Meet Medford’s quintessential backyard crag. Rattlesnake is less than an hour from town but tucked into deep forest. The quiet southern Oregon setting, short approach, and high concentration of good-quality routes make Rattlesnake a perfect after-work escape on summer evenings and year-round weekends alike.
Though the location gives its golden cliffs and stone arches a remote feel, this land has been inhabited for decades. Historically it was the homeland of the Monoc, Umpqua, and Siletz peoples, among others. Today, much of the land in this area is owned by either the federal government or logging companies (see “Special Etiquette,” below).
Rattlesnake hosts over 100 climbing routes. The vast majority are bolted, single-pitch routes on welded volcanic tuff, and several offer top-rope access. While most of the lines fall somewhere between 5.10 and 5.12, the grades range from 5.8 to 5.13—one of the reasons that locals of all ability levels come back to train here year after year.
Rattlesnake is packed with high-quality routes. Here are a few local favorites to get you started.
The Clam (5.8)
Short but sweet, this layback crack traces the edge of a thick flake on the Sunset Wall.
Pick your way up the rib of an exposed stone arch on this ultra-classic.
Split Decision (5.10a)
Good holds abound on this 60-foot headwall, save for the interesting but technical crux.
The Great Bear (5.10d)
Big holds on a steep crux give this classic a heroic finish.
Cloud Drifter (5.11c)
Tiptoe through a low crux to gain a sustained arête with stunning exposure.
The Scorpion (5.12a)
Tackle fun, bouldery climbing on this challenging line. Stick-clip recommended.