REI Community
Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville)

Select Area...
Indian Rocks 
North Canyon (Frog Pond Trail) 
North West Face 
Parkinglot Wall 
South West Face 
Upper Canyon - North Side 
Upper Canyon - South Side 
Upper East Canyon 
West Face 
Windy Point 

Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville) Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 1,000'
Location: 48.90304, -119.42285 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 11,695
Administrators: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: applewood on May 27, 2013
Forecast:
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Mtn Sheep on Bowsaw Ridge

Description 

Located about 14 miles north of Tonasket, and 3 miles south of Oroville, Whistler Canyon Trailhead is the only public access to the west side of Mt Hull from highway 97. It is being managed cooperatively by Okanogan County, BLM, the Forest Service, The Backcountry Horseman, Pacific NW Trails Association and other local user groups.

One aspect of this area is that each cliff though relatively small is distinct and delightful in the quality of the hiking and climbing experiences. The rock cleans up to provide excellent climbing (on what is sometimes the best quality rock in Okanogan County), and there is plenty of shade at different times of the day. It is also possible to climb here every month of the year, weather permitting.

Access from Hwy 97 is directly across from Gavin Rd (turn East up the white gravel road). The trail map and climbers kiosk is at the edge of the parking circle. Climbers information is on the back side of the kiosk. The trail (#100) to the main canyons (Whistler and North Canyons) begins just east of the parking area and heads north before turning SSE up the hillside to the old road bed. To access the NW Face hike north along the orchard fence line, for the North Canyon (and Windy Point) climbing follow trail #100 up a quarter mile, and turn left and follow the trail north towards “Frog Pond”.

The main Whistler Canyon hiking/biking/horse trail (#100) is on up the main canyon to the East (ending after 11 miles near Summit Lake). There is an abundance of other wildlife to encounter here, including turkey, hawk, eagle, vulture, sheep, coyote, deer, bear and cougar. Watch out for rattle snakes from early-April to late-October, especially in loose rocky areas.

There are now over 80 (mostly bolted) routes established, on good to excellent rock (granodiorite and gneiss), ranging from 5.3 to 5.12+, 50 to 300' long. Lots of climbing variety exists in a relatively compact area. Generally the bolting ethic here expects gear to be used when possible and safe. Be prepared for loose and/or dirty rock in places; helmets are advised!. The grading (especially in the lower grades) tends to follow old school standards, rather than newer and softer trends.

  • Note to all climbers this is the most popular family friendly hiking area in the Okanogan Valley, please do your best to minimize your impact and presence; pack it in-pack it out, and leave no trace. Potential route developers, please respect local etiquette and make any bolts or top anchors camouflaged, use stainless steel hardware as much as possible and don't mix your metals. Any comments and input on existing or new routes is much appreciated.

  • Note - a key to route descriptions;
NAME; grade and quality (* - good, ** - very good, *** - great, **** - world class classic); (length); type of pro. used - G = natural/gear, F = fixed (b - bolt, p - piton, fn - fixed nut), M = mixed; TR = toprope, R = runout/dangerous, PG = scary/risky; Description;

There are several distinct areas developed;
NW Face -The area to the left of the main lower corner - easy to moderate trad, mixed and sport climbs.
SW Face - The lower and upper left and right sides of the main corner, easy to moderately hard bolted climbs, both short and long.
West Face- Includes the slabs above the lower trail, mostly easy bolted routes, as well as the lush Garden Ledge with the short, steep and hard bolted faces!
Windy Point - The best rock at Whistler Canyon! Mostly moderate to hard (trad, mixed and sport) climbs in a great setting.
North Canyon/Frog Pond Trail - 4 separate areas with diverse easy to hard mostly bolted climbs.
Upper Canyon - North Side - Remote, spread out area includes several crags with easy to hard bolted and trad climbs in a great location. Some remote crags are completely undeveloped. Banded Wall is especially fine.
Upper East Canyon - The last trailside crag before the gate to Forest Service land. Unique feeling place with some great slab (trad, mixed and sport) climbing.
Upper Canyon - South Side - A very remote and wild area located off trail south of trail #100. Lots of potential for challenging routes here, so far only a few at the far south end have been developed.

When to Climb
Despite what MP says about the best seasons to climb (see chart below) climbing at WCT is best when the snakes are hibernating - usually late October to early April. Depending on the weather conditions rock climbing may be possible any of these winter months, but is usually good by February. WCT is the first crag in Okanogan County to warm up in the spring. Summers can be very hot but early morning starts are doable.

Getting There 

Follow the signs on the highway to the parking area on the east side of Hyw 97, 3 miles south of Oroville/14 miles north of Tonasket (white graveled road and parking lot).

A 5 to 15 minute hike along the horse trail gets you in to the different crags (30 to 45 minutes for the upper crags). There is some climber info posted on the back side of the main sign-in kiosk.

Climbing Season

For the Okanogan area.

Weather station 1.1 miles from here

93 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',21],['2 Stars',44],['1 Star',26],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',18],['5.7',17],['5.8',13],['5.9',11],['5.10',19],['5.11',10],['5.12',5],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville):
Sheepish   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 95'   West Face : Garden Ledge Wall
First Thought Best Thought   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 90'   North Canyon (Frog Pond Tra... : North Canyon - Sleeping Tur...
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville)

Featured Route For Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville)
Rock Climbing Photo: The Middle Way topo

The Middle Way 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  Washington : Okanogan : ... : South End - Middle Tier
The Middle Way - 5.7 **** 55' GClimbs the face just left of center to the chain anchors on top, the first half past horizontal cracks, the second up the vertical crack. This is an excellent climb on excellent rock, with a committing crux at mid point....[more]   Browse More Classics in Washington

Photos of Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking north across Lake Osoyoos to BC from Bowsa...
Looking north across Lake Osoyoos to BC from Bowsa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Eli stepping out for the exciting start of "O...
Eli stepping out for the exciting start of "O...
Rock Climbing Photo: WCT overview
BETA PHOTO: WCT overview
Rock Climbing Photo: WCT topo
BETA PHOTO: WCT topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber's kiosk
Climber's kiosk
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper NW Face
BETA PHOTO: Upper NW Face
Rock Climbing Photo: WCT Crag in summer from the Okanogan River
WCT Crag in summer from the Okanogan River
Rock Climbing Photo: Springtime on the lower trail 100
Springtime on the lower trail 100
Rock Climbing Photo: Whistler Canyon Trailhead overview of crags
BETA PHOTO: Whistler Canyon Trailhead overview of crags
Rock Climbing Photo: View west across the lazy Okanogan towards the Pas...
View west across the lazy Okanogan towards the Pas...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on "Sheepish" (5.6 *** on West ...
Climbers on "Sheepish" (5.6 *** on West ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The joys of late winter climbing…dry rock, cool ...
The joys of late winter climbing…dry rock, cool ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Windy Point - end of winter climbing….
Windy Point - end of winter climbing….
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing areas of Okanogan County
BETA PHOTO: Climbing areas of Okanogan County
Rock Climbing Photo: View West (to the Pasaytens) from upper Whistler C...
View West (to the Pasaytens) from upper Whistler C...
Rock Climbing Photo: View North from upper Whistler Canyon (top of Band...
View North from upper Whistler Canyon (top of Band...
Rock Climbing Photo: View North across the Okanogan Valley from the low...
View North across the Okanogan Valley from the low...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rattler in early spring
Rattler in early spring
Rock Climbing Photo: Even in a really snowy year we see the first Butte...
Even in a really snowy year we see the first Butte...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower and upper cliffs from the parking lot.
Lower and upper cliffs from the parking lot.
Rock Climbing Photo: WCT - looking north from the top of Parkinglot Wal...
WCT - looking north from the top of Parkinglot Wal...
Rock Climbing Photo: View west from the top of Windy Point.
View west from the top of Windy Point.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bowsaw Ridge - South End
Bowsaw Ridge - South End
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the "trailhead" and parking lot ...
View of the "trailhead" and parking lot ...

Show All 28 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Whistler Canyon Trailhead (Oroville) Add Comment
Show which comments
By Nick Niebuhr
From: Telluride, CO
Aug 6, 2014
This is a great newly developed area!! Still some loose rocks on certain routes but James has put a lot of hard work into route development here. You could easily spend at least a day or two on great diverse routes
By Mountain Heather
Nov 10, 2014
This is a great little crag! We stopped here on the way to Skaha a month ago and did a couple of fun climbs on great rock. Looking forward to going back.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About