Our Mt Hood Crags guide currently features four crags on the east side of Mt Hood, and Salmon River Slab and French’s Dome on the west side (more west side crags to be added on later as updates). These crags are the classic Bulo Point, the sport climbers playhouse of Area 51, and the side by side crags Klinger Spring and Pete’s Pile. This is the first guide to accurately feature the excellent and moderate trad and sport climbing at Klinger Spring, and is a much needed addition to the climbing community.
Bulo Point is a small, but enjoyable outcropping east of Mt Hood, featuring a sport, trad and top rope routes from 5.6 to 5.12. Routes tend to be low angle to vertical and features skin friendly rock that allows you to climb all day! This crag is an excellent place to come take the family or friends for a day trip, or to camp either at the several options on the crap top, or at the nearby 15-Mile Campground. With a little bit for everyone, this place is sure to please almost any climber!
Area 51 is a lesser known, but excellent sport climbing area just a few miles south of Bulo Point. While there is trad, the lure of this place is certainly the excellent face climbs, however, do bring at least a small rack, as many of the face climbs do require one or two pieces of gear to supplement the bolts. Grades range mostly from 5.10 to 5.12+, with only a few routes on either side of that range. The rock is unique columns, and features edgy, steep climbing. Don’t be surprised if you run into a few glued in edges on some of the routes, as some holds have been reinforced.
Klinger Spring is the newest addition to the east Mt Hood family, and is already becoming a popular destination for Hood River, The Dalles and Portland climbers. Featuring well bolted and moderate sport climbs, averaging 80′-90′ tall (with some being closer to 110′ tall!), this area is becoming popular with both newer and more experienced climbers for both the accessible grades and quality of the routes. Sport routes run between 5.6 and 5.11. For the trad climber, Klinger Spring has a little of everything: OW cracks, finger cracks and sustained hand/fist cracks, there is most likely something here to challenge you. (If you are a 5.12 trad climber, check out Pete’s Pile for K-9 Shanghai).
Pete’s Pile is the next door neighbor to Klinger Spring, and has been around for much longer. Currently only has about 20 routes, but has the potential for more excellent trad routes if someone wanted to do the cleaning. There are multiple classics here, from 5.6 to 5.12. For one of the best multi-pitch hard routes around, check out K-9 Shanghai, a 250′ 5.12- trad route that punches through a multi-tiered roof at 150′ off the ground.
Salmon River Slab is a tiny little crag that hosts 5 routes, 5.6 to 5.9. The routes are all sport, and well bolted. Fun for families or newer climbers. The best part about this little crag is that the Salmon River is directly across from the crag, and makes for a great afternoon swimming spot!
French’s Dome is a great little basalt plug with 25+ sport routes of various difficulty, ranging from 5.5 to 5.13. This cliff is only an hour from Portland, and almost always cooler, making it a great summer crag! And of course, you can’t forget about the great view of Mt. Hood from the top!