Looking to hone your climbing body for redpointing that elusive 5.13 sport route?
Or do you like the gear-free freedom of just you, your spotter and your crash pad? Either way, great bouldering at Smith awaits.
Long before the explosion of sport climbing in the ’80s, bouldering was big here. From perfect stone to flaky tuff, you’ll find that the harder problems on the best stuff.
You can even jump on some around The Bivy while you’re waiting for the morning water to boil for coffee.
Follow the links to a sampling by area.
(All picks are rated 3 star in Alan Watts’ Guidebook, with * noting a 4 star)
Picnic Lunch Boulders: Fun stuff abounds in this super short approach just up and to the right after crossing the bridge.
Morning Glory Wall Area Boulders: Follow the River Trail to the left for about .25 miles and look up the hill to check out this great bouldering line.
Dihedrals and Christian Brothers: Check out these fine bouldering lines–just follow the River Trail left for just over .25 miles after crossing the bridge and past Morning Glory Wall.
West Side Problems: In spite of the dozens of boulders on the west side from Cod Rock to Monkey Face only a few really make the grade for bouldering. Three ways will get you there-check out the options.
Red Wall Boulders: Many choice boulders lie across the hillside just below the Red Wall. To get there go right after crossing the bridge and follow the River Trail 200 yards past the Lizard Boulder.
Old Climbers’ Camp Boulders: While not much evidence of the old camp remains, some choice lines are still to be found Just upstream from The Monument. Go to the northernmost bend of the river on a path that veers right just after the trail crosses a scree slope below Juniper Spire.
The Marsupials Area: More than a hundred boulders are scattered across the BLM land east of the park. We’ve listed some of the best. Take the Wolf Tree Trail to where it meets the Burma Road Trail and goes to the right, skirting the uphill bank of the canal.
Northern Point Area: With a mix of square-cut edges, insecure slopers and perfect stone, this basalt rimrock cliff offers a break from the tuff found elsewhere at Smith Rock. Basically there are 3 areas, with different approaches. We’ve listed some of the best of each area.
The Upper Gorge Area offers some of the finest basalt bouldering in the park. This unique heavily pocketed rimrock ranges from 15 to 30 feet high with a cushy sandy landing. Take a right after crossing the bridge on the 1 mile Wolf Tree Trail as it skirts the river and continue straight at the Burma Road Trail junction along the canal for .5 miles. Go just below the upstream entrance of the Upper Gorge.
Bivy Bouldering Area: Camping or not at The Bivy, this is one of the most accessible and popular bouldering areas at Smith. Featuring the two overhanging cliff bands and small groups of fine boulders, each of the main areas has its own approach.