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Rock Climbing

The Reno Tahoe area has some of the best, and most unique, rock climbing in the country. World-class areas like Lover’s Leap are within 15 miles of South Lake Tahoe; Donner Summit and Big Chief are located less than an hour from Reno. Come see why the area is a destination for climbers from around the world.

Rock Climbing Reno

BaseCamp at Whitney Peak

World-class climbing brought to the heart of downtown Reno, BaseCamp is home to the tallest wall on the planet (coming in at 164′).

Go inside and check out the more than 7,000 square foot bouldering park (with over 3,200 square feet of climbable space), complete with a separate, fun, and safe kids’ area.

BaseCamp is built to accommodate everyone in the family, from first-timers to the most experienced climbers.

Rock Climbing Lake Tahoe

Big Chief

Big Chief has a limited number of short and well bolted sport climbs. The cliffs are not easy to find: From Reno drive west on I80 to Truckee; in Truckee make a sharp right on road SR267, drive 2.0 mile and turn right on Palisades, drive 0.8 miles and turn right on Silverfir, drive 0.4 miles and turn left on Thelin, just after the turn on Thelin (less than 0.1 mile) turn right on forest service road #6 through gate, drive 5.0 miles staying on the main dirt road, turn right on an unobvious and unmarked forest road at N 39o 15′ 0.5” – W 120o 11′ 24.5” and park. Walk 0.7 miles along a small trail near an old logging road to the unremarkable old parking area. From the old parking area take a relatively good climbers trail uphill (heading west) to a break in the cliffs at N 39o 14′ 44.3” – W 120o 12′ 1.1”. From break in the cliffs walk down to the bottom of the cliffs, the West Face of the North wall is to your left.

Donner Summit

Donner Summit offers traditional and sport climbing on excellent granite in the scenic Sierra. The climbs are on a set of disparate short walls around old highway 40. The climbing is varied: slabs, cracks, faces and even radical overhangs. The number of sport climbs is limited and you will usually only find one or two sport climbs at your level in a given area. The quality and spacing of the bolts varies. The altitude is around 7,000 feet.

From Reno to Truckee (I-80 West), take old highway 40 westbound to Donner Summit. The climbs are along the highway, before the summit, before the Alpine Skills Institute building.

  • Peanut Gallery Pull Out: The popular Peanut Gallery (short bolted slabs) is just north of the pullout. Park here for Space Wall.
  • Snowshed Wall Parking: A popular larger area with many climbs.
  • Space Wall: Space Wall is not very easy to find and the climber’s trail vanishes at times. Park at the Peanut Gallery (see above), head west for about 50 meters (165 ft) at first its a hard scramble, then head up direction NNW to Space Wall, the last 50 meters is a scramble down to the base of the wall.
  • ASI Parking: The ASI (Alpine Skills Institute) parking is used to access the short Goldilocks Wall. The bolted wall is to the SW and below the ASI building, down climb some easy slabs to the base.

Eagle Creek Canyon

Small granite crags along the south-west shore of lake Tahoe. Take highway 89 and park at Emerald Bay at the Eagle Lake Parking area.

  • Mayhem Cove: To reach these overhanging sport routes go behind the parking bathroom and take a good trail heading in the direction of the wall (do not take Eagle Lake trail at all). Make a hard to find left and scramble up a steep and loose faint trail that leads directly to the left side of the wall.
  • Ninety Foot Wall: (far right of wall) A popular top rope and beginner area. It is reached by following Eagle Lake trail that starts in the back of the parking. As you get very near the wall, leave the trail before a small bridge and walk along the right side of the creek to the wall (no real trail).

Lovers Leap

Lovers Leap offers mainly easy to moderate traditional routes and some bolted lines on granite. The routes are up to three pitches. Easy and moderate routes abound. The cliffs are easy to find.

From the city of Reno, drive through South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50 toward Placerville. Turn right in the small community of Strawberry at Strawberry Lodge. Drive to the nearby campground located near the cliffs and park. Walk toward the cliffs on an obvious path.

Life is Unfiltered in

Some scroll through the day. Others seize it. Go do something crazy. And tag it #RenoTahoe so we can see it.