Dark Shadows is an amazing 5.8 in a park filled with classics at the grade. It begins by stepping over a babbling brook, often filled with ducks and frogs, and proceeds up a water-varnished wall. The short runout to the first bolt could legitimately be described as shallow-water-soloing, and iron-like patina huecos and cracks on the subsequent pitches feel designed for climbing steep terrain at a moderate grade. For the fullest-value experience, follow the route past its most popular starting pitches—from which many rappel—and continue to the summit of the pyramidal Mescalito Tower. The peak affords great views of both forks of Pine Creek and offers an easy descent westward and into the south fork of the creek, easily achieved with some walking, scrambling, and a short rappel or two back into the wash.
Go-to Gear for Climbing at Red Rock