North American Classic Climbs

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Royal Arches

(Yosemite Valley)

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A very popular climb, and unique in taking you from the floor of Yosemite Valley to the rim at a moderate difficulty level with quality climbing. Get an early start unless you're very confident of your speed. A recently bolted rappel line eliminates the need to descend via the North Dome Gulley, although the views as you hike over Washington Column make the walk quite worthwhile. This route is occasionally combined with North Dome to provide a 24 pitch day. Royal Arches is a relatively long climb, but it lacks continuity, so many pitches can be dispatched quite quickly.


Lowland Rock (crag)




Yosemite Nat'l Park, California, USA



G5, G35, I1, W9, W32


III, 5.9


Route Descriptions & Maps:

Descent description USGS topographic map

First Ascent:

M. Harris, K. Adam, K. Davis, October 9, 1936


Trip Reports:

Opland 9/95
Bindner 6/97
Romero 6/99
Heinsman 8/99