Parking Lot Rock, 5.6-5.12c

Page Type
Idaho, United States, North America
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall
6400 ft / 1951 m
2002 Hits
83.1% Score
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Parking Lot Rock, 5.6-5.12c
Created On: Jun 18, 2012
Last Edited On: Jul 2, 2016


Batwings, 5.8+
Batwings, 5.8

Parking Lot Rock is one of the more popular stones at City of Rocks. Two primary reasons for its popularity: Quick access (is there any other kind at the City?) and the ability to climb both the east and west faces allowing you to chase shade or sun all day. Many features at the City do not have walls open and/or as much selection to climb on both sides. Some of the more popular lines are Funky Bolt (5.9+), Batwings (5.8+) and Thin Slice (5.10a). Eleven select routes scatter the broad east face overlooking the beautiful canyon below and six select routes are located mostly on the north end of the west face, facing the parking area itself.

Route Description(s)

Beauty and the Beast, 5.10a
Funky Bolts, 5.9+
Funky Bolt, 5.9+
Beauty and Beast, 5.10a
Batwings, 5.8+

Left to Right as you face the Wall
  • Delay of Game- 5.8***/Does not deserve three stars.  Notnear the interesting route Batwings is. Just a well bolted climb to the top left side of the wall.  Most moves were 5.6-5.7 with maybe one moveat the grade.  A 70m rope gets you downto relatively easy down climbing. Dow

  • Norma’s Book- 5.5***/The route starts at a tunnel at the base of the prominent chimney. Move through the tunnel (as opposed to climbing over the flake) and step up. Protection is good in side cracks. Stemming and a final awkward mantle move bring you to the beginning of the dihedral (inside the chimney). Move up the dihedral on bomber jugs to the notch at the top of the formation. Belay on gear at the top. Belay each other down to the (climber's) left toward the bolted anchor atop Delay of Game. Rap with two 60 m ropes (not sure if two 50m are sufficient - probably). Radek

  • Suburban Sprawl- 5.10a**/Ten times the route as Delay of Game but gets less stars in theguide.  The first edition guide (2ndis coming out in 2016) calls it spicy and old school.  In reality it has been retro bolted (no gear)very tight and I felt none of the moves were 5.10a.  Steep and juggy fun route to its own fixedanchor.  70m rope top ropes it well. Dow

  • Batwings- 5.8***/One of the more challenging 5.8's I have climbed anywhere I suppose. It was hot as hell. Avoid in the sun, you will be shocked at how reflective this wall can be. I only did so to avoid all the folks on the shady routes via a crowded Saturday. The early crux move, “scary” is the word used in the Falcon guide, is well protected by a .4 BD C4 horizontal placement. The dihedral is a pleasure, however, when it peters out, pro becomes a luxury. A .5" Mastercam was critical in a pod before you hit 35' of slab run out. Straight up scares the hell out of you!....just traverse left, then back right following well defined, but not absolute, features. Very good route, one of the best if not the best for the grade at the City. Double rope rap and a full rack with extra hand pieces. Dow

  • Batwings Direct- 5.10b*/A bolted start that misses the fun crux move mentioned above.  Dow

  • No Parking- 5.10c***/
Left to Right as you face the Wall
  • Tow Away Zone- 5.10a***/Tough slab beginning leads to an easy hand crack. One bolt and a micro cam (several small off-sets in a row work for me) protected the unique stem start. Stay right as you pull the overhang above and use the under-clings and stem your way through the difficulties before traversing back left into the crack higher up.  Has its own single rope rap.  Rated 5.10b in the old guide and I can see that for sure. Dow

  • Just Another Pretty Face- 5.10d***/This is my favorite sport climb at the City.  Steep slab climbing leads up to the smallroof where fun moves (an under cling or two) pull up to the slababove.  The left slab traverse above theroof is the crux, maybe one move at the grade. Well protected.   “Be brave getting to the first bolt” is statedin the guide, but in reality it is no more serious than the Tow Away Zone(5.10a) start:  5.9 or 5.10a to thefirst bolt max.  Tow Away and Pretty Faceshare the same anchor for a single rope rap. Dow

  • Beauty and the Beast- 5.10a*/Good Route. The crux is the slab traverse from the top of the short and shallow chimney left to the dihedral. I used a C4 #5 on the chimney and it is a bit more challenging than it looks. The slab is protected with a bolt and a piece you can slip in before committing all the way over to the dihedral. The dihedral offers an easy and pleasant finish for the grade. Standard rack with a C4 #5, single rope rap. Dow

  • Spud Meets Hammerhead- 5.11c**/

  • Funky Bolt- 5.9***/Very good route with a solid mid height challenge (old guidebook calls it 5.9+++) through a bulge. Mostly a gear route, starts with a flake. During a void crack section through the small roof there are two, still funky (2012), bolts. Wide stemming gets you through this section in style. Standard rack. Double rope rap, or catch a mid-station (Spud). Dow

  • Stress Fracture- 5.10b**/Place a small off'set nut or cam to protect the crux move off the deck.  Stem up to place the pro and then work with insecure hand/finger jams to bump your feet up and over the small roof.   Then off to the beautiful roof (despite a copious amount of rat urine and feces). Once underneath it, traverse left via foot edges.  A C4#2 (extended well) protects the start of the roof traverse and a C4#4 protects the roof pull itself via a shoulder deep fist jam or lay back. Then on to easy hand jams until the crack terminates.  Then traverse up and left on easy run out slab to a slung feature for a 200' pitch.  Takes two single rope slung raps and a 60m might be a bit short on the 2nd one (2015). Dow

  • Bombs over Tripoli- 5.12a***/

  • Inspiration or Perspiration- 5.12b***/

  • Thin Slice- 5.10a***/This is one of the better moderate trad climbs at the City. In fact, 2nd only to Animal Crack for me. Classic finger crack like you would see at Jtree with large elephant ear patina jugs to assist. Place pro at will.  I no longer carry anything larger than a C4#.75.  Aesthetic, long and sustained, rarely does single pitch cragging get any better than this. A few cruxes are located in the later half of the climb, where the positive features leave you to deal with the crack direct i.e. palming out right and then transition back into the crack, towards the end. Single rope rap, can be top roped for others.  Dow

  • Cairo- 5.11a***/
  • External Links

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