Located in between Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park in the Sequoia National Forest is the beautiful Crystal Wall. Often associated with the Chimney Rock Spire, Crystal Wall is a great destination for anyone from first time leaders to seasoned veterens. With routes ranging from 5.5 to 5.12 Crystal Wall has something for everyone. The wall itself consisits mostly of bolted climbs that are 1 to 2 pitches in length. However, there are a few routes that require gear and slings for tying off knobs. A few of the more classic routes on the wall are Dry Run(5.5), Pop-a-Top(5.7), Crystal(5.8), Harmonic Balance(5.8+), He's Got Marty Feldman Eyes(5.10), and Ask Mr. Lizard(5.10).
For Detailed route information consult the Southern Sierra Rock Climbing Sequoia Kings Canyon Guide by Sally Moser, Greg Vernon, and David Hickey
Other notable climbing areas in the vicinity are the ever popular Chimney Spire
, Chimney Rock, The Monk, and the Camp Ridge Dinner Wall.
Crystal Wall is located off of Hwy 198 (Generals Highway) in between Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in the Sequoia National Forest. It is possible to access either from the south via Hwy 198 thru Sequoia National Park or the North via Hwy 180 thru Kings Canyon National Park to Hwy 198. Both routes require that you pass thru an entrance fee station. The fee is currently $20 unless you hold a National Parks pass. Once traveling on Hwy 198 you will turn onto Road 14S29. This road is easily located by the sign at the entrance that reads National Forest Organizational Camps, San Joaquin Far Horizons. You will be traveling South on 14S29 for about 6 miles. Just stay straight on the main road. The only tricky part is when you come to a Y in the road where it splits and heads uphill to the right, just stay to the left and continue back to the parking area. The road is paved until 100 feet before the parking area but you can still do this with just about any car.
From the parking area the approach trail to Crystal Wall will be easily noticed on the left. Follow this trail as it heads up the hill and you will arrive at the base of the wall in about 10 minutes.
Crystal Wall is included in an area that has seasonal Falcon closures. Normally closure is in effect "from the date of signature until Forest Service or NPS biologists confirm that young falcons have fledged and dispersed (generally August 1), the nest is abandoned or there is reason to believe that public presence will not adversely affect the nesting falcons". For questions contact Marianne Emmendorfer, Hume Lake Ranger District, 559.338.2251 x 313 or visit The Access Fund
There is excellent camping at the end of the road at the parking area. However, there are no facilities and there is no water close by, so remember to bring plenty of water. If you plan on having a fire don't forget to get a fire permit. The closest Ranger Station lies in the town of Prather off of Hwy 168.
Click Here For Camping and Fire Permit Info
There are also two campgrounds, the Fir and Cove campgrounds, located along Hwy 198 just south of the turn off to Crystal Wall near Stoney Creek. For those interested in finer amenities check out The Montecito Sequoia Lodge
, just a few miles north towards Kings Canyon on Hwy 198.
For more local info check out The Southern Sierra Climbing Association