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Marble Caves

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Marble Caves  

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Location: 40.39359, -123.3299 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,762
Administrators: Rick Shull, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Rick Shull on Oct 12, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: Marble Caves as seen from Hwy. 36 when traveling d...


A gem in the rough. Gradual to steeply overhanging blue, gold and white streaked limestone up to 250 feet high. New routes and retro bolted lines went in recently. See "Bigfoot Country Climbing" for info about the crag. The guide lists many routes drilled for Removable Bolts. Since these are no longer made, old routes with "R.B.s" for pro are being retro bolted with the permission of the first ascentionists.

Getting There 

In Northern CA, take Hwy 36 from either Red Bluff inland, or near Fortuna from the coast.

Just east of the "no horse" town Forest Glen, near Hell Gate campground is Flume Gulch Road where Rattlesnake creek flows under Hwy 36.

Take Flume Gulch road 3 miles to the end of the pavement. For the Dream Wall, turn left onto 1S14D. Camp / park on an old logging landing about 1 mile down this road. The trail to the cliff starts at the back of the logging landing, in the trees. Follow this faint trail over the saddle to the right end of the Dream Wall. Walk right across the "catwalk" to the other walls of this sector.

The Bowling Ball is accessed by continuing along Flume Gulch Road past the junction with the road to the Dream Wall. Park at mile post 10. Hike down hill to the southwest from there 5 minutes to the crag. The crags are not visible from the parking area.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.9 miles from here

14 Total Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Marble Caves

Poison Garden 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a  CA : Redwood Coast : ... : Poison Garden
Bouldery start through bulges. Crux up high moving through small, sharp crimps. Interesting climbing, but last 15' is super dirty....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Marble Caves Slideshow Add Photo
right wing, watch for loose blocks
right wing, watch for loose blocks
fearless leader 6c+, bowling ball.
fearless leader 6c+, bowling ball.

Comments on Marble Caves Add Comment
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By Taylor Morrow
Mar 4, 2012
Has anyone climbed here this year? i am really itching to get on some real rock and this area seams the best chance to have a nice winter climbing session. Is there anymore info on this area someone would be willing to share?
By CrimperE6
From: cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Nov 9, 2014
Marble Caves : good luck finding the trail, no-ones been here for 10yrs probably, really overgrown, bring a saw.. Awesome climbing in the 7a-7b range.

The bowling ball was easier to find.(although the 10mile post has been knocked over and was in a bush)

Just follow the gully down and then to the R to reach the base of the cliff, no disernable path and poison ivy.

Bowling ball routes are meh, dusty and not really worth it to be honest, plus randomly needing gear for routes, slightly annoying for a sport crag...

Harder routes look ok, i would probably tick all of trinity before going to the bowling ball (and then bring a wire brush and some hangers for the anchors! )

the warm up 5.10 route has no anchors (go L to"fearless leader" and dont kill the belayer with loose blocks)
By Lurker
Jan 3, 2015
Bummer that you had trouble finding the trail. There is actually a pretty well-defined trail to the main crag, but it is a little hard to find.

People have certainly been out there in the past 10 years, a handful of new routes went in last year. The climbing at the main crag ranges from good to ultra-classic on generally bullet limestone. I agree though, the random gear placements are kind of annoying, but that's how the majority of Humboldt climbing was originally developed.

The only thing the Caves really suffers from is lack of traffic. Five-star routes there that don't have a trace of chalk on them. That said, it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I'm still surprised, however, that the Bay Area folks haven't picked up on any of these spots.

Haven't wandered over to the Bowling Ball yet, so can't speak to that spot.
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