Chewiliken Creek Crags (Tonasket) Rock Climbing
McLoughlin Canyon from the NW slope of Chewiliken ...
This is the spread-out area of east and south facing cliffs about 3 miles SE of McLoughlin Canyon on public (BLM) lands just to the north of Chewiliken Creek. It is remote and isolated feeling with a wide variety of highly featured faces as well as an abundance of cracks and corners. For the purpose of this guide it is divided into four parts;
Upper - This is the farthest east end of the upper cliffs, including several large south and east facing cliffs.
Middle - This is the hillside to the east of the lower (main) canyon. It includes about a half dozen distinct mostly south facing smaller crags.
Lower - This is the main canyon which is the first cliff reached when hiking east from the river (and mouth of Chewiliken Creek). It is divided in to 4 subsection along the length of it's long East Face, and as well includes the small south facing slab along the approach trail.
Creek Side - This is the southernmost area along Chewiliken Creek and includes just two small south and east facing cliffs.
Note to all climbers, this is a remote crag on public land, off the beaten trail, but also accessed adjacent to a private orchard (although the parking by the river is on State Fish and Wildlife land), so please do your best to minimize your impact and presence; pack it in-pack it out, and leave no trace. Potential route developers, please respect local etiquette and don't place bolts next to possible gear placements, make any bolts or top anchors camouflaged, use stainless steel hardware as much as possible, and don't mix your metals. Any comments and input on existing or new routes is much appreciated.
Note - a key to route descriptions;
NAME; grade and quality (* - good, ** - very good, *** - great, **** - world class classic); (length); type of pro. used - G = natural/gear, F = fixed (b - bolt, p - piton, fn - fixed nut), M = mixed; TR = toprope, R = runout/dangerous, PG = "pucker grade" - scary/risky; Description.
There are two options for approach;
1) From the W - instead of turning left up McLaughlin Canyon Rd at the calcite depot keep going down the Janis Bridge Rd (1.5 miles) the last half of which crosses the railroad lines which is technically private, but public visitors are welcome if respectful. Park along the river road at the bridge at the south end of the orchard, and hike east up Chewiliken Creek. To stay on BLM land the whole time, hike south over the bridge along the railroad track for about 100 yards and turn left just after the pair of pine trees to hike up the flats on the south side of the creek. Join a deer trail before the slickrock stream bed. At about a quarter mile in (5 min. from parking area) cross the stream and hike up deer trails on the left to reach the south end of the secluded hanging valley of the lower crag. This is the shortest approach route (less than a third of the distance of the N option), 20+ minutes hike in. To reach the Middle and Upper Crags continue east across the flats and up the slope for another 10 to 30 minutes.
2) From the N - park along the McLaughlin Canyon Rd as for accessing the Main Canyon. Head south all the way to the end of the South Canyon (25 min.), then east on the cattle trail until you've climbed the hill past the Slot Face area of the S By SE crag (5+ min.). Then head south again towards the obvious cliffs on the right (5 min. to the north end). Continue down the valley (10+ min) to the south end (50 minutes total). The north and south ends of the valley are full of fallen snags and the middle is brushy (so it's best to stay on the open slope to the far left).
A better alternative if heading in to the South Wall of the Lower Crag from McLoughlin Canyon is to stay on the trail on the west side of the hill. After passing through the South Canyon head east and drop down to the dry stream bed below the West End of the S By SE crag, turn right and follow the cattle trail along the fence south. Before reaching the huge boulders along the trail, just as it starts heading downhill, head cross-country up and left towards the south end of the canyon. About 50 minutes total approach.
Weather station 9.7 miles from here
27 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Chewiliken Creek Crags (Tonasket)
Eleusinian Fields 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Washington
: ... : South Wall
Eleusinian Fields 5.9 **** 80 M(3b)Climbs the middle of the shorter face to the left of the main large corner of the South Wall. A pumpy gear protected crux leads to an easier bolt protected upper section, with a tricky finish to the pair of (red) chain anchors on top. Excellent climbing on excellent rock with an abundance of jugs and pockets needs a double set of medium to large cams to protect....[more] Browse More Classics in Washington
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|Comments on Chewiliken Creek Crags (Tonasket)
From: Tonasket, WA
Feb 16, 2015
Unbelievably early sighting of a rattler today (up at the base of the Turret - elevation 2000') - almost 2 months early!
Very lively rattler on 2/16/15