Bath Rock is named after a natural pothole on its summit that is shaped like a large bathtub, often full of water. One can imagine the pioneers taking baths in it. This feature is a tourist attraction even by City of Rocks standards in that folks can easily scramble to the top and descend via fixed rebar. The west face of Bath Rock is named Rollercoaster Wall
and is the focus of the climbing routes. This wall harbors nine select routes (listed below), the most popular of which is the trad pitch named Private Idaho (5.9).
To the right of Private Idaho is a spectacular bolted pitch named Colossus (5.10c)
and it no doubt is the second most popular route on Rollercoaster Wall. Obviously this west facing wall gets morning shade and afternoon sun. Bath Rock is located directly across from a large parking area serving several campsites at the City and has two bathrooms along with running water.
Select Routes: Left to Right as you face the Wall
Roller Coaster- 5.8/ Popular route although not in the Falcon Guide book. I think they might might have it at 5.9, can't remember, but definitly more like a 5.8 max sport climb, just to the left of Private Idaho. Folks seem to like it. Edges through bolts basically.
Private Idaho- 5.9/ Private Idaho is definitely worth doing, but not near the challenge as other classic 5.8 and 5.9’s in the park (Funky Bolts; Chimney, Batwings; Rye Crisp) in my opinion. However, its neighbor, Colossus (5.10c), more than makes up for it. Therefore I recommend it as a warm up to Colossus at a minimum. I noticed, when climbing Colossus, folks struggled a bit with a slight bulge in the middle of the pitch, which involves a fairly straight forward hand jam. So if not use to crack climbing, perhaps this is the crux. The Falcon guidebook discusses descending via walking off, but there are actually rap anchors (2012) for all the routes at this end. Standard rack.
Colossus- 5.10c/ Colossus was a tough 5.10c lead for me. There are two defined cruxes, both coming out of recesses. The lower one goes pretty smooth for the grade, spanning left and pulling out of the hole. The top crux is incredibly reachy, I failed miserably on lead then got it clean on top rope. It is there, like the Falcon guide implies, you just can't let yourself get pumped out wondering about it, a right hand jug. Six feet' tall climber no worries but if smaller, you will be seeking a more challenging sequence. Draws and rap anchor.
Wild Country- 5.11b/
Loch Ness Monster- 5.11b/
The Whip- 5.12c/
Donini’s Crack- 5.10b/
Coffee and Cornflakes- 5.10a/ Three bolt sport climb, thus a bit run out, but worth doing. The 5.10 climbing is protected by the bolts. Large patina jugs with a slight overhange gets a pump going. Crux is staying left when you have the option to go either way as you run out of jugs on the right.
External LinksCity of Rocks National Reserve
Castle Rocks State Park
Rock City, the place for beers