ApproachThere are two ways to approach the climbs in the Oak Creek Canyon / Solar Slab area:
FROM THE OAK CREEK CAYNON PARKING AREA
Start at the Oak Creek Canyon parking area located at the end of a spur road leading off the scenic loop road (mile XX.X). The approach is very straightforward. Just follow the obvious trail for about a mile from the parking area to the base of Solar Slab. As you hike up Oak Creek Canyon you will see many use trails branching to the right and leading to the base of the route. The best/easiest approach trail is probably the furthest up the up the Canyon.
FROM THE OLD OAK CREEK CAMPGROUND
This is a good choice for those climbers who want to get an early start (the scenic loop road doesn't open until 6am). This approach is a little longer, but it is very straightforward. Begin at Oak Creek Campground which is 1.4 miles south on Nevada 159 from the exit of the loop road. Or, you can start at any of the nearby pullouts. Hike on Oak Creek Road (dirt, no cars) or on one of the many nearby trails to the base of Solar Slab. Solar Slab is clearly seen from the road, so you can't get lost. Hike for about 1.5 miles, and cut uphill on one of the many braided trails when you get within a few hundred yards of the base.
Route DescriptionSolar Slab Gully is the fastest and easiest way to approach Solar Slab Ledge. The route is rated 5.3, but it could just as easily be called 5.6. It is very possible to do the route in three pitches, but the standard five pitches are described here.
Head up to the base of an obvious gully about 100' to the right of a right-facing corner system. Start near the right side of the gully.
Pitch 1 (5.1) Head up a wide, varnished crack to a ledge with an anchor. (150')
Pitch 2 (Class 4) Scramble up a bushy gully past a couple "boulder problems" and stop just below a dark, water-stained chimney. (130')
Pitch 3 (5.1) Climb a dark chimney/dihedral past a chockstone. Continue up the to you reach some trees.
Pitch 4 (Class 2) Move the belay about 50 ft over to the base of a waterfall (usually dry).
Pitch 5 (5.3) Chimney up the waterfall, then follow lower angled rock up to the belay. (100') You are now almost at the base of Solar Slab proper.
If you're not going to continue up Solar Slab, you can rappel the route with one rope.