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Wrights Lake

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Wrights Lake Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,900'
Location: 38.8493, -120.2259 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 10,148
Administrators: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aron Quiter on Oct 4, 2004
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BETA PHOTO: Wrights Lake overview. The Main Wall is on the lef...


Wrights Lake has been in the making for several decades. Currently, the 25 or so established routes are mostly intermediate to difficult (5.10 and harder), though the potential for many many more routes of all ranges exists. Bouldering is also plentiful in the campground, and throughout the park. This secluded area sits north of Highway 50 just a little past Kyburz, which is a few miles west of Lover's Leap.

Clean granite is the only rock you'll find, and looks and climbs a lot like Echo Pass though in a more Half Dome granite slabby location. Speaking of clean - this is the cleanest area I've ever been to for a base camp. Let's keep it that way! Pack out what you bring in, and don't cause undue distress to the surrounding wilderness.

You can camp for $16 a night in the campground down by the lake, or for those on a budget, you can camp either at Lover's Leap (with a bathroom) or at Phantom Spires (without) for free.

Traditional and run out sport routes are currently in the 80+ foot range in height, and without rappelling into some sections, toproping is logistically quite difficult. A convenient walk-off descends the gully to the left of the main rock formation, and most bouldering rocks have simple walk-offs.

Getting There 

From the west:

Take Highway 50 to Kyburz, which is 31 miles east of Placerville. From Kyburz, continue East 4.9 miles to the marked Wrights Lake Road, which is a left turn.

Continue using the directions below.

From the east:

Head approximately 20 miles West on Highway 50, 4.1 miles past the small town of Strawberry (and Lover's Leap), to Wrights Lake Road, which is a right turn, though the sign is either missing or hard to see heading West. Continue using the directions below.

Once on Wrights Lake Road:

This will wander up a around for a while, getting narrower as it climbs. 8 long miles later (about 25 - 35 minutes, depending on who you get stuck behind, and what they're towing), you will be in Wrights Lake Park.

Driving from the visitors center, take the right at the sign for Twin and Grouse Lakes Trail, which will head you down a road for about a mile to a circular parking lot, which is at the end of the road. Park in this lot, and take off down the trail at the back left of the lot (the only trail). It has a gate, and is pretty close to the bathroom.

Hiking approach time: 20 - 35 minutes.

Continue down this trail about 100 yards to the point where the Twin and Grouse Lakes trail splits from the main path just before the small walking bridge.

Head through the woods on the Twin and Grouse Lakes trail about 1/2 a mile to the split, where you should go right. As you head gently uphill, a 30' rock band is visible about 300 yards away to your left. Drop the trail and head for the right side of this rock band about 100 yards after the split once the trail hits a grey slab. Once over the bulge that the rock band resides in, look for a gravel climbers trail that heads along in the direction you've traveled from the main trail.

This route will wander through the woods and into some slabs, where cairns will guide you in the right direction. Eventually the woods will fall away, and the trail continues along slab for the last 1/3 of a mile. Avoid the temptation of moving directly at the large cliff face and stay on the slab about 300 yards away parallel to the band, which is approaching on your right. Go just past perpendicular to the main wall, which is on the far left side of this cliff band, as it turns a corner. Walk around to the left of the shelf that makes up the climbing base for most of the established climbing at Wright's Lake, and up onto the shelf when the shelf level is only about 6 feet high.

Climbing Season

For the Highway 50 Corridor area.

Weather station 11.1 miles from here

11 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Wrights Lake

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Wrights Lake:
The Prow   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 130'   Main Wall
Velvet Gloves   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Black Beauty Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Wrights Lake

Featured Route For Wrights Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: The Prow from twopictures sliced together.  The bo...

The Prow 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a California : Lake Tahoe : ... : Main Wall
The left-most climb on the main face of the wall, The Prow is pretty steep for a .10a trad route, but most of the holds are pretty bomber. Start on a slab with two bolts before attaining the ledge that the main face towers over. It is wise to use long slings on these two bolts - or to unclip the first bolt once past the difficult move - because you'll feel the rope drag up top.After the ledge, there's a .4" or .5" cam placement to protect moves on diagnol ramps/cracks below the first bolt. At...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Wrights Lake Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Around the corner to the looker's left of the main...
Around the corner to the looker's left of the main...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Arechiga on, Ultraviolet. 5.11b.
Mike Arechiga on, Ultraviolet. 5.11b.
Rock Climbing Photo: Abel Jones wondering what to climb next.
Abel Jones wondering what to climb next.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wright's Lake's cliff band just as it comes into v...
BETA PHOTO: Wright's Lake's cliff band just as it comes into v...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Main Wall of Wrights Lake from a ways back.
BETA PHOTO: The Main Wall of Wrights Lake from a ways back.

Comments on Wrights Lake Add Comment
Show which comments
By weschrist
Aug 1, 2011
On the next wall to the right there is a sport climb on a yellow/white face with some awesome roof moves, probably 5.12? Some once fragile flakes up high. Anyone have information on this route?
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Aug 1, 2011
The supertopo calls that one Acrobat, .12a.
By Brandon R
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 13, 2015
If you plan on doing any of the crack routes here, you might want to rap in first and do some cleaning/gardening.

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