Although technical rock climbing in Icicle Creek Canyon dates to the 1940s, for years it was slower to develop than in Tumwater Canyon. Outside of Snow Creek Wall, very little history was recorded until the first full guide was published in 1989. Many routes (and even entire crags) were known by different names to different groups of climbers. Other areas remained unknown or secret. Today there are several hundred routes in the Icicle, and the canyon has been the focal point of the area’s recent explosion in bouldering popularity.
There is tension with private land access in parts of Icicle Creek Canyon. In some places, climbers have to cross private land to get to crags in the National Forest. In other places, the crags themselves are on private land. If in doubt, climb elsewhere. Crags or key access points on private land include:
- Bolt Rock / Access to Careno Crag: Located on land that is posted as private, but climbing & access across that land are currently allowed.
- The Keep Out: Posted no trespassing.
- Access to Dog Dome / Slug Rock / Hook Creek Crag / Rat Creek Dome / Rat Creek Boulder: Easiest access is across a private bridge, which is currently posted no trespassing. Access instead by wading the river several hundred yards below the bridge (wait for low water) and staying downstream of the private properties. Avoid the property upstream of bridge. Keep a low profile.
- Alphabet Rock: Privately owned. Climbing has been traditionally allowed, but access is somewhat sensitive.
- 8-Mile Rock (Classic Crack): Privately owned; climbing has been traditionally allowed. Park on Icicle Road and descend next to the crag (not via the driveway) or walk in from campground.
- Access to Doctor Rock / Nurse Rock: Most direct access is across private land; permission to cross is needed. Better to access by traversing across from higher up Eightmile Road.
- Twisted Tree Boulder: Located on public land, but close to posted private land. Please don’t ‘explore’ on this land.
Two major purchases in the last two decades have recently brought several crags into public or quasi-public ownership. Both were facilitated by the Trust for Public Land (TPL). The first involved buying and transferring the Goat Dome area to the Forest Service in 2004. The second involved buying and transferring the Sam Hill/Trundle Dome area to the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust in 2005. The WCC kicked off a grassroots fundraising campaign that raised $14,300 to help make the Sam Hill transfer happen. You can read more about our work here.
Camping is available at several campgrounds. With the amount of private land in the Icicle (and Forest Service / local sheriff sensitivities), roadside camping is strongly discouraged before the road turns to dirt.
Most crags in Icicle Creek Canyon are within the Wenatchee National Forest. Some crags are on private property and access to some crags requires crossing private land (see below).
There are occasional Peregrine Falcon closures on Snow Creek Wall. For an example of one such closure, visit: 2009 Snow Creek Wall falcon closure information page.
The Keep Out is on private property that is posted no trespassing. All other crags are open.
In some places, there are threatened or endangered plant species growing in cracks and near crags. If you are interested in establishing a new route, please ask for information on these plants at the Leavenworth Ranger Station.
Please respect private property rights in Icicle Creek Canyon and obey no trespassing and no camping signs.
Snow Creek Wall is within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Power drills are prohibited in designated wilderness areas.
A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the Snow Creek, Eightmile Creek, and Fourth of July trailheads.