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Cliff Lake

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
All Guts, No Glory T 
Butter Face T 
Chilly Dogs S 
Critter Conundrum T 
Glory S,TR 
Gobslutch T 
Lake Effect T,S 
Mosquito Mayhem T 
No Woman, No Cry S 
Squanto S 
Vulgaria S,TR 
Vulgarian, The T,TR 

Cliff Lake Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 10,200'
Location: 40.6879, -110.9686 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 12,884
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ryan Brough on Jun 10, 2007
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Located in a National Forest Fee Area MORE INFO >>>


The cliff belonging to the appropriately named, Cliff Lake, is a south-facing quartzite cliff band approximately 90 feet tall at its highest point, and about 100 yards wide. The talus slope below prevents trees from growing, so there is not much of a wind break. It is sunny, but that warms the rock for morning climbing. Cliff Lake isn't a particularly busy lake, even on Free Fishing day. There aren't many good campsites in the area, and the campsites that do exist aren't close to the climbing. The fishing is decent, and worms seemed like the best way to ensure a tasty dinner. It looked like there was a trail on the east side of the cliff that would provide top-rope access. The routes here are mostly sport, but there are a few traditional oferings. They range in difficulty from 5.5-5.10c. The rock was surprisingly clean and solid. Brian Cabe seemed to be the most active FA in this area, and there appears to be potential for more route development on the western flank of the cliff.

Getting There 

Drive on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway (Highway 150) and turn onto the Trial Lake/Crystal Lake Trailhead turnoff. The signage here is fantastic. You will drive past the Trial Lake Dam, and switch back towards the Washington Lake Campground. The road turns to dirt just before the parking lot at the Crystal Lake Trailhead. There are pit toilets here and parking for approximately 60 vehicles. There are several trails that start from this point. Choose the Smith Morehouse Trail (AKA Lake Country). Follow this trail for several hundred yards (heading west) to the first trail that branches off to the right (north). There is a rusty sign that says "Cliff Lake" here. This trail passes on the west side of Lily Lakes and heads up a steep ridge just before Cliff Lake. The cliff is on the west side of the lake, just above the outlet stream. Expect a 20-30 minute approach.

Climbing Season

Weather station 16.9 miles from here

12 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Cliff Lake

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Cliff Lake:
Vulgaria   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   
The Vulgarian   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   
Lake Effect   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 50'   
No Woman, No Cry   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Chilly Dogs   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 75'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Cliff Lake

Featured Route For Cliff Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Vulgaria climbs the arete underneath the dead snag...

Vulgaria 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Utah : Uinta Mountains : Cliff Lake
A.K.A. A Pox in Vulgaria - A fantastic route for the grade, just not very long. Well protected, good rock, and some good overhanging moves that require pulling on jugs with minimal feet. Provides a nice pump for the portly. Some of the stances were a little reachy, but were very logically placed. The Smith & Tusting guide specifies that there are 8 bolts, so I may have skipped one, but it still wasn't run out. A great view rewards those reaching the top. Vulgaria can easily be top...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

Photos of Cliff Lake Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Peering down at a still frozen Cliff Lake from the...
Peering down at a still frozen Cliff Lake from the...
Rock Climbing Photo: cliff lake crag
cliff lake crag
Rock Climbing Photo: Cliff Lake as seen from the summit of the Cliff La...
Cliff Lake as seen from the summit of the Cliff La...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cliff Lake's Cliff as seen from the outlet stream.
BETA PHOTO: Cliff Lake's Cliff as seen from the outlet stream.
Rock Climbing Photo: Uinta slushie courtesy of Cliff Lake... from the s...
Uinta slushie courtesy of Cliff Lake... from the s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Washington Lake and Haystack Peak as seen from the...
Washington Lake and Haystack Peak as seen from the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cliff Lake
Cliff Lake

Comments on Cliff Lake Add Comment
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By Sarah Weippert
Jun 26, 2016
We climbed at Cliff Lake this weekend (6/26/16) and encountered some changes in the approach beta. While chatting with a climber who frequents the spot, we figured out the change is likely new this spring.

The original approach trail is no longer in use and has been blocked off with logs. Instead at the point of the original fork there is a rusty sign that says "Cliff Lake TH" and points you to continue down the "Lake Country Trail." After a couple of minutes you will come to another rusty sign that says "Cliff Lake." Here you will take a right and walk until you reach Cliff Lake where you will take a left and walk along the lake until you reach the small scree field that leads up to the crag.

It's a really nice approach and, from what I have heard, it is much improved over the old trail.
By Danny Bradley
Aug 4, 2016
I left my Grigri at this wall on July 23, 2016. If found, please contact me here. I would love to have it back and would be so grateful upon its return. This is an orange Grigri 2 with an orange Petzl locking carabiner.

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