The newest outdoor rock climbing experience in Mt. Hood Territory, The Madrone Wall Park and Climbing Area, opens again for the 2019 season on Tuesday, July 16, and we can’t wait to see what all the buzz has been about.
Since we haven’t climbed it ourselves yet, we spoke with advanced climber Josh Patrick, who has lived in Oregon for the past decade and climbed numerous places, to get his insight on how Madrone Wall stacks up.
How difficult is the climb at Madrone Wall? There is a good mix of easy to difficult climbs from 5.7 to 5.12 sport and trad.
What did you think about the overall setup and layout? Prior to opening (originally), there was an effort to replace a lot of the aging bolts with new hardware, and it was evident. The approach trails are short and well maintained, and the person belaying has a nice, flat surface to stand on. Also, each routes rating is graded fairly, meaning, if it says it’s a medium difficulty level, it is.
How would you describe the quality compared to other places? The rock quality is really good. It’s not chossy (or crumbly for those not familiar with climber lingo).
Are there any good views? As you climb up, you are in the tree canopies, and it’s a great perspective. The Madrone trees are really cool and interesting too.
What else can you do there? There are good trails for hiking and a trail that takes you to the top of the wall with a view. This website is a great resource.
Any helpful tips? There is poison oak in places. Most is avoidable, but you should still come prepared. You should be set with 60-m rope and a rack. The parking is easy but it’s also limited so recommend getting there early.
Would you recommend Madrone Wall for a climb or not? Yes! I would say it’s one of the premier crags (climbing areas) near Portland. The climbing is fun, the moves are interesting and it has a good variety of routes.
Madrone Wall Park and Climbing Area is open seasonally July 16 through January 31 to protect the nesting Peregrine falcons, which are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Once the fledglings are able to fly out of the nest in July, the park opens! In the colder months, climbers enjoy that it has a south facing wall with a crag that can stay dry through the end of climbing season.
Check the Clackamas County website for park hours broken out monthly.