Indian Springs Rock Climbing
An early morning view of the crag.
The main area of Indian Springs is a 3-tiered south facing granite slab with about 20 routes ranging from 5.6 to hard 5.11. Most of the routes are bolted with additional trad gear possibilities here and there to help protect longer run-out sections. A few climbs are strictly trad. The rock is excellent quality making for exceptional face climbing routes.
Indian Springs Campground is just down the road and the close-by South Yuba River offers a wonderful dip after a hot day of climbing.
To descend off the upper tier, walk left down the western rock slabs circling back around to the cliffs. The trail is pretty much non existent through the manzanita so most people rappel down the main slabs. Double bolts with chains and rappel rings are easily found on top of most routes. Access is free and the approach is a fairly easy 10-15 minutes walk straight in from parking lot following a small trail to slabs which can be hiked up to the right to the top and then left to base of lower tier. The best path is not obvious but basically you head for the left side of the lower tier. Either way, you can't get lost as the cliffs are always in plain sight.
The lower tier offers numerous introduction routes in the 5.9 to 5.10 range which are excellent leads. All routes can be top-roped also by scrambling up the left side. Some of the routes do have some run-out sections which may or may not have trad placement possibilities. There is also a large section of rock to the right of the lower tier that has some moderate climbs. I haven't seen much information on this section but looks fun to explore. Recommended routes are Indian Springs (5.9), Sundaze (5.9+), Zephyr (5.10c/d), Fire Stone (5.9), Rocco's Corner (5.9+), and Joey's.
Indian Springs does have a two page spread in Mike Carville's Falcon Guide called Rock Climbing Lake Tahoe. The guide has a sketch of the 3-tiers with route names, ratings, and locations identified.
Indian Springs is conveniently located one mile west of Cisco Grove on the north side of Interstate 80, about 45 miles east of Auburn and 12 miles west of Donner Pass Summit.
Exit at the Eagle Lakes Rd exit and turn north and west following the Eagle Lakes frontage road for about 1/2 mile.
An obvious pullout parking area is found on the right side with a clear view of the cliffs up and on the right about 500 yards away.
Weather station 3.5 miles from here
34 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',2]
Classic Climbing Routes in Indian Springs
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Indian Springs
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Indian Springs:
Featured Route For Indian Springs
Zephyr 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b California
: Lake Tahoe
: ... : Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier
Zephyr is found towards the right side of Lower Tier. Basically it's the second route from the right side or fourth route to the right of Super Thin, the thin crack climb. Look for a first bolt with the second bolt higher up and to the left. The upper 4 bolts are pretty much in a straight line going up the steep upper face. Easier climbing gets you to the third bolt and it's here where the fun starts! Very thin, continuous face climbing for 20' past the remaining 3 bolts gets you to the top...[more] Browse More Classics in California
BETA PHOTO: Shot of Indian Springs shown from the parking lot....
From: Los Alamos, NM
Oct 19, 2011
Depending on what you wish to lead, bringing a light rack of singles to #1 plus a set of small cams like C3s will cover any pro you wish to supplement between bolts on most routes here.
From: Sparks, NV
Jul 12, 2015
Bit of clarification on the "getting there" info: it's one mile *west* of the Cisco Grove exit, not east.