Rock Climbing in the Southern California Needles

Kern River, The Needles

The Needles of Southern California are a remarkable place.

The area hovers on the margins of most climber’s radar; somewhere they have heard of but never quite managed to get to.The drive is long through some of the least populated parts of the southern Sierra. While Dome Rock is barely a stone’s throw from the vehicle the main Needles group is a two-mile hike in but summers are too hot so we plan trip for the spring and fall.

But the climbing is some of the finest in the state with the classic White Punks on Dope reputed to be the best moderate climb in the state.In 2012 the Sequoia National Forest granted Sierra Mountain Center a permit to guide here. It took us many decades of applying but we are now the only guide service able to guide here.

Needles Ca Climbing GuideYes, the Needles are a spooky place to climb. But it is also one of the most aesthetic anywhere. Glowing green and fluorescent yellow lichen coat impeccable granite and the spires soar into the blue skies of the Golden State.

Come climb with us and return home with an unforgettable experience etched into your emotions.

We offer three different camps, each three days long.

Dates for 2020

May 23-25
June 12-14, 19-22
September 11-16 (extended camp so plug in for whatever days work for you)
October 2-4, 9-11

We also offer trips on a custom, by request basis. So please call and talk to us about climbing in this fantastic area.

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Order the Needles Climbing Guide!

Needles Climbing Guide by Christian SolemThis guidebook by Christian Solem covers every route from the classics to the obscure at the upper Needles, Voodoo Dome, Demon Dome, and the secretive Merlin Dome.

Also covered in detail are Dome Rock and Hermit Spire. The Needles stately neighbor to the south, Dome Rock, is home to more easily accessible classic climbs than any other crag in the southern Sierra. Hermit Spire, easily seen from The Needles approach, stands alone across the Freeman Creek drainage beckoning to adventurous climbers.

Everything you need to know to get there, camp there, climb there, and enjoy rest days is in this book. You will also find interesting reading, including a carefully researched history of Needles area climbing, rounded out by personal accounts from Needles climbers who led the way.

This book is the complete Needles guide. And coming in at 240 pages (only ten more than the 1992 book) it will not be a burden in your pack. Click here to order your copy of Needles Climbing Guide!