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Discovery Wall

Pinnacles National Park

Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, California

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Discovery Wall

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  • To the left is the Moses Spring Trail, the most direct route to the base of Discovery Wall.- Discovery Wall
  • Left provides access to the climbing areas on Discovery Wall.- Discovery Wall
  • The Rim Trail, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • Climber access to the belay ledges at the top of Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • A climber belays from the top of Swallow Crack (5.6), Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • Bear Gulch from the belay ledges on Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • The belay ledges on Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • The Moses Spring Trail at the base of the western edge of Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • The Moses Spring Trail below Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • Discovery Wall, Pinnacles National Park.- Discovery Wall
  • Climber access to Discovery Wall in Pinnacles National Park is marked by carabiner signs on the side of the main trails.- Discovery Wall
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Numerous high-quality routes. Easy access.
Cons: 
Crowds.
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Region:
Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Recommended Equipment:
Harness / rope / anchors, Additional ice tools, Helmets
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade V
Net Elevation Gain: 
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,300.00 ft (396.24 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Discovery Wall is the most popular climbing crag in Pinnacles National Park. It is easy to get to from the Bear Gulch parking lots and offers a wide variety of quality routes in a range of difficulties to appeal to many climbers. It is a long, continuous cliff face with trad, sport, and top-rope climbs all along it and a climber trail running its entire length. Beautiful scenery, well-trodden access trails, and a convenient belay ledge round out the appeal of this classic crag. Excursions to the Bear Gulch Caves, Bear Gulch Reservoir, and nearby climbing areas such as The Monolith make for a full day of adventure at Discovery Wall.

Pinnacles National Park is the newest national park in the United States, acquiring this status in 2013 after being originally established as a national monument by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. The park features dramatic volcanic rock formations including high peaks, caves, and highly-featured walls that are well suited to rock climbing. The peaks rising above the surrounding farms and grasslands host one of the highest densities of prairie falcons in North America as well as reintroduced California condors and a growing population of peregrine falcons. Other wildlife include coyote, bobcat, California quail, golden eagle, and cougar.

Rock climbing has a long history in Pinnacles, which has seen first ascents throughout the development of the sport in the United States from the 1930s through modern times. The local climbing community has a strict ground-up bolting policy forbidding bolting on rappel. Resulting sport climbs have a natural flow but do not always offer convenient protection on crux moves. Though the volcanic rock is not as robust as the granite found in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, numerous mineral crystals and other features make for routes that often give climbers many sequencing choices. These crystals are prone to being dislodged, however, so both climbers and belayers in Pinnacles should always wear helmets.

Brad Young's "Climber's Guide to Pinnacles National Monument" is a favorite among local climbers and provides excellent coverage of Discovery Wall and other crags within the park. Classic climbs on Discovery Wall include:

Portent (5.6)
Swallow Crack (5.6)
Ordeal (5.8)
Plague (5.10a)
Broken Arrow (5.10d)
Cosmos (5.11b)
The Verdict Direct (5.11b)

 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
5 Members
Who's Done It
2 Members
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96 Adventures Explored
48 Adventures Published

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