The lower Tieton crags (Royal Columns and the Bend) are closed for raptor nesting beginning February 1 each year. Depending on nest location and success, the closure can be lifted as early as April or as late as July.
Lava Point is a fun crag with a bevy of well-bolted 5.10 and 5.11 sport routes. Unlike most Tieton crags, the rock at Lava Point is olivine basalt, not andesite. Most routes are vertical to gently overhanging. The rock has a great texture and mixes in edges, slopers and jugs with occasional vesicular (gas) pockets. It is similar to Riverview Park at Frenchman Coulee, only taller and better.
Lava Point can get hot in the summer, but you can chase shade for most of the day. The Dream Wall stays shaded in the morning, and the Lava Wall catches shade in mid to late afternoon. In low snow years, the crag can open up as early as February.
The crag has a great view of Rimrock Lake and the upper Tieton basin. Turkey vultures often circle above the crag.
Lava Point is just east of the Rimrock Lake dam, above the confluence of Wildcat Creek and the Tieton River.
From Highway 12, turn right (if heading west) or left (if heading east) onto Soup Creek Road, FS # 1305. The road is just west of the major Tieton Road turnoff used to reach the east end of Rimrock Lake.
Follow Soup Creek Road, staying left at all possible turns (except for one gated road). You will end up on FS # 344; drive this to the end. Park on the shoulder, leaving room at the end for others to turn around. A rutted four-wheel track continues into the woods, but please don't drive this. The track leads into a beautiful, fragile meadow area that should be preserved.