Eagle Creek Canyon

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California, United States, North America
Ice Climbing
7200 ft / 2195 m
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Eagle Creek Canyon
Created On: Jan 21, 2007
Last Edited On: Oct 26, 2010


There is ice climbing near South Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. This area contains a number of possibilities, mostly around Eagle Lake:

  • Eagle Lake, south shore - north-facing cliffs, 20m, WI3 (though reputedly there are some 40m lines up to WI4 that form here)
  • Sunny Falls, in the canyon southwest of Eagle Lake, 20m, WI3-4
  • South canyon climbs, between Sunny Falls and Eagle Lake, 30m, WI3-4+

There are a number of other possibilities in the area, but the above are just what I've climbed.

Getting There

The easiest way to start is from the Eagle Lake parking lot off SR89, about 8.5 miles north of the junction with US 50, or 9 miles south of I80 (see also the page for Eagle Lake Buttress). Just after snowstorms SR89 in this area could be closed, requiring a long ski in. Road conditions can be ascertained by calling Caltrans or checking their website.

Take the trail to Eagle Lake. Skis or snowshoes may be useful. If the trail has seen heavy use it could be icy in places.

Red Tape

The area is inside the boundaries of the Desolation Wilderness and self-issue wilderness permits can be found at the trailhead.

External Links

Info from the Intermountain Ice Project, appears somewhat dated.


Wilderness permits are required for camping inside the wilderness area. Contact the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit for more information.

Avalanche Hazard

Be sure to check the Central Sierra Avalanche Advisory before you go - people have been killed in slides here.

Other References

Mike Carville's book Rock Climbing Lake Tahoe contains some information on ice climbing in the Tahoe area.

Eagle Creek Canyon

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