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Trout Creek

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Main Wall, The 
Northern End, The 
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Trout Creek  

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Location: 44.802, -121.1086 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 251,134
Administrators: Peter Franzen, Nate Ball, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Max Tepfer on Aug 2, 2009
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Seasonal Raptor Closure starts Jan 15 each year; No top access - private land MORE INFO >>>


Trout Creek is Oregon's premier destination for pure crack climbs. The climbing is physical, the rock is rough, and the approach is long if you're not used to hiking. The bulk of the climbing is vertical cracks in corners and stem-boxes on enormous basalt columns coming in at the 5.10-5.12 range. There are also a handful of lower angle crack climbs on the North side of the crag that come in at 5.7-5.10. The main wall faces west and this fact dictates when it is best to climb there. It is possible to climb at Trout year round if you climb in the sun/shade accordingly. There is a published guidebook that is free to download at stores.lulu.com/jeffwenger. It is an excellent resource and comes highly recommended, especially if you're interested in ethics, history, and thoughts behind grades. It was recently updated in October 2009.

The position of the crag is spectacular and contributes to Trout's special vibe. It's possible to climb there without tape, but it sure feels nice to have something between your skin and the rock. In terms of gear, lots of people have complained about how many cams you need, but my experience is that you can get by with a double rack if you have a couple choice supplements for specific routes. Extra hand and finger sized pieces are definitely a good idea. There are still a couple lines that haven't been done, but they're mostly thin and difficult.

Additionally, one of Trout's most outstanding characteristics is the sense of welcome, stewardship, and community that the people who climb there bring to it. Evidence of this can be found in the steel carabiners that the chains on the vast majority of the classic routes are equipped with. These are meant for simplifying the top-rope-cleaning process and were contributed by the generosity of others. Please respect that by leaving them in place. Additionally, there is a community bucket currently located under a boulder in the vicinity of the bench-like columns beneath Gold Rush. It usually contains a guidebook, a first aid kit, various odds and ends, and a quart mason jar of hand cream that, while it looks slightly dubious, is reputed to be very good stuff. This bucket, like all the other human artifacts 90% of Trout's visitors use during their stay, (bolts, hangers, chains, carabiners, etc...) are there thanks to the generosity of others.

It's worth noting that Trout's Main Wall requires exposed boulder-hopping to enjoy fully. People and/or dogs not comfortable walking and 3rd/4th classing in exposed situations probably won't enjoy visiting. Lastly, FA information is based on the guidebook but is a sticky subject due to the area's development history. For the whole story, check out the guidebook.

Getting There 

From the city of Madras: drive 97 North past Safeway and out of town. Turn left of NE Cora Drive. It'll turn into NE Clark Drive which you'll follow into the town of Gateway, OR. Cross the train tracks and take a right following signs to Trout Creek Recreational Area. From the day-use area at the up-stream end of the campground, follow the trail/road up stream for about 10 minutes. There are currently two trails up to the crag. One leaves the river right after the road jogs around a small berm (right after you pass a bench on your right) and switchbacks up to the Northern End. To get to the other, older trail, follow the road past the first trail for another 5 minutes, cross a small cattle guard (the second you will have encountered if you include the very first one you cross after leaving the parking lot), and look for a trail heading up and left during a long straightaway.

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.6 miles from here

69 Total Routes

['4 Stars',32],['3 Stars',35],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Trout Creek:
Gold Rush   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 70'   The Main Wall
Lively Up Yourself   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   The Main Wall
Pan Handlin'   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad   The Main Wall
JR Token   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 65'   The Main Wall
Rodeo Crack   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 70'   The Northern End
Wondertwins   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   The Main Wall
Mr. Squiggles   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch   The Main Wall
Suzuki   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch   The Main Wall
The Space Between   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   The Main Wall
Redside   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 70'   The Main Wall
Fingerlings   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   The Main Wall
California Weakender   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   The Main Wall
Space Mission   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 85'   The Main Wall
Gateway   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 80'   The Main Wall
Dame El Oro   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   The Main Wall
Out Ridin' Fences   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   The Main Wall
Monster   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch   The Main Wall
Alchemy   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 90'   The Main Wall
Winter Sustenance   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   The Main Wall
The May Fly   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   The Main Wall
Browse More Classics in Trout Creek

Featured Route For Trout Creek
Muffin Top, Trout Creek

Muffin Top 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b  OR : Central Oregon : ... : The Main Wall
This offwidth testpiece starts with about 10' of moves on an inside edge, then it's hand stacks, armbars, calf locks, and knee locks to the tippy top. Enjoy!...[more]   Browse More Classics in OR

Photos of Trout Creek Slideshow Add Photo
Tommy Caldwell working on the project immediately ...
Tommy Caldwell working on the project immediately ...
The main wall Photo by Thad Arnold.
BETA PHOTO: The main wall Photo by Thad Arnold.
Main Wall
Main Wall
Side of Trout
Side of Trout
Wicked basalt columns along the base.  Don't dare ...
Wicked basalt columns along the base. Don't dare ...
Cody on the first ascent of Reservation Blues 5.12...
Cody on the first ascent of Reservation Blues 5.12...
Regarding (Jefferson...)
Regarding (Jefferson...)
So cold this morning.
So cold this morning.
Rainbow over Trout Creek
Rainbow over Trout Creek
Leaving Trout Creek.   Photo: Corey Gargano
Leaving Trout Creek. Photo: Corey Gargano
Sad, sad day.
Sad, sad day.
'At damn sun's hot.
'At damn sun's hot.
Trout Creek Ranch
Trout Creek Ranch
fun perspective with big and little people.
fun perspective with big and little people.

Comments on Trout Creek Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 14, 2013
By Peter Franzen
From: Phoenix, AZ
Oct 13, 2009
This is an amazing area, and I want to thank all of the people who have worked on its development.

I was really struck by the rock here-- I came expecting the usual slick-as-ice basalt that we're used to in the Northwest, but I was surprised to see that it has an incredible texture that is reminiscent of the tuff at Smith Rock. Among other things, that tends to make the climbing a bit sportier than some other purely trad areas that you might visit; because of the abrasive texture there's a chance that you might actually stick that desperate deadpoint to a far-away fingerjam.
By ShibbyShane
From: Estes Park, CO
Oct 14, 2009
Does passive pro work well here or do you have to rely mostly on cams? Not everyone has three or more cams of one size...
By Max Tepfer
From: Bend, OR
Oct 19, 2009
Passive pro does work well in many places, but there are certain routes where you do actually need triples or quadruples of a given size in order to place gear every ten feet.
"You'll be able to climb with a "regular" rack on many of the routes. If you climb solid 5.10 and have a double set of cams and stoppers you should be fine on some of the most popular climbs like Wonder Twins, U2, The Guillotine, Sleepy Hallow, Gods Must Be Angry, Two Step, Usual Suspects, Talkin' it Clean (and the routes close by), The Long March, Rock Around the Block, Mr Squiggles, Lively Up Yourself...and many others. So don't let the lack of gear talk you out of heading up there.

Jr Token, Gold Rush, Fingerlings, Alchemy and many of the finger cracks (typically) require more than doubles." -Jeffw (a pretty knowledgeable guy) on the subject of gear requirements at Trout.
By ShibbyShane
From: Estes Park, CO
Nov 2, 2009
Sounds good. Thanks Max.
By Luke Stefurak
From: Seattle, WA
Mar 7, 2010
The guidebook link in the description above seems to be broken. This is the correct address:

By Max Tepfer
From: Bend, OR
Mar 17, 2010
Fixed the broken link.
By Mark Ferguson
Apr 18, 2010
The PDF guidebook will not load from this link. I keep getting an error. Can someone send me a copy of the PDF if you have it? ferg@crestoneimages.com - Much appreciated.
By Bryan Hall
From: Bend, Oregon
Jun 9, 2012
For future note, do a google search for "Trout Creek Guidebook" and it will lead you to the download link!
By 419
From: Denver
Sep 13, 2012
Jeff Wenger's Trout Creek Climbing Guidebook is available at Redpoint Climbers Supply in Terrebonne, OR. It is priced at $23.95.
By AndyKemedy
From: Black Hawk, SD
Mar 17, 2013
Does the golden eagle closure include the campground?
By Max Tepfer
From: Bend, OR
Mar 17, 2013
The closure does not include the campground. The river road and campground are unaffected by the closure. If you do hike the river road, do not leave it and head up the trails to cliff. The closure only affects the climber's trails and crag. There should be signs after a couple hundred feet of trail.
By Catherine Conner
From: Phoenix, AZ
Sep 14, 2013
Gosh I want to go here so bad, it's been on the bucket list for at least 5 years. Someday I tell ya!
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