Climbing In Yakima
There is no climbing gym in Yakima, so the climbing scene is entirely outdoors. We are fortunate enough to have moderate weather and several crags close to town. This makes it possible to climb comfortably at outdoor crags for most of the year. However there are a few months where climbing outside is difficult to enjoy for most people.
The Tieton River
The closest climbing to town is in the nearby Tieton River Canyon along Highway 12. There are crags spread out along a 40 mile stretch of highway to suite pretty much every styles and desired difficulty. From the classic cracks of Royal Columns and the Bend to the exciting sport routes of Lava Point there is something for everyone. With the closest crags being 30 minutes outside of town it is possible to go climb a few pitches in the morning or evening and be back home in a few hours. Keep in mind that the climbing in the Tieton has a unique quality and newcomers often report that grades in the are “full value” , also gear can be a bit fiddly, take a little time and get used to the area.
Tieton River Rocks is the most current guide book for the area. They are often available locally at The Sporthaus , however this guide is several years out of date. Check MOUNTAIN PROJECT to find more current information on Crags and Routes.
If the weather is too cold or wet for climbing in the Tieton River then likely Frenchman Coulee (Vantage) is the only place that may be warm and dry enough. Located a little over an hour Northeast of Yakima this is a vast, and popular area. There are dozens of walls offering bolted sport and traditional crack climbs.
This area is good option if you are looking for toproping opportunities. With more than a hundred climbs and easy walk up access, it is the best place near Yakima to toprope. There are no bolts allowed in the area so you will need to bring your own gear for building anchors. This area also offers unique and moderate bouldering, with many crack problems and highballs with great landings.
Horsethief Butte is located two hours South of Yakima on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. Because of the geography of the butte it is possible to chase shade or sun most of the day.
Central Climbing Wall
If you are just itching to pull on some plastic the closest climbing gym is at Central Washington University (Central) in Ellensburg. It is a small gym that has bouldering, top rope, and lead climbing available. Availability of climbing varies with bouldering be the most available. They also have classes and youth programs. Climbing and classes are available to community members which includes Yakima residents.
Best to call ahead as they do close for breaks and to reset.
Check them out here Central Climbing Wall