If you've ever driven east on Hwy 2 past Gold Bar, you might have noticed the large field of white boulders in a clear-cut along the north side of the highway below Zeke's Wall. Situated above the popular off-road vehicle area known as Reiter Foothills Recreation Area, the boulders at the base of Zeke's wall offer some of the best granite bouldering in Washington.
Less than an hour from Seattle, Gold Bar offers the closest classic bouldering to the city. With rock ranging in size from head high to house size, a variety of climbing options exist at Gold Bar. The rock is white/golden granite with great friction and interesting features. There are many edges, cracks, seams, slopers, smooth faces and several caves.
With hundreds of uncleaned routes, Gold Bar offers years of exploration and opportunities. The size, diversity and quality of Gold Bar could rival Squamish if the area were fully developed by the Washington climbing community. In a beautiful alpine setting, overlooking the Skykomish River and Mount Index, bouldering in Gold Bar is a unique experience.
Open to climbers. Closed to vehicles. Climbers must walk up the road from the gate, 2 or 3 miles below.
1. Do not park so as to block the road.
2. Be courteous and respectful of other users.
3. Do not drive off the main roadway or bypass the gate. Off-road acivity was what led to the closure of the road in the first place.
4. Do not cut down trees. This is timber land.
5. Carry a Discover Pass. The road traverses DNR land on the way up the hill and the State is required by law to enforce the permit requirement.
7. Climb at your own risk.
There is good cell phone reception along the ridge in case of emergency. There is primitive camping at the base of the ridge.
Photo by Justin Taraska.