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Rocks of Sharon

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Bird Watching Boulder, The 
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Rocks of Sharon  

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Administrators: Peter Franzen, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: elmo mecsko on Aug 28, 2006
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From the top of Big Rock @ Rocks of Sharon


A cluster of granite out-croppings overlooking the Palouse of Eastern Washington and Idaho. The 20 minute uphill hike is well worth doing to reach the 60+ climbs. Chicken-heads and pockets tend to be located just where you would want them, and quite often result in dynamic moves on very overhanging rock.
The area hosts sport, trad and mixed climbs, plus some bouldering. Many well protected routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13 in a beatiful location that tends to feel quite secluded, even though you are only a half hour drive from Spokane.

Getting There 

"Inland Northwest Rock Climbs" by Marty Bland has great directions to Rocks of Sharon, plus very good desciptions of a majority of the routes here. You can get info about this book, and order a copy online @ outdoorexperience.us/store/pro...

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.0 miles from here

25 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Rocks of Sharon:
Southeast Face   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Big Rock : East Face
Turkey Heads   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Bird Watching Boulder
Southwest Chimney   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches   Big Rock : West Face
Right   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Big Rock : South Face
A Perfect Storm   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Big Rock : West Face
Browse More Classics in Rocks of Sharon

Featured Route For Rocks of Sharon
pulling the crux roof on Falcore

Falcore 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  WA : Northeast Corner & Spokane : ... : The Bird Watching Boulder
A fun route with the crux down low, pulling the final move of the overhanging section. From here it's vertical with good edges. Named for the funky bird/dog critter in the movie "Never Ending Story"....[more]   Browse More Classics in WA

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By Lacey LaDuke
From: Spokane, Washington
Oct 9, 2008
Just an FYI there are definite access issues when approaching from the south side of the rocks.
Watch out for the screaming old guy and obey the 'no trespassing' signs unless you want your tires slashed.

It might be worth your while to just take the longer hike up the Iller Creek drainage on the north side of the hill.

Directions to Iller Creek:
From I-90:

* Take Argonne Road exit, #287
* Drive south on Argonne Rd
* Continue past Sprague Avenue onto Dishman-Mica Road, drive approximately 2.8 miles
* Turn right at Schafer Road stoplight
* Turn right at stop sign on 44th Avenue, drive 0.2 miles
* Turn left on Farr Road, continue to stop sign
* Turn right on Holman Road, drive 0.8 miles to cul-de-sac
* Park in cul-de-sac, then continue on foot trail for 3/4 mile
* Iller Creek Conservation Area is on both the right and left of the creek

By elmo mecsko
From: Lyle, Washington
Nov 17, 2008
Thanks for the approach beta! I haven't lived in Spokane for a while and didn't realize that there was access issues... I guess I have been lucky when I have been there over the last few years!
By Lacey LaDuke
From: Spokane, Washington
Nov 18, 2008
It's not problem, it doesn't hurt to try to approach from the south, just be prepared to head to the north approach if anything is fishy.
There was a gate on the south side for a while, last I heard though someone had run it over.
By Scott Coldiron
From: Spokane, WA
Aug 4, 2009
THE ACCESS ISSSUES HAVE BEEN SOLVED! the crags are now part of the Dishman Hills Natural Area. It is easiest to take the Stevens Creek Rd. From Regal (on the South Hill at 46th) Take a left on Palouse highway. From the junction of 57th, drive 5.6 miles and turn left on Stevens Creek Rd. Continue past Sharon Rd. and Big Rock Rd. (about 2 miles). Park on the right before the No Trespassing signs. Walk up the road. you'll soon see Big Rock up ahead and a bit to the right.

Kudos to the Dishman Natural Hills Association and the Spokane Mountaineers for making this happen. 80 acres have been added to the Dishman Hills Natural area for a total of about 1300 acres dedicated to conservation!
By Swithich
Apr 21, 2011
Just a quick FYI on the climbing here. I broke two or three holds here last June. The rock is very brittle and if you fully weight a hold in the wrong spot it can break off. Be aware of this when climbing as often the worst time to break a hold is when you have it fully weighted.
By Jeff Lambert
May 21, 2011
The Big Rock is only accessible via the Iller Creek Conservation Area. The Dishman Hills Assn in conjunction with Spokane County Parks is working on public parking at the end of Stevens Creek Road. Because there is no legal parking at the end of Stevens Creek Road, you might get a ticket from the Sheriff's Dept. Or you might have conflicts with the neighbors especially if you accidentally block their driveway or the school bus turnaround. As Vice President of the Dishman Hills Assn, the private owner of Big Rock, you are welcome to enjoy the property using the trailhead at Iller Creek. Lacey provided the directions to the Iller Creek trailhead. And the directions and a map are available on the Spokane County Parks website - spokanecounty.org/parks/conten...

Likewise the only access from Jamieson Road is over private property - KHQ's tower site. I would like to work out trail access across the KHQ property - but there is no agreement yet. Any trespassing will hurt the long term efforts and you might be charged with trespass.

The reason we have the conflicts is many visitors are parking in illegal areas and so have I. It is very confusing - no need to get a ticket or worse. With a little wait, there will be good parking and access. Spokane County Parks directions to Iller Creek Trailhead
By kBobby
From: Spokane, WA
Sep 12, 2012
The access issues for this area seem to have been ironed out. There is now a nice trailhead parking area at the end of Steven's Creek Road.

When you get to the hairpin switchback, keep going straight up the private drive (the lower one on the right). There is a very small sign that indicates that trail access is ahead. The parking area is obvious, and has good signage right next to it (instead of back at the hairpin where it's needed?).

From the parking area, hike up the drive until you see the trailhead. It is obvious. When the trail forks, take the right trail (I am talking about the foot trails, not the old ORV tracks that run through this area).
By Marlin Thorman
From: Spokane, WA
Apr 26, 2013
There is a new guidebook out for the Rocks of Sharon. It was just released a few months ago and is a 39 page paperback on solely this area. It is called "Climbing the Rocks of Sharon" by Aaron Henson, Bob Ordner, Eric Barrett, and Jon Jonckers. The local Mountain Gear in Spokane currently has copies.
Apr 6, 2015
North access parking lot is Iller Creek: 47.593820 -117.273180
South access paring lot is Stevens Creek: 47.570182 -117.288705
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