How to Get There

One of the charms of Monkey Island is that it is not a "popular" climbing area and remains largely untouched.  We prefer that the crag remain free of bolts and for the landscape to be unmodified.  Climbers can experience the beauty of a pristine crag that has not been "improved" or made "climber-friendly."  By creating this site, as the first "recorded" ascentionists, we want to establish the style of climbing at this cliff: leave it as you found it.

If this kind of unsanitized and raw climbing environment speaks to you and you enjoy a traditional, "leave no trace" climbing experience, then you can find directions to the cliff at the bottom of the page.

If you are seeking a climbing area with well maintained access trails, cracks free of vegetation, all stones trundled from ledges, and bomber bolted belay stations, then you should visit one of the many other popular domes in Tuolumne.

Directions to Monkey Island

From Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, drive west about one mile and park at the Pothole Dome parking area.
Hike the use trail around the west end of the meadows and into the forest.  Continue along the west side of Pothole Dome, past a pretty small pond.  Stay on the trail as it curves around the north side of the pond, and then about 100 yards later turns north and heads uphill.
The trail reaches a small saddle, and looking west (left) you can see the summit of Monkey Island.  The trail becomes steep as it descends the north side of the saddle.  Descend about 200 feet and then when it becomes feasible to leave the trail, head sharply west.  Contour through small boulders and trees for about 100 yards and the far east end of the cliff will come into view.

Please tread lightly and avoid "improving" the landscape to make a "nicer" trail.  One of the delights of Monkey Island is its untrammeled quality.  Please help preserve its natural beauty.

map to Monkey Island