Rock Climbing

The Lake Tahoe Basin offers a variety of rock climbing experiences that range from mild to moderate to extreme. You can climb the multi-pitch classics on clean granite and you can test your strength and endurance working out on sport routes. There is lots of great rock climbing opportunities just minutes from South Lake Tahoe. Experienced climbers may want to visit one of several local sport shops to get detailed information about climbing routes. Beginners will be able to more quickly build their skills and confidence by following the lead of an experienced climbing guide on their first few outings.

Eagle Creek Canyon

This canyon lies above Emerald Bay, providing some of the prettiest climbing vistas in the area. Eagle Creek Canyon offers an abundance of beginner, intermediate and advanced sport climbing options.

Several crags are within a ten-minute walk of the parking area, making this a popular choice for climbers, hikers and sightseers. Mayhem Cove and Ninety Foot Wall are recommended and are located west of the parking lot.

Recommended Routes & Yosemite Decimal System Rating:
Ninety-Foot Wall:
Holdless Horror 5.6
Shuman the Human 5.7
Rentier 5.7
Lightning Bolt 5.10b

Mayhem Cove:
Huntin' Gator 5.12b
Drinkin' White Lightning 5.12d
Cajun in Hell 5.13b

Directions:
From South Lake Tahoe, drive north on Emerald Bay Road (SR 89) towards Emerald Bay. The parking area and the trailhead to Desolation Wilderness are located on the west side of the highway by Eagle Creek. Hike west on a trail paralleling the creek to reach the climbing areas in the canyon.

Lover's Leap

You can easily see the sheer and awe-inspiring cliffs of what locals call "The Leap" while driving east on U.S. HWY 50 from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe.

Lover's Leap is a very popular place to climb because it offers easy access, great classic climbing and short approaches. Expect summer weekends to be busy and be prepared to find waiting lines for some of the most well-known climbs. Since there is over a half mile of rock, you'll surely be able to find a quiet place to set up a belay.

Recommended Routes & Yosemite Decimal System Rating:
Bear's Reach 5.7
The Line 5.9
Traveler's Buttress 5.9
Hospital Corner 5.10a
The Leap is located just off U.S. HWY 50 behind the community of Strawberry, approximately 18 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe.

Directions:
From South Lake Tahoe, drive west on U.S. HWY 50 over Echo Summit towards Sacramento. Just before the Strawberry Lodge, turn left and follow the road back into the parking area. Follow the trail that begins at the northeast end of the campground, passing several large boulders leading to an old road. At this point, several short trails will lead you to different areas of the cliff. A trail also contours the base of the wall.

Pie Shop

The Pie Shop is a very popular cragging area close by South Lake Tahoe. Unlike many other climbing areas in the basin, Pie Shop is sunny and frequently climbable year-round.

The Pie Shop approach is easy and the quality of the climbing is good. There are a variety of both face and crack climbs. Pie Shop even boasts some of the best bouldering in Tahoe and the bouldering areas can be seen on the approach to the base of the cliffs.

Recommended Routes & Yosemite Decimal System Rating:
Crepes Corner 5.7
Clean Corner 5.8
Hands Masseuse 5.8

Directions:
From South Lake Tahoe, take U.S. HW 50 towards Sacramento. Just past the airport, turn right onto Sawmill Road and follow it for a quarter mile. Park on the left-hand side of the road. Take the trail directly across from the dirt parking area and hike upward past a group of large boulders. Spiral up the hill until you reach "Lunch Rock." This large, flat rock is perfect for sunning yourself between climbs. From this point, trails run along the base of the rock to other routes.
Information provided by Lake Tahoe Sports Ltd. located at the Raleys shopping center at Stateline.