Parking Lot Opens New Horizon At Rocks Of Sharon | Community Spirit
When it comes to rock climbing in the Spokane area, Minnehaha Park gets all the attention. But a new trailhead completed later last summer by Spokane County Conservation District and the Dishman Hills Conservancy has opened one of the best kept secrets.
Big Rock - Rocks of Sharon is an area loaded with massive granite walls and plenty of places to climb.
Javier Sparks is an avid climber and works at Mountain Goat Outfitters. He says climbers and hikers use to have to walk a fine line with neighbors who live in the area. “Before you couldn't park and all and people would hassle you about it,” said Sparks.
It’s located on the south side of Krell Mountain, often referred to as Tower Mountain on the southeastern edge of Spokane. For those who aren't into rock climbing, the area provides great hiking trails and spectacular views of the Palouse.
The new trail-head opened in August on Stevens Creek Road off the Palouse Highway. It features a graveled parking lot, picnic area and porta-potty. Signs directing climbers and hikers are clearly placed on the dirt road.
If you like flat trails, The Rocks of Sharon might not be your cup of tea. It’s on the backside of a mountain, so for the most part, the trails are up and then down. Luckily the inclines aren’t too steep and the payoff at the top is huge. The view of the Palouse is as good of view as you’ll get anywhere this close to town.
On a clear day Steptoe Butte rises from the southern farmland like a great watchtower. Depending on the time of day, different light and shadows are cast upon the valleys and rolling hills bringing them to life. If you’re brave enough, you can watch a thunderstorm roll in from the south with towering clouds and sheets of rain soaking the land.
“If you can get to the top of Big Rock, you can see all of Spokane Valley,” said Sparks.
As for rock climbing, there are seven different faces with bolts and routes.
According to Rockclimbing.com, Big Rock is the largest of the granite formations that make up the Rocks of Sharon. Its 230 foot west face boasts some 16 climbs alone with a total of 30 routes all together. Some are set up to be done as two pitch climbs and others as one long pitch.
“It's all easy to moderate climbing, so even beginners can make their way up,” said Sparks.
Whether you are a climber or a hiker, The Rocks of Sharon has something for everyone