Lovers Leap - Climbing

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The easily accessible climbing mecca Lovers Leap is a must see for any climber in the South Lake Tahoe area.

Written by

Jill Sanford


1.0 miles

The approach to the crag is less than a mile.

Destination Distance From Downtown

21.3 miles


3 of 5 diamonds

This is a great spot for comfortable climbers to try new things and see what they are capable of.

Time To Complete

1 hours

Most climbers spend anywhere from one to six hours climbing here.


Spring, Summer, and Fall

This elevation often sees snow covering the ground well into April and as early as October. The best time to climb here is late spring and early fall, but mid-summer is often a popular time to visit as well.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits




Lover’s Leap is a beautiful trad climbing spot right off Highway 50. It’s convenient location, variety of beginner and moderate climbs, and stunning views of the Desolation Wilderness area make it an iconic climbing spot in the Tahoe area.

What Makes It Great

The face of Lover’s Leap is an iconic sight in this region of the Sierra. The story of the cliff’s name has no known origin, but it is assumed that two lovers from rival Native American tribes leaped from the cliff’s edge in a Romeo and Juliet-esque tale from eons past. 

Despite its dramatic name, Lover’s Leap is one of the best places for beginners looking to start trad climbing. The nearly 600 foot wall is crisscrossed with cracks and dikes that make this vertical slab of granite a more moderate climbing destination. The majority of the climbs here are trad, but those looking to sport climb and boulder will be happy here too. 

The approach is just a short 20 minute walk from the small town of Strawberry, and the ease of access to Lover’s Leap combined with the popularity of the beginning and moderate climbs makes this place often very busy during summer months, especially on the weekends. There are a lot of hidden gems on this wall, however, as well as some multi pitch routes that make it a must see for any enthusiastic climber in the Sierra. 

Who is Going to Love It

Enthusiastic climbers looking get on some real rock and try out multi pitch climbs for the first time are going to love this spot. The breadth of options at Lover’s Leap will keep advanced climbers entertained as well. There is something for everyone here, from the less intimidating 5.7 pitches like Bear’s Reach and Surrealistic Pillar to the more strenuous sport climb Pillar of Society rated at 5.12a.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From Highway 50, turn south onto a small frontage road just east of Strawberry Lodge. This small town is about 18 miles west of South Lake Tahoe and 40 miles east of Placerville. You can park at the campground that lies just down this road for $5 or camp there for $10 a night. If the camping area, which is first come first serve, is full, you can park on the right side of the road just past the bridge that goes over the American River. Do not park along the road leading to the campground or at Strawberry Lodge, you will be towed!  

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Lovers Leap in Strawberry, CA

38.799444, -120.135556

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