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Lots of problems, and a lot of room for development.

Large Granite Boulders on Scenic Ridges or tucked away in dense pine forests, only 30 minutes from Canberra or 3.5 hours from Sydney.


Since the fires the area has developed a lot of regrowth that needs to be cleared to develop/redevelop areas. Those in best condition are at the top of the list of sub areas and have more ascents and phototopos.

An area developed in the main by Justin Ryan and Chris Warner in 2002 - the year before the Canberra bushfires in Jan 2003. Pierce's Creek has hundreds of discrete boulder problems over a wide-ranging area.

Access issues

Mostly state forest, but some of the Western areas fall inside the water protection zone.


Follow Cotter Road SW from Canberra. After passing the dam, you will come upon a camp-ground and separate scenic riverside lunch areas. Keep heading up Cotter Road until you come to Laurel Camp Road. Don't turn at the Pierce's Creek Forest sign - that's too early; continue on a bit further and turn right. Keep an eye out for dirtbikes, they're often on the wrong side of the road.

Directions for individual areas can be found at the area level, although the easiest way to find them is a GPS or check out Duncan's guide, although its map leaves a lot to be desired. https://payhip.com/athletebychoice

The area map here has been updated to show closed roads, of which there are many. It should be possible to navigate from it, at least around the main areas.

Where to stay

Camping is not allowed in the state forest, stay at Cotter Road Campground. Hot plates, sinks, showers, and bathroom facilities are provided for a reasonable nightly fee. There is no phone service here.


A number of problems have been created and recreated since the fires and to a large extent climb like the original problems.


View timeline of historical ascents

Pierce's Creek was developed in the main by Chris Warner and Justin Ryan, with Chris developing the excellent guides that have been used as a basis for this guide. A number of other strong Canberra climbers have contributed, including Clinton Szady and Andrew Bull.

Some content has been provided under license from: © Canberra Climbers' Association (CC BY-SA)


Check out what is happening in Pierce's Creek.