The Callahans are a series of partially-exposed cliff bands outside Roseburg, near the small town of Melrose. The land is owned by Weyerhauser Paper, and there are often logging crews operating on the land. Be careful while on the gravel road, as these are used frequently by logging trucks.
The rock is soft sandstone, and some sections are very crumbly and chossy. However, there is a wide selection of climbs on bullet-hard rock. The climbs often vary considerably within a single route, and it is not uncommon to go from steep jug-bashing to tenuous slab climbing on the same route. Most of the routes are of moderate difficulty (5.10-5.11). The Callahans are composed of several smaller crags made up of broken cliff-bands and large boulders. Many of the routes have easy top-rope access. Fixed anchors are the norm, but there are a few traditional routes. Many of the formations are too tall to lower off of with a single rope, and intermediate sets of anchors are common.
PLEASE NOTE: The Callahans are private property and should be treated as such. Climbers have had a good relationship with Weyerhauser in the past, and we should strive to maintain that. Be sure to not block the gate with your car, and BE ADVISED: THE CALLAHANS ARE CLOSED OCCASIONALLY at Weyerhauser's discretion, particularly when fire danger is high. Pay attention to all posted signs. There is usually a phone number posted that you can call for information on access issues on all Weyerhauser property.
For complete area beta, check out Rock Climbing Western Oregon: Umpqua by Greg Orton.
Take exit 125 off of I-5 and head west (right). Make an eventual left turn at the sign for "Melrose Traffic" and follow this road until it T's. Take a right at the T, and another right onto Touchstone road. Follow this until it turns into gravel, and go uphill until you reach the gate. Make sure to park downhill a bit on the pull-off and DON'T BLOCK THE GATE. Weyerhauser doesn't like that.
There is also an alternative approach which leads you to the top of the Callahans instead of the bottom. See Orton's book.
Access for driving to the top of the Callahan ridge where you will find 6 trailheads (refer to pg 67 of Western Oregon Rock Climbing vol 2 Umpqua) is generally open Saturdays and Sundays October through March 15. Trailheads are currently flagged with pink flagging.
All other times park at the lower Touchstone gate and walk in (20 to 30 min).
The largest concentration of climbing occurs for about a mile stretch just of the top of the ridge. In 2007, there were 38 individual developments at the callahans and over 200 routes. There are still many rocks here without first accents. This is the best sandstone climbing on the west coast north of the Camino Cielo.
Where to stay the night: River Forks Campground has a group site and showers $$, many FS & BLM campgrounds up the N Umpqua River E of Glide about 45 min. $, hotels in Roseburg $$$, Camp in a pullout on BLM land just as you top the ridge on Callahan Road on your way to the upper gate; don't leave your camp unattended, free.
Winter climbing: It only takes a little bit of sun to wake up winter climbing at the Callahans. Rule of thumb: the heavier the valley fog the better the climbing. Walls that tend to dry first are Fantasy Island's south wall, Double Chocolate's Lizard Ledge, Mind Planet's south wall.
By Niki From: Joshua Tree, CA/Healy, AK Apr 23, 2011
If you are heading north on 1-5 you want to turn left of exit 25, not right.
The approach can be pretty strenuous if you are hiking it with a pack and are pretty out of shape, like myself, but totally worth it!
hey there was wondering if any locals Knew if the callahans are open for climbing. ive heard it can be closed for bird nesting, or logging. I Also dont have a guide book is it easy to find or would you reccommend getting a book. was thinking of heading up june 22-23 Does it get super hot up there? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
So I was going to climb at the Callahans this past Saturday, June 22nd and Weyerhaeuser closed the gate at the pavement even lower than the normal gate up touchstone lane. Having been a contractor that has worked up on that tree farm it might be closed due to fire danger. Any word anyone? I will ask around the logging community this week. Not much rain this spring, industrial landowners are anticipating a big fire year in these parts. A new no trespass sign was placed at the low gate also. Be somewhat advised.... and expect an extra 20 minute approach. FYI I decided to bag it until I find more info.....
So latest update for the Roseburg area. Acker is closed do to lightening fires in the area. Callahans are closed for fire season. Once fire season ends and the access opens back up to climbing we now have a place 6 miles from Touchstone where climbers from out of town can camp. ================================================================
note: carry a shovel in your rig, 5 gallons water or fire extinguisher during fire season. No Smoking!! If you know who's been leaving Camel butts in the past, do us all a favor and say something to him. ================================================================== Areas still Open: Honeycombs, if you haven't been there recently there are five new routes on the North comb in the Orange Bowl the three most obvious begin at a rock wall that was built under and large overhang. From left to right they are .9, .11a (right side of overhang), and .10a
McKinley Rock, we were there a couple weeks ago and the rock was fun. PG leads. Routes are about 400 feet.
Jurassic Park, difficult to avoid the poison oak on approaches. If you are sensitive to PO wear long sleeves and pants when approaching. Wash down with Tecnu scrub when you get to the base of the rock and back to the road. Approaches are short. G leads. Routes are 150 to 250 feet.
Youtklut Pillars, toproping requires two ropes, a 70m may reach not sure. Anchors are about 5 feet back from the edge so bring long slings.
Redman Tooth pinnacles, some PO on a short approach but it is avoidable. G and PG leads. Routes are about 200 to 250 feet.
Old Man, is accessible from the trailhead at the end of the road just past Soda Springs dam. G leads. If your looking for an Oregon classic try Dilley's Delight .8 crack, or The Prize 250 feet of exposed 5.11c with a scenic view of the North Umpqua River. There is a persistent poison oak at the base of the climb. I've seen people cover it with a small tarp.