Exit 38 Rock Climbing Guidebook

Go to web preview to see the sectors and routes included in this guidebook.

by Todd Kutzke and Rob Price
Outdoor Geeks, LLC

The crags of North Bend, WA offer a beautiful getaway for Seattle-area climbers with convenient climbing from Spring through Fall. This detailed digital guidebook features accurate beta, car to crag navigation and detailed smart topo photos for all the best climbs at the south side Deception and Mt. Washington crags, as well as, the north side Far Side crags.

 
 

All digital purchases include 1 year of free updates. Updates will be available for an additional charge after that, depending on the extent of the updates. Rentals include updates during the term of the rental.

Go to web preview to see the sectors and routes included in this guidebook.


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Exit 38 Rock Climbing Beta

Getting There
Parking
Climbing Style
When to Visit
Dogs
Where to Stay
Calories
Gear To Bring
Rest Day Options

Getting There

Olallie State Park Map
Drive East from Seattle on I-90 and as the name implies, exit at exit 38. Turn right at the end of the off ramp onto SE Homestead Valley Rd.
To park for Mt. Washington crags like Amazonia, make your first right and park in the gravel Upper Twin Falls parking area with a pit toilet and bulletin board. The trail head is on the north side of the parking lot. Take this short trail up to the old rail road grade aka Iron Horse Trail. Walk west (right turn) on the rail road grade for about 1/4 mile looking for the Mt. Washington trail head that goes south (left turn) up into the woods. All of the Mt. Washington crags can be found along this trail.
To reach the Deception crags, after you exit the off ramp and turn right onto SE Homestead Valley Rd. and continue on Homestead until reaching the gravel parking area where Change Creek flows underneath Homestead. Park on the North (left side) of the Homestead. The deception crags trail head begins just on the South side of Homestead and West side of Change Creek. Follow the Change Creek trail up into the woods and underneath the old rail road trestle. Just after crossing underneath the trestle you'll encounter the first crag known as Sub-Station crag.

Parking

You need a discover pass to legally park at the Mt. Washington parking lot, but you do not need one for the Deception Crag Parking. More info can be found here: Discover Pass. If you buy online it can take 7-10 business days to receive your pass, but you can print a temporary 10-day pass at the time of purchase from the Discover Pass website or print your e-mail confirmation.

Climbing Style

Exit 38 is a sport climbing area. If you want fun routes on closely spaced bolts, Exit 38 is a great choice. We Did Rock and Write Off rock are great places for the aspiring leader to build "lead head" confidence in the 5.6-5.8 range. For the intermediate leader, Nevermind or Amazonia are good options for plentiful climbs in the 5.9-5.11 range. The rock at Exit 38 can take a while to get used to. Foot holds are plentiful, but not always obvious. The slightest smear on angled rock can be crucial here but takes some Exit 38 mileage to comprehend that you don't always need a good edge to make a good foothold. Most routes are well travelled so loose rock was long ago cleaned off.

When to visit

You can reliably climb at Exit 38 from late Spring through early Fall with the drier Summer months being the most reliable. On a hot day Amazonia and Nevermind are good shady climbing options. When it's lightly raining, the right side of Nevermind can stay dry due to it's overhanging nature. Summer weekends can get crowded at the popular crags during mid-day, so arrive early or late if it's a Summer weekend.

Find more about Weather in North Bend, WA
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Dogs

Pets are allowed, but must be under physical control at all times on a leash no more than eight feet long. Bring a poop bag and pack it out. If you're belaying from the Iron Horse Trail ensure that your gear and your dog are out of the way of bicyclists and horses.

Where to Stay

Your best bet for camping is Tinkham Campground four miles down I90 at Exit 42. North Bend has the closest hotel options.

Calories

Whatever you need you can find it in North Bend. For a guilty pleasure post climbing snack we recommend Scott's Dairy Freeze. On the way back to Seattle, stop in at the Issaquah Brew House for a kobe beef burger and craft beer.

Gear To Bring

Bring your draws, 15 will do, and leave the trad rack at home. Exit 38 is all about closely spaced bolts. One 60M rope will suffice. Remember if you belay from the Iron Horse Trail, keep your rope and gear out of the way of other trail users like bicyclists and horses.

Rest Day Options

If the weather doesn't cooperate we recommend getting your climbing gym on at Stone Gardens in Bellevue. Olallie state park is also known for two scenic waterfalls. For hiking information to the waterfalls check out the Olallie State Park site.

Useful Links

Images & Videos

History

Geology