Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

Turn the Adventure Up and Climb a Rock

The Caverns1 copy

Trinity County has some of the finest limestone climbing crags in the state. Often the people you meet while climbing in Trinity County will have traveled quite a distance to experience our high quality climbs. Most of the climbs in Trinity County are bolted sport routes due to the fact that the limestone in the area does not offer as many placements for traditional climbing protection and many of the climbs are on faces and arêtes. What this means is that with your harness, shoes, and a rack of a dozen or so quickdraws, you can get on the majority of the climbs we have here.

When climbing in Trinity County, whether climbing at a easy-to-approach roadside crag or at one of the harder to find hike-in areas, you will be surrounded by beautiful views of the mountains and rivers. Please remember to follow the local climbing ethics and leave the area pristine.  This information was provided by our own rock climber extraordinaire, Chris Kennedy.

Area climbing books

Bigfoot Country Climbing; Paul Humphrey and Eric Chemello, This book is found at Adventures Edge in Arcata and and Eureka.

California Road Trip, A Climbers Guide, Northern California; Tom Slater and Chris Summit

Online information Northern California climbing areas

Mountain Project: Redwood Coast, including Trinity Arêtes (Visions Wall)

Burnt Ranch

Trinity Aretes2 copy

Trinity Aretes is probably the most well known and popular of all our areas.   You may have it all to yourself, unless you are there on a beautiful summer weekend. The approach is an easy five minute walk but many of the climbs require moving up and down hand lines on steep terrain. It is also suggested that you wear a helmet and watch for rockfall while climbing here. There is a handful of fun climbs in the 5.8 and 5.9 range but the Aretes really start to get fun for climbers looking for long pumpy climbs in the 5.10 to 5.14 range. N 40°46’17.2” W123°30’12.6”

Castle Rock is just another ten minute drive past Trinity Aretes and the approach is not difficult but does take a little longer.  The majority of routes at Castle Rock fall in the 5.10 through 5.12 range. Be aware that falcons nest here so do not climb where you would disturb the falcons in the spring and summer. This can be an excellent area during the winter as it has full sun exposure.

So So Grotto-it’s hard to imagine how epic a place can be until you have been there. As you approach it,  you won’t realize it is there until you walk up to the edge of the cliff and look down into the grotto. The rock here is granite and has a mixture of hard sport routes and hard traditional climbs up cracks that require gear. The road is often gated so requires a twenty minute hike in. If using the Bigfoot guide to find it change the directions from parking at 5N30 to 5N10. There is no 5N30 so you will get lost looking for it. N40°47’44.1” W123°31’25.2”

The Roost is completely undeveloped, but if you are the type of person who wants to go out and establish the next great bouldering area or put up a few new climbs on a promising cliff, here are the directions and coordinates.  From Burnt Ranch take the Underwood Mountain Rd. to the Big Lake turn. There is very little evidence that there are boulders and cliffs from the road, so find a place to park and start heading up hill when you find parking close to the GPS Coordinates. In about five minutes you will find yourself walking past a city of moss covered boulders in all shapes and sizes. Continue uphill to arrive at the cliffs. The rock type is granite.  Approach N40°45’34.4” W123°28’03.2”
Cliffs N40°45’26.8” W123°28’12.2”

Just off HWY 299 near Trinity River
There are several bouldering areas along the rivers edge along Hwy 299, Many of them can be seen from the highway. There is one that is a notable chunk of chert just West of Skunk Point and East of the town of Big Bar.  Its on the river side of the road hidden in the oaks.

Junction City


Cortizone Corner is located at the 25 MPH curve between Pigeon Point and the town of Junction City. There are only a few climbs here but the easy approach and the proximity to Weaverville makes it an easy place to get a little afternoon climbing in. N40°45’38.9” W123°05’49.6”

The Caverns can be reached from either Junction City, Big Bar or Hayfork. There is a nice campsite on Big Creek where you park before hiking to the crag. It is about a twenty minute hike up the ridge to get to the climbing and the views are worth the hike even for non-climbers. The climbing is hard sport perfect for people who can climb in the 5.11’s and beyond. The backside does have some potential for easier top-roped slab climbs for those who have knowledge in making their own anchors.
N40°40’20.6” W123°08’42.5”

Forest Glen

Marble Caves is another haven for strong sport climbers. The area has a few climbs in the 5.10 range but a multitude of 5.11s and 12s for those who are looking for it.  Coordinates are for the Bowling Ball N40°23’59.3” W123°20’02.1”