A South Lake Tahoe climbing hotspot, with easy access, short approaches, free camping and great rock for pros and novice climbers alike.
You can easily see the sheer and awe-inspiring cliffs of what locals call "The Leap" while driving east on U.S. Highway 50 from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe. Lover's Leap is a very popular place to climb because it offers easy access, great classic climbing and short approaches. Expect summer weekends to be busy and be prepared to find wait lines for some of the most well-known climbs. Since the rock is over a half-mile wide, you'll surely be able to find a quiet place to set up a belay. The east end rises 350 feet, and the west end reaches almost 600 feet. While there is climbing for all levels, most routes on Lover's Leap range from 5.6 to 5.10.
To get to Lover's Leap from South Lake Tahoe, drive west on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit towards Sacramento. Just before the Strawberry Lodge, turn left and follow the road back into the parking area. Follow the trail that begins at the northeast end of the campground, passing several large boulders leading to an old road. At this point, several short trails will lead you to different areas of the cliff. A trail also contours the base of the wall.
TMS Recommended Routes & Yosemite Decimal System Rating:
Bear's Reach 5.7
The Line 5.9
Traveler's Buttress 5.9
Hospital Corner 5.10a
Lover's Leap and South Lake Tahoe Climbing Essentials: Rock Climbing Lake Tahoe Guidebook and Bison climbing chalk
photo credit: Justin Johnsen