Tenmile Swimming Hole




Crystal clear deep water banked on both sides by solid overhanging rock.


You might recognize this place: the craggy slot is beautifully painted on the sign welcoming visitors to the town of Happy Camp. Crystal clear water courses through a narrow slot of polished rock. In spring the melting snow turns the creek into a challenging destination for kayakers. In summer the flow settles out and the water loses some of its chill, attracting swimmers and cliff jumpers looking to escape the heat. It's also a fantastic bouldering destination.

Access issues inherited from Clear Creek

Part of the Klamath National Forest and partially designated as Wilderness. This area is a regional treasure -- tread lightly and Leave No Trace (


Take highway 96 to FR 16N10, located some 7 miles southwest of Happy Camp and just upriver from the Wingate river access. Follow signs to Clear Creek Trail, which should take you along FR 16N10 for 1.6 miles. Turn right on FR 15N32. After 5.3 miles, turn right and drive one mile to the NoMans trailhead. A pit toilet can be found at the trailhead, so go before you go! From parking, it's an easy 1 mile hike to the swimming and climbing. Keep an eye out for poison oak and rattlesnakes.

Where to stay

The Klamath National Forest offers abundant car and backcountry camping options, including a camping spot just 0.1 mile past the swimming area. Happy Camp offers a motel and RV accommodations.


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Grade Route

Start on the boulder. Look for a jug up and right, then traverse around right on diminishing horizontals. A big move leads to an awkward mantel finish. Steeply overhung above perennially deep water. Áasiv is Karuk for a cave or overhanging rock.

FFA: Brandon McPhail, 19 Jul 2014

There's been debate about whether some kind of superhuman could climb this. Start at the boulder. Climb up and follow the overhanging dihedral to the top. Looks at least V10 to mere mortals.

Start in the water on the burly undercling and head straight over the bulge and up the face. Good luck. V8 is just a wild guess for a grade.

Traverse in from the right on thin horizontal pockets, then up and left above the overhang. The position of the submerged log changes with every season. As of 2014, it's in the fall zone.

FFA: Travis Toll, 9 Aug 2014

Traverse the base of the slightly overhung wall on good holds over deep water. Climb L to R with some down-climbing, or R to L starting in the water. Go back and forth to build up a serious pump.

FFA: unknown

Traverse along the top of the south wall on good edges.

FFA: unknown

Choose one of the many lines straight up the middle of the south side of the slot. Eliminate holds for a fun challenge. A couple of fun dynos can be found in here.

FFA: unknown

Climb up the groove to the jumping ledge.

FFA: unknown

Climb the polished groove up the west end of the south wall with careful footwork. Approach via the South Wall Traverse (L to R) if you want to keep your shoes dry for this one. The name is Karuk for clinging to the side of something.

FFA: unknown

Follow the steepest line straight up and over the bulge. Resist any temptation to traverse around it.

FFA: unknown

Start on Backflop, then traverse right to the middle of the cave. From here, head straight up and over the bulge to the top. Falls are clean, despite the name.

FFA: Brandon McPhail, 23 Aug 2014

Start on North Slot Crack, but immediately traverse left across the overhanging face. Ápsuun is Karuk for "snake".

FFA: unknown

Start up North Slot Crack and traverse left with hand holds just above the higher bulge above Ápsuun Downs.

FFA: unknown

Climb up the slightly overhanging crack on the north wall of the slot. Use the crack or supplement it with neighboring holds.

FFA: unknown

Climb straight up over the bulge, starting to the right of the North Slot Crack.

FFA: unknown

Downstream of the slot, climb up and left along the right edge of the overhanging east-facing wall. Resist topping out until you reach the high point. (Check that the water depth is sufficient before trying this one.)

FFA: unknown

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