Regular Route

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Rock / Scramble
Time Required:
Less than two hours
YDS Class 4-

Route Quality: 8 Votes

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Page By:
Regular Route
Created On: Mar 21, 2002
Last Edited On: Mar 22, 2002


Use the 2.7 mile YDS class 1 Crags Trail (aka Castle Dome Trail). When you get to the plateau you will see Castle Dome. Just walk over to the base / shoulder.

Route Description

Once you get to the shoulder, you can prepare for the more technical portion of this climb / scramble. It seems like most people will rope up for this climb, however, it's easy enough that many people would do a running belay to save time or just go solo.

Part 1 (Class 2-3) The first portion of the climb just climbs up a 30° ramp with two switchbacks as seen in this photo. The topmost diagonal follows a prominent quartzite vein in the rock.

Part 2 (Class 2+) Once you get to the top traverse around the east side and you will come to "the dish" a 10 foot wide tilted, shallow bowl in the rock. Crossing the dish normally isn't an issue because the rock is solid here with good grip, however, if you did happen to fall about 10 feet down, you'll find yourself falling over a ledge and there's a long way to go before you hit bottom. A belay here is nice for some people. There's a tree about 5 feet away from the far end of the dish that you can use as an anchor.

Part 3 (Class 3-) Once you get across the dish, you will see the gully to your left. Climb the gully which will end at a small flat area between the rocks.

Part 4 (Class 4-): You have two choices now. You can either climb "the stairs" or a gently sloping rock face with numerous holds (similar to chickenheads). There's one or two ledges before you get to the summit. There's more air on "the stairs" variation which is fun to use on the ascent, however, less experienced climbers will feel more comfortable taking the rock slabs down to the top of the gully. Here are photos looking up the stairs and looking down the stairs. At the top of "the stairs" there's another small tree where you can anchor in.

This should get you to the top but I should probably go back and do this another time to verify ;-)

Essential Gear

Vibram-soled hiking boots (or similar).

Some climbers may want a rope to do a running belay. Only a light rack is necessary, a few small cams and passive pro pieces, slings (for trees - above the dish and above the stairs), and quickdraws.

During the winter months, snowshoes and poles are useful for the approach.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.