Horsethief Butte Rock Climbing
From the approach, note the tall buttress near the...
A fun Columbia Gorge destination with a nice variety of top rope climbs and boulder problems. This picturesque area on the Washington side of the river sits atop the basalt columns of Horsethief Butte; a trail circumnavigates the butte and a handful of trails snake through the corridors that hold most of the exposed rock.
The basalt here is generally of good quality and has some fun features, but be wary of loose blocks. The tops of many of the boulder problems have some loose chunks on them, and there are undoubtedly plenty of ticking time bombs on top of the top rope areas.
No bolts are allowed here so be sure to bring a trad rack and plenty of long slings if you're going to be setting up topropes. There are probably a couple hundred toprope climbs so pick out a line that looks good and go for it.
Take I-84 East from Portland to The Dalles. Cross over the bridge to Washington and take a right on Hwy. 14 after a mile or so. Go a few miles (past the state park with Horsethief Lake) and park at the pullout for the Horsethief Butte Trail. The bulk of the bouldering is on top of the butte along with much of the toproping.
Climbing Season For the Southeast Cascades & Yakima area.
Weather station 2.4 miles from here
7 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Horsethief Butte
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Horsethief Butte
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Horsethief Butte:
Featured Route For Horsethief Butte
Easy crack problem. Pretty easy stuff, but fun all...
Looking north from Entrance Cracks on a warm winte...
BETA PHOTO: The trailhead sign, looking Southwest. Mt. Hood i...
Right of the entrance cracks, lots of crack option...
Looking out from the bouldering area.
Sit start. Follow the crack straight up. Don't use...
Another shot of easy wall. There is another cool p...
Kate on a fun V1. The block below the triangular ...
Daniel on a bouldery crack.
There are 3 problems on this short boulder. One in...
Sit start. Short, but sweet. Mantle is the crux. M...
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Feb 12, 2017
There are only a few short sections with worthwhile roped climbs. A crash pad would be far more useful if you're not set on doing longer routes. Olson's NW Oregon book mostly lists boulder problems, but does include the Entrance Cracks and a few at the Long Wall. These are pretty great, though maybe not worth the trip by themselves because of how short they are. These two walls are mostly north-facing but do get nice afternoon sun. Great place to bring beginners and/or get on some sunny rock this time of year. Be aware that a Discovery Pass ($30/annual) is required, otherwise it's a $10/day fee.