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Bouldering in Gold Bar

The small town of Gold Bar may not turn many heads as motorists pass it on State Route 2. Yet the hills surrounding this little PNW city offer some of the very best climbing in Western Washington.

Boulderers in the Greater Seattle Area know and love this neck of the woods for its giant granite rocks, which are ideal for sending. 

The best place to go bouldering is up past Reiter Pit on Reiter Road. The bouldering fields are accessible by a forest service. Load up your chalk and crash pads and get ready to climb!   

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One fun thing about bouldering -– the rocks have creative names like Beam Me Up, Summer Solstice, or Samurai. This is part of the carefree spirit that pervades bouldering culture. The bouldering scene was more like a subculture until about a decade ago. Twenty years ago, rogue rock climbers were seen as eccentric at best, neurotic at worst. That popular stigma has begun to change. Social media influencers and the prevalence of indoor climbing gyms have taken bouldering from a niche activity to something mainstream and edgy. There are hip clothing lines that are part of the lifestyle. There are digital acolytes to be accumulated by influencers, for better or worse. 

With this in mind, it’s important to tread lightly when foraying into the backcountry of Snohomish County. Please remember to be safe and to leave no trace. There are parts of the Gold Bar area that don’t receive cell service, so please tell a friend or a loved one where you’ll be before heading out into the woods in search of big climbing rocks. 

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Want to get started, but don’t know how or where to cut your teeth? 

Before you go, you may want to first practice your skills at a more controlled environment like an indoor climbing gym. We recommend either Vertical World (the very first climbing gym on the world) in Lynnwood or Summit Climbing Gym in downtown Everett. Either place also offers shoes and chalk and chalk bags – essentials for boulderers. Once you've honed the basics it's time to hit the hills, crash pad in tow.

See you out there!


The Upper Sky Valley is the place for PNW outdoor recreation.

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Visit the Summit Climbing Gym in Everett to hone your bouldering skills.

Belay on!

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