BETA PHOTO: Taken at the turnout at the start of the approach....
Merlin Dome presents a nice mellow alternative to the steep cracks of other Needles climbs. This Northeast facing dome features less than vertical face climbs all moderate in the 5.8 to 5.9 range with adequate natural pro and [apparently] a few old bolts. Added pluses are afternoon shade, few, if any crowds, and an honest 10 minute approach. Granite is solid with wavy flakes and knob climbing prevailing. The first and last pitches are low angle with the steep stuff in the middle. Routes average 5 or 6 pitches.
Merlin Dome is on the North side of the Needles ridge about a mile and 1/2 past Needlerock Creek on Kern River Road. The road passes below Demon Dome and then swings around a bend at the end of the ridge. There is a great overlook of the Kern River Valley several hundred feet below a turnout. Continuing North the road passes directly below the dome in a blasted out area. If you continue a few hundred yards further, a great overall view of the dome can be had. Park at any turnout below the dome and follow a creek bed on the left side up to the base. Total time 10 minutes!
Weather station 10.2 miles from here
2 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Merlin Dome
Magic Flute 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c CA
: Southern Sierra
: ... : Merlin Dome
P1 – 3 bolts, the 3rd is located just above the prominent rock scar and small (~18”) “roof”. We started farther right near a left-facing dihedral, then traversed left (after downclimbing) when the first bolt was finally spotted. Unsure of direct start difficulty. 2nd bolt hanger was damaged from rockfall (presumably the scar directly above, between bolts 2/3, which altered the route). We traversed directly left from bolt 2 to an aręte, then up a flake (gear), passing left of the third bolt (no...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
Merlin Dome from the road
By Michelle Lynn
From: Moab, UT
Jul 9, 2013
Anyone have any info on the descent for this area? I'm thinking of checking it out soon and would appreciate any additional information. Thanks.
By Ryan Nevius
From: The Range of Light
Jul 10, 2013
You can either head down the North Gully (climber's right), or rap down Magic Flute (a giant knob can be slung at the top of pitch 4; the first 3 pitches have bolted anchors). I think the most common descent is to use the gully.