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River Rock

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Africa Flake T 
Drunken Sporto's S 
Head Case S 
Improbable T 
Just to Watch Him Die T 
Karl's Variation T 
Karls Crack T 
Mr. Bigglesworth T 
On Safari T 
School Stinks T,TR 
Spring Break T 
Summer Session T,TR 
Total Recall S 
UNR Crack T 

River Rock Rock Climbing 

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Location: 39.4556, -120.0064 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 14,911
Administrators: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Rick D on Dec 5, 2008
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
View of bridge from the trail, January 2015


Granite crack climbing. Really good place to learn how to lead trad. Easy to top rope a lot of the climbs to. In the colder months, can get really crowded. West facing, so in the sun most of the afternoon.

This is privately owned land. It is located in Sierra County and is owned by Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA), the local water provider for the Reno Area. At one time, you were able to drive all the way to the bridge. In the early nineties, both the gates for the bridge and at the current parking place were locked. Somewhere between now and then, the gate to the bridge has been unlocked.

This wall in the River Rock area is sometimes referred to as "Lower River Rock."

Getting There 

Right between Reno and Truckee.
From the intersection of Rob Drive and I-80 Merge onto I-80 and head west 12.7 miles.

Take exit 201 to merge onto Farad Rd 0.2 mi

Turn left to merge onto I-80 E 2.8 mi

There will be a dirt pull out on your right, park here.

On the south end of the pull out there will be a gate to a dirt road. Walk on the dirt road for 10 feet and there will be a walking trail on your left, follow this. You will walk down the hill, past the train tracks, and will see a walking bridge. Go across the bridge and stay on the walking trail to your left. Come to another little bridge, cross, and the rock will be on your right.

Climbing Season

Weather station 7.0 miles from here

14 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in River Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for River Rock:
UNR Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 45'   
Spring Break   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   
Summer Session   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
Karls Crack   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Africa Flake   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch   
Improbable   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   
Mr. Bigglesworth   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Total Recall   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 45'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in River Rock

Featured Route For River Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Seth on Karl's Crack. Nobody seems to posts pics u...

Karls Crack 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  California : Lake Tahoe : ... : River Rock
When you come to the base you will see a really thin crack. This is the start. You can also do the start of African Flake (to the right, ledge system), but this really takes away from the experience. Make hard moves up to the horizontal crack. Continue up. You will come to a good rest ledge with a bulge above you. Crux time....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

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Rock Climbing Photo: River Rock
River Rock

Comments on River Rock Add Comment
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By Tahoe Matt
From: Truckee
Apr 5, 2014
Looking for info on the stuff that is up river about 1/4 mile. Found some anchors climbed some stuff and would like to put some more up. Just don't want to step on any toes out there. Curious what info is out there.
By John Jackson
Apr 6, 2014
There are eleven routes detailed in the guidebook for the Upstream Crag and sixteen at the downstream crag by the suspension bridge (Locals Guide to: Rock Climbs Of North Tahoe)
You can get a copy at the website, or anywhere guidebooks are sold. As far as I know everything there has been done ground up in traditional style {no protection bolts as of a couple of years ago).
By Ian Machen
From: Reno, NV
May 16, 2017
New anchors up on On Safari, Karls Crack, Spring Break, and UNR Crack as of 5/10/2017. Someone put a lot of effort into making a new trail, marking it, building stairs up to the upper area. Thanks, who ever you are!
By Walt Barker
From: Reno NV
May 21, 2017
Yeah, seriously, thanks to whoever put up new hardware, Glue-ins even! Stairs and trail work are awesome too.
By m maup
Jun 28, 2017
Hey! Did anyone find a pair of Katanas and a chalk bag with a retro pin up girl on it on the trail in the last week? I was there I think June 21 and have a feeling that my shoes unclipped and fell off my pack... Let me know if you find anything :)


PS this area is great!

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