Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Catacombs

Select Area...
Beautiful Man Boulder 
Campfire Boulders 
Cat Boulder 
Church of the Lost and Found 
Church of the Lost and Found Wall 
Devil Boulder 
Gigantor Boulder 
Mary Poppins Boulders 
Mouse Boulder 
Rabit Boulder 
Saddle Boulder 
Shooter Boulder 
Tower Boulder 
Weekend Retreat 
West End Boulders 

Catacombs  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 37.5815, -118.6221 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 23,963
Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, Euan Cameron, Adam Winters, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Euan Cameron on Nov 19, 2007
Forecast:
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Strolling around The Catacombs

Description 

The Catacombs is a really cool place to visit. Not only does it have fine bouldering, but it is worth the trip simply to wander amongst the rock formations.

The area is perched above the Owens River Gorge. Close to the gorge there are many rock towers, that you can explore from either the top or the bottom. At the bottom you find yourself in a maze like structure, often crawling on hands and knees to make progress.

Working back from the gorge edge the towers get smaller and more spaced apart - perfect for bouldering.

The rock is good pocketed tuff, and almost all the landings are on perfect flat pumice.

Come for a day, come for an hour, it doesn't matter, it is worth the trek out here.

Getting There 

On reaching Tom's Place on the 395 take the East turn and drive passed a few houses. After about 4 miles on this road you'll reach Crowley Lake Dam. Cross over the Dam and turning right head up the road (take care as the road narrows). Once at the top of the hill the road turns to dust. After 1.3 miles take the obvious right turn onto the 4S03. Follow this road for just over 3 miles, until you come to a steeper section of road with a switchback.

Continue on past the switchback for another 1/2 mile then take a right turn. Shortly after turning you'll see left faint left fork - stay right. Just keep staying right all the way to the Catacombs parking lot.

The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler Crest in the background.
The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler Crest in the background.

Climbing Season



Weather station 15.7 miles from here

61 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',23],['1 Star',29],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',34],['V2-3',21],['V4-5',3],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',3],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Catacombs:
The Church of the Lost and Found (Right)   V1 5     Boulder, 10'   Church of the Lost and Foun...
The Church of the Lost and Found (Left)   V3 6A     Boulder, 10'   Church of the Lost and Foun...
Looks Like We're One Horse Shy Partner   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   Devil Boulder
Browse More Classics in Catacombs

Featured Route For Catacombs
'Gigantor'

Gigantor V2 5+ CA : Sierra Eastside : ... : Gigantor Boulder
An excellent highball with a low crux and a juggy top-out. It gets easier the higher you go..Climb the delicate opening moves with small but good holds/pockets (crux) to the deep pocket-jug at about the mid-point. Move up on good pockets to a huge jug on a flake, then up and right on a rail to make the last move out and right to the blind jug (scout this thing first)....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Catacombs Slideshow Add Photo
The Milky Way over Jeffrey pines at the Catacombs campsite
The Milky Way over Jeffrey pines at the Catacombs ...
Exploring The Catacombs
Exploring The Catacombs
The Catacombs at the rim of the Owen's River Gorge
The Catacombs at the rim of the Owen's River Gorge
The wonderful bouldering potential at the Catacombs.
The wonderful bouldering potential at the Catacomb...
going for the crux. looks like we're one horse shy partner
going for the crux. looks like we're one horse shy...
Sticking the crux move on Looks Like We're One Horse Shy Partner, V5
Sticking the crux move on Looks Like We're One Hor...
The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler Crest in the background.
The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler...
exploring the awesome catacombs
exploring the awesome catacombs
Vibrant lichen on the rim of the gorge
Vibrant lichen on the rim of the gorge
Hands on Rock
Hands on Rock
Jordan Winters on 'Deal with the Devil' v3, 'Devil Boulder' in the Wash Area.
Jordan Winters on 'Deal with the Devil' v3, 'Devil...
Fading light over the Sierra Crest from the Catacombs
Fading light over the Sierra Crest from the Cataco...
Gigantor Boulder
Gigantor Boulder
one of the Catacombs more slender corridors...
one of the Catacombs more slender corridors...

Comments on Catacombs Add Comment
Show which comments
By Peter Wojciechowski
Aug 15, 2013
The directions to get here a little bit off as is the marker to the parking lot for this location. The lot is located at: 37.572818,-118.612084

Direction updates start after the hairpin turn:

Take the second write after the hairpin, it's at the fork in the road. The next right is at road maker 04S136 followed by a right at 04S136A.

Following the last road it will take you to the parking lot for the Catacomb Boulders: Map
By Mark Doliner
Aug 25, 2013
I agree with Peter's coordinates, directions, and map. Thanks, Peter! I just submitted a request to fix the GPS coordinates listed above, so it's possible they'll get updated soon and will be correct.

And some info about road conditions:
The dirt roads are decent. Four-wheel drive is definitely not necessary. There tends to be scruffy desert bushes between the mild tire ruts. High ground clearance vehicles will have no problems. For vehicles with medium to low clearance, brush will scrape against the bottom. I felt comfortable driving a 2003 Toyota Corolla, where it's old enough that I'm not too concerned about scrapes on the front bumper. Low ground clearance vehicles could probably make it ok... just depends on how comfortable you are scraping against scruffy bushes. I would maybe be worried about setting off airbags.