OverviewAlthough technically not a mountain Beacon Rock is a rock climber’s paradise with over 400 vertical feet of technical climbing on the southside. Overlooking the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Beacon Rock stands 848 feet above the mighty and majestic Columbia River. Beacon Rock is the second largest monolith in the Northern Hemisphere, Gibraltar being the first. Starting out as the core of an ancient volcano, Beacon Rock was initially whittled down by the Missoula Floods, which took the softer soil and rocks downstream.
Beacon Rock was a landmark used by river travelers for hundreds of years. The Indians knew it marked the last of the rapids on the Columbia River and the beginning of tidal influence from the Pacific Ocean, from 150 miles away. Lewis and Clark were the first white men to see the rock. They camped at its base in November of 1805, noting the rock in their journal and giving it its present name. In 1811, Alexander Ross, of the John Jacob Astor expedition, called the rock 'Inshoack Castle,' and it was known as 'Castle Rock' until the United States Board of Geographic Names officially restored the title of 'Beacon Rock,' in 1961.
Beacon Rock has enchanted generations of climbers ever since the first ascent of the SE Face in April 1954 by John Ohrenschall and Gene Todd. This is bold climbing and not for those unfamiliar with multipitch climbing and retreating.
Getting ThereBeacon Rock is located on Washington’s Hwy 14 approx 30 miles east from Vancouver Washington, or 14 miles west of The Bridge of the Gods in the beautiful Columbia RIver Gorge. To access the south wall follow a south bound trail on the east side of Beacon rock near a sign in/climbers info board.
Red TapeBeacon Rock is part of the Washington State Park system. To park in the state park lot a state park permit needs to be purchased. The presence of the falcon nest requires that the south face be closed to technical rock activity February 1 to July 15 annually. All climbers must sign in & out at the climbers register on the eastside of the restrooms. Climbing is limited to the South or river side of the rock. Please follow all rules at Beacon to help keep this area open to climbers there are many who would like to see this sport stopped at Beacon and are just looking for cause.
Phone: (509) 427-8265
Telephone Device for the Deaf, (360) 664-3133
State Park Info
When To ClimbThe presence of the falcon nest requires that the south face be closed to technical rock activity February 1 to July 15 annually.
CampingBeacon Rock State Park Camping
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