Elephant Rock, 5.7-5.11b

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 42.06714°N / 113.70914°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
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Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock is one of the features at City of Rocks that really reflects its name. Viewing the east face, it really looks like an elephant, head facing north. This crag is one of the more popular climbing features at City of Rocks. Being first in from the south entrance is one reason. Offering up classics in the 5.7-5.9 range is no doubt another. Probably the most popular route on Elephant Rock is a classic 5.8 trad pitch running up a very tall flake named Rye Crisp. The route is well worth your attention. An overrated route in my opinion, is a sport route to the left of Rye Crisp named Just Say No. This sport line felt more like a 5.7 to 5.8 quickly bolted line. Just Say Go (5.10a) to the far right of Elephant Rock gave me a strong challenge for the grade, first on slab, then a hard gear protected move off of a secondary deck. I thought this pitch was a bit sandbagged, but worth doing for sure. Eleven select routes located on the east face are included below with rap anchors abundant, but you can walk off the north. 70m rope should be sufficient for most of these routes. Morning sun, afternoon shade.

Route Description(s)

Rye Crisp, 5.8
Just Say No, 5.9
Rye Crisp, 5.8

Select Routes Left to Right as you face the Wall

  • Just Say No- 5.9/ By far the softest route for its given grade that I have climbed to date at the City. It felt more like 5.7-8. Not near the experience that Rye Crisp is. That Just Say No is at 5.9 and Just Say Go is 5.10a is a big contrast. Several grades separate these climbs. Draws, 70m rope. Dow

  • Sinsemilla- 5.9R/

  • Rye Crisp- 5.8/ Great route for the grade. Way superior to Just Say No over to the left....if you are a decent climber, combine this one with Just Say Go over to the right, which is a pretty good 5.10. Place gear at will and stay with the left flake up Rye Crisp. Standard rack, maybe two C4 #4’s if you have them. 70m rope. Dow

  • Pretzel Logic- 5.10c/

  • Pocatello Punk- 5.10d/

  • Wheat Thin- 5.7/ Climb up the juggy face holds until you reach the flake/crack diagonalling up and left. Follow the flake as it makes a turn up and right further up. Protection opportunities are abundant - mostly small to medium cams. Follow the crack up on face holds as it eventually vanishes. In its place you now have a wide off-width crack on your left for protection (large pro, #5 Friend etc. or run it out to the top). Radek

  • The Pygmies Got Stoned- 5.10aJust Say Go is the best moderate on Elephant, but this arete is worth doing. No real crux, laid back for the grade. Dow

  • Strawberry Jam- 5.10c/

  • Beware of Nesting Egos- 5.11b/

  • Prepare for Soaring Seagulls- 5.10d/

  • Just Say Go- 5.10a/This route seemed a bit sandbagged and a little X, but worth doing for sure. The initial slab involves technical foot work off the deck. Once you get to the ledge, a critical .75 C4 is what it takes to protect the first move off that deck before you clip the bolts again. The pitch is a lower case "x" in that your placement will more than likely not protect all your body parts from this 2nd ledge if you fail. It is a dramatic and balanced move to pull up to the first bolt on the upper arete. From there, fun and exposed 5.9 climbing. Draws, C4 #.75, Single rope. Dow
  • External Links

  • City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Castle Rocks State Park
  • Rock City, the place for beers

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