Overview - Getting ThereTucked in the Northern foothills of the San Bernardino mountains, Gnome Dome is one of many rock formations scattered over the countryside in this quiet, (if hunters aren't around)obscure chaparral strewn land.
Although the rock quality in this spread-out area ranges from horrible to wonderful, Gnome Dome has some of the more interesting routes, on solid, beautiful desert granite.
The crux may be getting out to this location. 4x4 is recommended, but a 1977 Pinto made it out there too!
Hesperia CA- Exit Main st. from US 15, Go East. Make slight Left on Rock Springs Road. After a mile or so the Rock Springs Road turns into Roundup Way, so don't worry, you're still good. Make a Right on Bowen Ranch Road. Continue South and go Left on Coxey Truck Trail. Continue up the rough dirt road and soon you will pass Oak Springs Ranch. Continue past 2 metal gates and stop 1.6 miles at some motorcycle trail and pullouts. There should be some rock outcroppings to your east, but you want head west, along a faint trail to the canyon edge.
Approach to Gnome DomeFrom the road head west cross country for no more than 25 minutes over terrain thats easy to negotiate.
Gnome Dome will be the largest of the outcroppings, and very distinct looking. It resembles a large piece of cheese, with a perfect quarter slice taken out of it.
There are motorcycle trails, and even a faint jeep trail that lead you to the canyon edge where other rock outcroppings are. Follow down and look out for Gnome Dome. Try to approach from the West side, as this gives access to all the climbs and the summit.
Red Tape-CampingRoads may not be open in winter or spring depending on snowfall (if any here). Contact the San Bernadino Forest Service for road closures and information. Unfortunately, there information is usually old and unreliable. Local information is the roads stay open typically from April-October, at the least.
Camping is available at Horse Springs Campground. Toilets available, but no water. Bring in what you need. Camping is $15 dollars a night.
Horse Springs Campground
Hunting season is on until November. Make sure they know you're out there! A smile and a wave will do it. It doesn't hurt to wear orange out here...
Climbing on Gnome DomeThere are several routes on Gnome Dome, mostly moderate and hard, ranging from 5.8 to 12's and beyond. A 13a project is also awaiting a First Ascent.
Vector Analysis 11a- 7 bolts on a wildly exposed arete on beautiful rock. 2 bolt anchor Gnome Dome's Best!
Getting Small 10b Gear to 4', a thinning crack to face climbing
Another strange quality about Gnome Dome is the fact that several routes are inside the Dome. Yes, inside. From the summit, you will find a long, dark hole with 5 routes inside of them, coming out of the hole. Set up a toprope anchor on the rap bolts. Rappel bolts are found on the far right side. It is very awkward to rap into the hole, be cautious. Be aware that once inside the hole, to think twice before pulling your line. Toprope the first climb, guaranteeing your exit.
At the base of the bolts is a 6 bolt lieback flake, rated 5.9+
To the left of the lieback flake are several other routes, but climbing them is not recommended due to no anchors above.
Website for San Bernardino Forest Service