Update: May 29, 2019

Location of parking and access: Walker Valley Road
Location of trail and climbing area: Clear Lake District – Northwest Region – Washington Department of Natural Resources

Access considerations: We ask that climbers do their part by following the simple rules below for access. Access to Equinox is a privilege and it is more important than ever to maintain a good relationship with DNR and the adjacent Fire Mountain Scout Camp.

Current status: Climbing is allowed at Equinox. Vehicular access on state trust land roads via Janicki Road or the Scout Camp are CLOSED.
Due to internal security issues with campers, additional gates have been installed. Park outside the gate along Walker Valley Rd and display a Discover Pass. Stay well off the road and do not block any gates or driveways. Please carpool, and if no parking is available, park at the Walker Valley ORV parking area, display a Discover Pass, and caravan or hike back. Please observe these requests to not jeopardize options for improved access.

  • DNR may close a recreational facility or trail either temporarily or permanently for the purposes of protecting the environment, public safety, property, or to ensure DNR meets its management and administrative obligations (WAC 332-52-100).

Driving Directions:

  •  Enter driving directions to Walker Valley Rd.
  • When you arrive near the entrance to Fire Mountain Scout Camp, find suitable parking off Walker Valley Road and do not block any gates or driveways.
  • Do not drive through any gates as they may be temporarily open and get closed or locked behind you.

Hiking Directions:

  •  Instead of walking through the Scout Camp, continue walking straight on Walker Valley Road through this gate (photo)
  • Walk 1.5 miles, staying right at a fork in the road.
  • The trailhead location is here.
  • Follow a faint trail for 1.2 miles, crossing a stream, and turning right on the road to reach the old Janicki Road parking area. Continue east on the road until a faint trail is seen on the left.
  • The Equinox climbing area is here.

Additional Rules & Restrictions:

  • Please be respectful, drive slow, and limit noise when parking on Walker Valley Rd
  • Consider carpooling as parking is limited. Never block the road, gates or driveways. If there is no room to park, please climb elsewhere to avoid crowding at the crag.
  • Display a current Discover Pass when parking.
  • Yield to other vehicles and do not interfere with any and all timber management activities or other property owners in the area.
  • Fires are strictly prohibited.
  • No littering – pack in, pack out

October 5, 2016. Seattle, WA
The Access Fund and Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) are pleased to announce that after years of uncertain access, climbers can (for now) enjoy improved access to Equinox, a premier steep sport climbing crag outside Mt. Vernon in Western Washington.

Climbing here is a privilege, not a right. Please follow the practices set forth below and at all times strive to be a good ambassador for the climbing community.

    • Do not drive to Equinox via Janicki Road.
    • Please be respectful, drive slow, and limit noise when driving through the Scout Camp. Your behavior is critical to maintaining this agreement.
    • Unlock and relock the bridge gate correctly. Incorrect use may prevent other authorized access.
    • Close the gate behind your vehicle every time, even if left open by others.
    • Consider carpooling as parking is limited. Never block the road. If there is no room to park, please climb elsewhere to avoid crowding at the crag.
    • Display a current Discover Pass when parking.
    • Yield to other vehicles and do not interfere with any and all timber management activities.
    • Fires are strictly prohibited.
    • No littering – pack in, pack out
    • DNR may close a recreational facility or trail either temporarily or permanently for the purposes of protecting the environment, public safety, property, or to ensure DNR meets its management and administrative obligations (WAC 332-52-100).
    • This renewed access could not have been possible without support from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Mount Baker Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

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Full News Item:

New partnership gives climbers reliable access to Equinox October 5, 2016. Seattle, WA – Access Fund and Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) are pleased to announce that after years of uncertain access, climbers now have a reliable access point to Equinox, a premier sport climbing crag outside Mt. Vernon in Western Washington.

Equinox boasts up to 200 feet of vertical to overhanging routes on the western face of a volcanic intrusion. “For 5.12 and harder routes, Equinox offers some of the best sport climbing in Western Washington,” states Benjit Hull, who has been climbing at Equinox since 2006.

While climbing at Equinox has been allowed since the area’s development in the 1990s, vehicular access onto the state trust lands has proved to be an ongoing challenge for climbers. Most climbers access Equinox from the northern access point, which is on state trust land managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This northern access point has a gate off Janicki Road, which is sometimes left open and sometimes locked. When locked, climbers would have to hike or bike 6 miles to the crag, making short day trips to Equinox difficult to impossible. When the gate was open, climbers would drive the 6 miles, but risked getting locked in. Due to recent issues with vandalism, DNR would not consider motorized recreational access, and recently warned several climbers that they would be ticketed for driving to Equinox, even if the gate was opened.

To find a way around this access challenge, Access Fund and Washington Climber Coalition reached out to the managers of nearby Fire Mountain Scout Camp, a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) group that owns land on the southern side of Equinox that could provide an alternate access point. The scout camp agreed to share their gated access point, giving climbers an alternate a shorter drive from the Seattle area, and only 25 minutes of additional hiking to reach Equinox.

“This is a great victory for Northwest climbers,” says Access Fund Board Member and WCC General Counsel Jonah Harrison. “But access is not guaranteed. We need to maintain this partnership and relationship with the Fire Mountain Scout Camp and DNR to enjoy access now and in future years.”

Although Equinox is well-known among seasoned sport climbers of Western Washington and British Columbia, climbers have a “no guidebook, no publicity” policy due to the area’s sensitive access. To be inclusive and ensure the right steps are followed by all climbers looking to visit Equinox, we are sharing key access information to the greater northwest climbing community, but ask that climbers do their part by following the simple rules for access. For those who have never experienced the fun sport climbs at Equinox, we ask that you go with a partner that knows the area first and respect local climbers’ desire to keep route information unpublished at this time.

Access to Equinox is a privilege and it is more important than ever to maintain a good relationship with DNR and Fire Mountain Scout Camp.