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Enjoy a day of rock climbing Castle Rock in Lake Tahoe no matter your ability 

By Meghan Burk 
Climbing Castle Rock in Lake Tahoe
Climbing Castle Rock in Lake Tahoe

You don’t need to be Alex Honnald or Margo Hayes to go rock climbing in Lake Tahoe. However, I want to note that I have huge respect for their accomplishments and unmatched ability, especially after the unnerving experience leading a route with a 5.7 rating officially named Disco Cowboy.  

For those who have their own climbing gear, enjoy rock time, are learning to leadmaybe want to practice multi-pitch or just want an easier day of it with some epic lake views, Castle Rock will be your new favorite climbing gym in Tahoe.   

Gearing Up  

You can never have enough chalk. Remind me to close my bag, as I’m that person who leaves a trail of chalk crumbs after every climb. Either way, Tahoe Sports Ltd. is worth a visit before you go rock climbing Castle Rock in Lake Tahoe.

For local tips, guidebooks, or whatever you might have forgottenthis is your go-to local shop for any sport need. Plus, get some insider tips as their professionals are the know-it-alls to this outdoor playground we locals call Tahome. 

Must-Do: For those who want a trifecta sport day, rock climb Castle Rock, hike to Castle Rock Peak and then mountain bike the Castle Rock Loop or the fun downhill single-track Stinger.  

Getting to Castle Rock 

Crossing from the California side into Nevada, this majestic jagged outcropping can be seen from Highway 50 as you pass the casinos. Cruising up Kingsbury Grade you take a left after the sign “Brautovich Park.” 

You’ll meander through a quiet neighborhood, follow the road to the end and find a newly paved parking lot. 

This also happens to be the Trailhead marker for the Tahoe Rim Trail, with trails off shooting to Spooner Summit and dipping into Carson Valley.

For our purposes though, take the welltrafficked fire road at the start of the parking lot. It’s the quickest approach to this incredible rock

Must-Do: For those who want a trifecta sport day, rock climb Castle Rock, hike to Castle Rock Peak and then mountain bike the Castle Rock Loop or the fun downhill single-track Stinger.  

Climbing Castle Rock in Lake Tahoe
Climbing Castle Rock in Lake Tahoe
Climb On!  

A well-known local name in the outdoor sports community is Todd Offenbacher, a Tahoe legend and TV personalitywho’s responsible for installing Castle Rock’s accessible routes for progression.

Around 2016, Offenbacher and some friends finished installing 20-plus new routes, introducing this seemingly elusive sport to all in the Tahoe Basin. (Thank you!)  

So, there are a few climbing sections on this dome of rock including North Castle, West and Central Gully, Armory Wall and then some, but for me and my adventurous buddies, Village Wall is our favorite. It’s super fun, I promise you.   

On this wall, you’ll find five wellbolted routes ranging from 5.6 – 5.8, perfect for a full day of climbing with a group of three or more.

Rock Climbing Castle Rock Lake Tahoe
Rock Climbing Castle Rock Lake Tahoe

Most of the handholds are generous in size so you can zip up these routes with confidence and take time lowering as you’ll want to grab a snapshot of the epic lake views — some of the best on Tahoe’s South Shore.   

Rock climbing Castle Rock Lake Tahoe is a humbling experience. It’s important to find a location that provides route progression, to both build your confidence, grow your skills, and challenge you as much (or as little) as you’d like. Castle Rock is a perfect spot for rock climbing in Lake Tahoe.   

Before you know it, you’ll have bagged more than five new climbs while capturing some incredible experiences, truly enjoying what this incredible area is all about. Rock on!  

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Disclaimer: Getaway Reno/Tahoe supports social distancing and safe practices promoting the health of our community. Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, digital and print content is updated to the best of our knowledge. Please keep in mind, many photos featured in our publication and online platform were taken before the pandemic and may not reflect current conditions. As you navigate your Reno/Tahoe adventure, be sure to visit the corresponding event URL or business page to check cancellations, closings, or postponements. Stay safe, stay healthy. Thank you.