 2 on another nice ledge and continue to climb right up cracks to the summit....[more] Browse More Classics in California
Matt Grieger nears the anchor following one of the...
Columbia College student Matt attempts the super c...
Doug Olmstead on the first ascent of "Fused C...
Luke works through the crux of Chain Gang. Adam Sc...
BETA PHOTO: The 5.8 hand traverse at Purgatory Towers. Too col...
Hidden Dome next to Calaveras Dome, CA. Most of ro...
Garrett Froelich three quarters of the way up Spar...
The next day. Yep, it's 1k' slab on the dome.
Bouldering near the Sierra Conservation Center.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
May 11, 2016
When someone says "Central Sierra" I must confess I think of the region of the High Sierra between the Palisades and Kearsarge Pass. Is there another name we can give it? Perhaps I'm wrong.
By Justin Johnsen
May 11, 2016
Hey Chris, totally agree, I was sort of waffling for a name when I put this one together.
[edit: nevermind, I realized my first idea would break some admin areas]