Portland Climbing Access

A portal for current access issues around PDX and list of access organizations for rock climbers in Portland, Oregon as of 2024

Climbing Access in Portland, Oregon

By: Anthony Revez

Portland, Oregon offers a variety of rock climbing opportunities within easy reach of the city. It is a little known fact that there are over 33 rock climbing areas within a two hour drive of Portland and 50 bouldering areas in the same distance. However, climbers should be aware of access issues at several areas.

A female rock climber with belay glasses at a Portland rock climbing areas.

Photo: Antolly Gelb

A boulder on Mount Hood near Portland.


The Rewilding Boulder below Mount Hood 2 hours from portland is a great example of the wilderness that is close to Portland. The Access Fund, a national non-profit, works with local groups to protect climbing areas across Oregon. They have been involved in countless managment agreements like the one that manages Mt Hood National Forest. 

All About Portland Access


Carver is one of the closest major areas to Portland. Requirements for climbing are: Climbers must carry their ID and Carver Climbing Club membership card at all times while on the property near the Carver Bridge Cliff and Stone Cliff Inn. Membership is restricted to experienced climbers aged 18 and over. Check out our free guidebook to Carver in the Next Ascent App!

Ozone WA

An access frinedy crag a short drive from PDX. This area offers a short approach, shaded rock climbs, and access with slightly limited parking strrewn across route 14 in Washington. Please be certain to not overcrowd the parking spots and be respectful to motorists. This area offers over 100 sport and trad routes in a shaded setting. Check out the comprehensive gudiebook in the Next Ascent app.

Madrone Wall

Madrone Wall is a climbing area with over 130 established rock climbs. Most of the area offers well bolted sport climbing, mixed bolt and trad, and trad routes. There is a free guidebook to Madrone in the Next Ascent app!

Mt Hood

Mount Hood offers numberous crags. French’s Dome, kawainis Camp Crag, Trilliumm Lake Crag, Salmon River Slab, Petes Pile, Gnarl Ridge, Klinger Spring, Bulo Point, Enola Hill, Hunchback and a few other off-the-radar crags exist here. 

These areas are fullly covered in the Portland Climbing Gudebook  as well as in the Next Ascent app.

Carver Climbing Club


The Carver Climbing Club manages access to the private property housing the Carver climbing areas. Membership in the club is mandatory for anyone wishing to climb at the Carver cliff or boulders, and all club rules must be strictly followed.

Join tthe Carver Climbing Club to help protect this valuable local climbing resource. For more information, visit the Carver Climbing Club website.


Madrone Wall Preservation Committee


A non profit organization founded in 1999 which is committed to restoring recreational access at the Madrone Wall.


Portland Area Climbers Coalition


PACC is a 501c3 non profit organization committed to preserving and protecting climbing areas and resources in the greater portland area. Our mission is to promote active stewardship, conservation, and responsible use at local climbing areas.


From the new Next Ascent Carver Bouldering Guidebook: A pic of a classic at Carver.

From the new Next Ascent Carver Bouldering Guidebook: A pic of a classic at Carver.

Rock Climbing Access in Portland, Oregon

Organizations Making a Difference

Carver Cliff:

Currently, as of 2024, you need to attain a membership with the Carver Climbers Club to be on the property for roped climbing and bouldering. The landowner has had a fantastic relationship with climbers for many years and allows climbing provided you are a member of the club and have signed up on the website. More info below.

Broughton Bluff:

Open, and easily accessible. Broughton is one of the closest and best areas to Portland.

Ozone Wall:

Access has limited parking and this area tends to get crowded on weekends and holidays. Park only in designated pulloffs.

Rocky Butte:

Open for climbing, but the area has seen increased use by the houseless issues in Portland and some environmental impact has occurred. A group of devoted locals regularly clean large parts of the cliff and have created an excellent, local community and actively rebolt climbs.

French’s Dome:

Located in Mt. Hood National Forest. Open for climbing, but be aware of seasonal wildlife closures.

Beacon Rock:

In Washington, but close to Portland. The main face is open seasonally, typically from July to January, due to peregrine falcon nesting.

Rock Climbing Access: Challenges and Conservation in the Portland Metro area


Rock climbing access is a complex issue facing the climbing community worldwide. As the sport grows in popularity, climbers increasingly encounter challenges related to land use, environmental impact, and property rights.

Key Issues:

  1. Land Ownership: Many climbing areas are on private property or managed public lands, leading to potential conflicts with landowners or land managers.
  1. Environmental Impact: Increased traffic can damage vegetation, disturb wildlife, and cause erosion, prompting concerns from conservation groups.
  1. Safety and Liability: Landowners may worry about potential lawsuits from injured climbers, leading to access restrictions. Luckily Portland has had very few issues with local landowners and the majority of the rock climbing and bouldering areas are on state and federal lands that allow climbing.
  1. Cultural Preservation: Some climbing areas hold cultural or historical significance to indigenous groups, requiring careful negotiation and respect.
  1. Overcrowding: Popular areas face issues with parking, trash, and noise, affecting local communities and ecosystems. This is becoming an increasing problem in the Portland metro area. As more and more climbers relocate to Portland from other parts of the US, climbing areas are seeing increasing impact, erosion, and other issues.

Solutions and Strategies:

  1. Access Organizations: Groups like the Access Fund work to maintain climbing access through advocacy, education, and land acquisition.
  1. Leave No Trace: Promoting responsible climbing practices helps minimize environmental impact.
  1. Partnerships: Collaborating with land managers, conservation groups, and local communities can lead to sustainable access solutions.
  1. Climbing Management Plans: Developing comprehensive plans for popular areas can balance access with conservation needs.
  1. Education: Informing climbers about access issues and etiquette is crucial for maintaining positive relationships with landowners and communities.

As climbing continues to grow, addressing these access issues will be vital for the sport’s sustainable future. Climbers must actively engage in conservation efforts and responsible practices to ensure continued access to climbing around Portland, Mt Hood, and the Columbia Gorge.

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