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Lower Merced River Canyon

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1 - Parkline Slab 
2 - Narr ow Escape Cliff 
3 - U.S.G.S. Wall 
4 - Arch Rock 
5 - Shor t Circuit Boulder 
6 - Fing er Lickin' Area 
7 - Road side Attraction 
8 - Kat Pinnacle 
9 - Sunshine Cliff 
10 - The Cookie Cliff 
11 - The Cookie Sheet 
11.5 - The Sugar Cookie 
12 - Wildcat Falls & Above the Cookie 
13 - Knobby Wall 
14 - Cascade Area 
15 - Knob Hill 
16 - The Owl 
17 - This and That Cliff 
18 - Generator Station 
19 - New Diversions 
20 - Goldrush 
21 - Reed's Pinnacle Area 
22 - Five and Dime Cliff 
23 - The Mojo Tooth Area 
24 - Highway Star 
25 - Last Resort Cliff 
26 - Pulpit Rock 
27 - Wawona Tunnel 
28 - Wawona Tunnel West 
29 - Cream 
30 - The Rostrum 
31 - The Jungle Gym 
32 - Elephant Rock 
33 - Hand Out Cliff 
Road Closure Crag 

Lower Merced River Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Location: 37.69379, -119.72668 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 238,047
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Justin Johnsen on May 12, 2015
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A view down the Lower Merced Canyon from the summi...

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Downstream from the Yosemite Valley, but still inside the park boundaries, there are numerous rocks that are mostly less famous, and therefore somewhat less crowded, than the legendary areas to the east.

I followed Don Reid's Yosemite guide sections to put this page together.

Bryan G shared these excellent notes on how the crags fit together.

"And here is rough approximation of what the left/right sorting would be. First, the north side starting at El Portal running east:

Parkline Slab
Narrow Escape Cliff
U.S.G.S. Wall
Arch Rock
Short Circuit Boulder
Finger Lickin' Area
Roadside Attraction
Kat Pinnacle
Sunshine Cliff
Cookie Cliff, The
Cookie Sheet, The
Wildcat Falls & Above the Cookie
Knobby Wall
Cascade Area
Knob Hill
Owl, The
This and That Cliff
Generator Station
New Diversions
Reed's Pinnacle Area
Five and Dime Cliff
Mojo Tooth Area, The
Highway Star
Last Resort Cliff

Then the south side as you move down canyon:

Pulpit Rock
Wawona Tunnel
Wawona Tunnel West
Rostrum, The
Jungle Gym, The
Elephant Rock
Hand Out Cliff

It's not a perfect geographical representation because I tried to clump some areas together which have a similar approach. This and That, Generator Station, and New Diversions are all approached from the 140 so I think it's better to list them in a sequence, even though Goldrush is technically between them. Hope this helps."

Getting There 

On both sides of the Merced River, between Mariposa and the Valley. Many of these areas are reached from State Route 140, which parallels the river, but some areas are easier to reach from other roads.

Guide Books 

Many guide books that focus on the Valley itself also include climbs here.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.7 miles from here

335 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',47],['3 Stars',143],['2 Stars',101],['1 Star',38],['Bomb',5]

Classic Climbing Routes in Lower Merced River Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lower Merced River Canyon:
New Diversions   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 115'   19 - New Diversions
Reed's Pinnacle-Direct Route   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 3 pitches   21 - Reed's Pinnacle Area
Stone Groove   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   21 - Reed's Pinnacle Area
Gripper   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 270'    4 - Arch Rock
Midterm   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'    4 - Arch Rock
Wheat Thin   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   10 - The Cookie Cliff
Generator Crack   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 60'   18 - Generator Station
Outer Limits   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 190'   10 - The Cookie Cliff
Lunatic Fringe   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   21 - Reed's Pinnacle Area
Waverly Wafer   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 85'   10 - The Cookie Cliff
Five and Dime   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   22 - Five and Dime Cliff
Catchy   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   10 - The Cookie Cliff
New Dimensions   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'    4 - Arch Rock
Catchy Corner   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   10 - The Cookie Cliff
Crack-a-Go-Go   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 105'   10 - The Cookie Cliff
Butterballs   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   10 - The Cookie Cliff
The North Face   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 8 pitches, 700'   30 - The Rostrum
Red Zinger   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   10 - The Cookie Cliff
Separate Reality   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   12 - Wildcat Falls & Above ...
Cookie Monster   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport   10 - The Cookie Cliff
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lower Merced River Canyon

Featured Route For Lower Merced River Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Short, but good and splitter. And hard

Pinky Paralysis 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  California : Yosemite National Park : ... : 6 - Finger Lickin' Area
Formerly known as A Great Day In Baseball, this stellar crack is normally done in two short pitches or one long pitch if you have it dialed.Pitch one climbs a broken crack up to a roof. Good moves take you out left. Jam your way to the chains.Pitch two climbs a sustained thin finger crack with slightly painful locks and small edges for your feet. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Comments on Lower Merced River Canyon Add Comment
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By Justin Johnsen
From: Nor Cal
May 12, 2015
When areas on Mountain Project start overflowing off the page, I look for ways to group them that are less overwhelming, for both first time and many time visitors.

The Reid guide to the Yosemite grouped crags in Lower Merced, and then some other groupings within the Valley itself. I found it easier to follow this way.

If our Yosemite climbers' consensus is that it the areas I moved here today work better in the main Yosemite Valley section, I'm glad to move them back.

Thoughts? Opinions?

By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
May 13, 2015
I think it makes sense to break it up into smaller sections. There were something like 80 areas listed under the main Valley page, which seems too cluttered. It would actually be nice for MP to have left to right sorting for areas in addition to routes. It could be an optional feature because for some places (like Joshua Tree) it wouldn't make sense. But in a lot of climbing venues (like Yosemite or Ten Sleep) the various crags are pretty much lined up along the rim of a canyon, so left/right sorting would make it a lot easier to find something when you're looking at a long list of "areas".

Some other areas located in the Lower Merced Canyon which should be moved here:
29 - Cream
32 - Elephant Rock
33 - Hand Out Cliff
13 - Knobby Wall
2 - Narrow Escape Cliff
26 - Pulpit Rock
7 - Roadside Attraction
9 - Sunshine Cliff
3 - U.S.G.S. Wall
27 - Wawona Tunnel
28 - Wawona Tunnel West
By Justin Johnsen
From: Nor Cal
May 13, 2015
Thanks for the list, Bryan, that made it easy for me to move the ones I was waffling on outside of the book.

I'll add a number and a dash in front of the Lower Merced areas so that they sort left to right alphabetically. This, or letter prefixes, is a workaround several admins use for these linear places.
By Adam Stackhouse
May 15, 2015
""It would actually be a nice for MP to have left to right sorting for areas in addition to routes. It could be an optional feature""

I agree
By C Miller
From: CA
Jun 9, 2015
Great job on the re-organization!

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