The Hamlet, 5.4-5.10a

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.15100°N / 115.431°W
Activities Activities: Sport Climbing, Toprope
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 4128 ft / 1258 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Any climber also familiar with Shakespeare will enjoy not just the climbing here but also the route names, as the names come directly from the play or are takeoffs on lines from it.

There are two tiers to the Hamlet, and the upper tier has the sport routes. On the lower tier there are some toprope routes, and you can access their anchors from the upper tier.
On the approach, you may pass three bolted lines beneath the upper tier. Do not get confused and think these are the toprope routes and they have been bolted. The TR routes range from 5.6 to 5.8, and anyone getting on these bolted lines with those grades in mind is in for a big surprise because those bolted lines are the J Wall routes and go at 12b, 10d, and 10b.
Along the upper tier, there are 11 routes that range from 5.4 to 5.10a. With that and a fairly short, easy approach, you can expect this place to get crowded. Your best bet to enjoy some quiet here is to start early, as in right after the gates open; during spring break one year, we started nice and early and shared the crag with just two other parties, both of whom practiced good crag ethics, but by mid-afternoon, which fortunately was when we wrapped up after the three of us all had a go at each of the sport routes, the place had become mobbed with gym/sport climbers who were loud and obnoxious and were even sitting on other people's gear.
The Die is Cast, 5.9+
The Die is Cast, 5.9+
Jack Leading Guildenstern, 5.5
Jack Leading Guildenstern, 5.5

Getting There

From the First Pullout, head downhill and branch left while still fairly high. Go uphill again, passing Tiger Stripe Wall, which will be on your right; it is the closest formation to the parking area and very obvious.

At the crest, you can see the Hamlet, distinguished by a large arch. Head down and hike toward the wall. Pass a wag bag holder provided by the Southern Nevada Climbers Coalition. Soon, do some easy scrambling up some ledges until you can reach the base of the upper tier. Approach time is like 15 minutes.


The routes here are according to the names and consensus grades on Mountain Project, so if you have a guidebook, there may be some differences. For example, the latest Handren guide does not have Thy Spirit of a Father Lost in it, and When the Blood Burns, listed as a TR, now has bolts.
Upper Tier
  • The Play's the Thing-- 5.4
  • The Die Is Cast-- 5.9+. This is the one exception where I am using the guidebook grade. On MP the grade is 5.8, but that is because many people go to the right of the bolts to pull the overhang. The FAist gave this a 5.9+/10a rating, and that is if you follow the line directly through that section. In that case, the slick slab is the crux, not pulling the overhang.
  • Frailty Thy Name is Sandstone-- 5.7
  • Sweets to the Sweet-- 5.7
(The next five routes start in a shady slot that dead-ends)
  • When the Blood Burns-- 5.8+
  • Thy Spirit of a Father Lost-- 5.10a
  • To Grunt and Sweat-- 5.8
  • Perchance To Dream-- 5.8
  • Sea of Troubles-- 5.9. We thought this was a little stout for the the grade, but it was also the last climb of the day and we were tired.
(The next two routes are right of the others but accessed differently. From around the 5.7 routes, scramble up to the ledges behind them and make an exposed traverse, passing the bolts for toprope anchors, to each of these routes, both of which have belay bolts.)
  • Rosencrantz-- 5.6
  • Guildenstern-- 5.5. This one has almost an alpine feel to it because it follows an exposed arete.
Lower Tier (toprope routes)
  • Undiscovered Country-- 5.7
  • What Dreams May Come-- 5.6
  • Moni's Money-- 5.8+
  • The Madness and the Method-- 5.8-
  • The Rest Is Silence-- 5.8
Some routes have sport anchors, and others have chains or rings, so be prepared.
You need at least a 60 for the routes here. 10 quickdraws should cover you for leading the routes.
The MP page has a great topo by Nicholas Gillman that identifies all the routes here. It's hosted below, but if the image ever appears broken or if the owner asks me not to display the image here, I hope the links will still work.

Red Tape

$15 per vehicle per day entry fee as of 2018. Consider something like the Interagency Pass (still $80 as of this page's submission date); it covers entry at most federal fee areas and quickly pays for itself, especially if you are spending several days here.

Don't climb the sandstone for at least 24 hours after a rain. Some advocate waiting even longer and there is some controversy over exactly how long to wait, but if the ground is damp, don't climb.

The Scenic Drive opens at 6 A.M.

When to Climb

Spring, fall, and winter. The crag faces east, so in summer you can get a few hours in early.


The nearby Red Rock Campground off Moenkopi Road offers the only camping in the area; this road branches off south from SR 159 not far from the turnoffs for Calico Basin and the Scenic Drive. The campground is usually closed in the summer.