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Rock Climbing, Camping, Water Sports, And Sightseeing At Vantage, WA

Vantage is a small community in the Columbia River Gorge in the eastern portion of the Washington state. Though, the area is famous for its 25,000 seat concert venue and the annual Sasquatch Music Festival ( The Gorge Amphitheater is just minutes away from the climbing spot ), it's also one of the most popular rock climbing and outdoor destinations in the state of Washington.

The area referred to by its proper name, Frenchman Coulee is better known as Vantage among local climbing community ( due to its proximity to the town of the same name ).

This was my first time climbing and visiting the area, and I was absolutely blown away by its beauty and unusual ( for me ) hot weather !

Since it's not a climbing blog, I won't bore you with the description of climbing routes and levels of difficulty. I'll just say that even if you are a beginner climber, you'll find a route in your 5.6- 5.10 range. If it's your first time, there will be a lot of climbers who will be more than happy to show you where to start, and many guidebooks ( like Rock Climbing Washington) have detailed information about the area, driving directions, descriptions, ratings, route photos, topos, and recommended gear.

There are two free "unofficial " camping sites for climbers right be the climbing spots. BE PREPARED , there are no toilets, no running water, no picnic tables and campfires are "discouraged " ( though, there are established fire rings. So, I guess, bring your own wood ). You can also "camp " by the boat launch, at road's end ( stunning views of the Columbia River ! Wake up in the morning and take a dip ! ).

Even if you are not a climber, a road trip to this part of our state is still worthwhile.

I've traveled to Central/Eastern Washington a lot before, but I don't think I'd seen that much beauty neither in Wenatchee nor in Chelan.

Frenchman Coulee made a huge impression on me ! I haven't been to Arizona ( yet ), but standing at the edge of what was once a towering waterfall, felt like I'd just found my miniature version of the Grand Canyon.

Among other local attractions are Ginkgo Petrified Forest, and " Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies ".

If you like paddleboarding, boating, jet-skiing, water skiing or wakeboarding, the area has many boat launches ( one is right at the end of Vantage road, 5 minutes from the climbing area ).

This is definitely not the last time I visited this area. Next time, I am thinking about going up north to the Grand Coulee Dam area and Banks Lake.


Adayak said...

There is also some world class kayaking in the Columbia River Gorge.

ExtraHyperActive said...

The Columbia River Gorge you are talking about is way south ( closer to Portland ).
It's more famous for its wold class windsurfing and kiteboarding.
I think WW kayaking and rafting take place somewhere along the banks of the White Salmon River ( haven't rafted there yet, but heard it's a lot of fun ).