ROTC, 5.11c, on Midnight Rock, Tumwater Canyon.
Photo by Larry Kemp.
Wenatchee National Forest.
Vaughan Marable, District Ranger
Gabrielle Snyder, Wilderness Ranger
Wenatchee River Ranger District (Formerly Leavenworth District and Lake Wenatchee District)
Leavenworth, Washington 98826
As of July 4, 2014, the nesting closure in Tumwater Canyon has been lifted. The Forest Service re-opened Midnight Rock on June 19, 2014, after confirming that the nesting activity was occurring on Noontime Rock this year. On July 4, 2014, they announced that the chicks have fledged their nest so that Noontime Rock is also now open. All other crags in the Leavenworth are also currently open.
Midnight Rock and Noontime Rock are seasonally closed for raptor nesting, April 1 through July 31. All other crags are open year round.
In some places, there are threatened or endangered plant species growing in cracks and near crags. If you are interested in establishing a new route, please ask for information on these plants at the Leavenworth Ranger Station.
East Slope Crags forum
Tumwater Canyon, and especially Castle Rock, is the historic heart of Washington rock climbing. The first ascent of Midway was made by Fred Beckey, Wes Grande, and Jack Schewbland in 1948. While it may not have been the first modern crag climb in Washington, it probably comes close. Later, in the 1970s, Midnight Rock became the place for hard crack climbing in Washington, including standard setters such as R.O.T.C. (5.11c) and Supercrack (5.12c).
More recently, some fine new crags and bouldering areas have been discovered (or rediscovered). These include some steeper sport areas.
The current annual mandatory raptor closure at Midnight and Noontime Rocks followed an experimental voluntary closure. Unfortunately, the closure was violated when some climbers climbed directly through the nest site. The Forest Service then went to the current mandatory closure. This closure is usually lifted in mid-July, after the raptors are done nesting.
Camping is available at Tumwater Campground or at numerous campgrounds in nearby Icicle Creek Canyon.
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