Seattle Rock Climbing Courses & Instruction
Our Seattle area rock climbing programs take place at exit 38, located 38 miles east of downtown Seattle on the south side of I-90. This area is also called Deception Crags and is primarily a bolted sport climbing area. Deception Crags holds a nice density of climbing with more of the routes tending to be in the 5.9 and higher range, but with plenty of more moderate routes suitable for training. We use Exit 38 - Deception Crags for programs where folks want to base out of Seattle. This is a great spot to take an Introduction to Outdoor Climbing Course
, which tends to focus on people making the transition from gym climbing to outdoor climbing, or those new to rock climbing.
Deception Crags are ideal for sport climbing programs
, group rock climbing programs
, rock climbing anchors clinics
, and rock rescue programs
. If looking to develop your crack climbing
, lead climbing
, or multi-pitch climbing
skills then you may consider making the journey to Leavenworth, WA (2.5 hours from Seattle) where granite crags offer a more trad focused climbing experience. Leavenworth also has drier climate and tends to offer sunny rock climbing on many days when Exit 38 is experiencing rain.
The advantage of Deception Crags is a short 45 minute approach from Seattle and a more sport climbing focused area.
Basic Seattle Rock Climbing Courses
Intermediate Seattle Rock Climbing Courses
Advanced Seattle Rock Climbing Courses
Private Seattle Rock Climbing Courses and Instruction
Getting to Exit 38 - Deception Crags
Drive East from Seattle on I-90. When you reach exit 38, get off the interstate and turn right as you come off the off-ramp. This road will wrap around, under the crags until you see a large parking area on your left just before crossing a creek. This is generally where you will meet your guide, and the area has good cell phone reception. The crags are just a short hike uphill along the creek from here.
Exit 38 - Deception Crags Guidebook
The best guidebook to the area is called Exit 38 Rock Climbing Guide by Garth Bruce (Free Solo Publishing). The second edition was published in 2006 and can be a bit difficult to track down, but is available online.
Reasons to consider the additional drive to Leavenworth
While Exit 38 - Deception Crags is a great spot for new climbers, the routes tend to be more difficult overall and due to its proximity to Seattle the crag can be very crowded during good weather. Leavenworth offers a much wider variety of climbing, long, moderate routes, and receives much less wet weather than Exit 38. We recommend you consider taking some of your more basic training on at Exit 38, but then making the trip to Leavenworth for the more advanced courses. While in Leavenworth there is also great boating, mountain biking, and a wide variety of restaurants, camping, and hotels in the area.