arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Go Climb a Rock!

Taking adventure to the next level

San Diego climbers discovered long ago that the county has amazing climbing and some of the finest bouldering this side of Joshua Tree.

Belay On!

Whatever your skill level, many of San Diego's rock climbing areas have both crack and face routes to adequately test the moves of novice and experienced climbers alike. Most of the rock is nice, “grippy” granite, and the approaches are generally easy to find and within easy walking distance of parking areas. Grab your gear.

  • Looming on San Diego’s eastern horizon is the premier climbing area of Mt. Woodson, an old-school climbing mecca popular since the 1950s. This boulder-infested peak has more than 100 rated routes in the 10’-20’ range, many of which are ideal for soloing, while the longer routes are also top-roped. There is more face climbing than cracks, but it's the number and variety of cracks that truly makes this area unique. Cracks of every size and shape are found here on typically smooth, clean granite.
  • Mission Gorge, at the upper end of the San Diego River Valley, is a great one-pitch, top-rope climbing area, within minutes of downtown. A favorite of clubs and classes, plan to get there early on weekends to lay claim to the prime lines.
  • Down by the Mexican border is Valley of the Moon. An hour east of El Cajon, look for the signs for Old Highway 80. A quarter-mile after turning off, a Bureau of Land Management bulletin board shows the way to San Diego's version of the famed Joshua Tree climbing area. Boulders and technical faces dot the arid desert landscape. Camping is permitted.
  • A favorite outdoor workout is a traverse of an old stone seawall overlooking the beach near the Children’s Pool in La Jolla. A more demanding training spot is "Pump Wall" in Ocean Beach. Located along Sunset Cliffs Blvd. near Pt. Loma Avenue, this textured retaining wall built of large concrete blocks is a higher and longer climb than the La Jolla seawall, with a rocky landing area.
  • There are several indoor climbing gyms in town including Vertical Hold with locations in the Old Town area, Poway and San Marcos, plus Mesa Rim in Mission Valley.

Getting Started

If you’re a seasoned climber but don’t plan to lug your gear to San Diego, outfitters like Hangtime Rock Climbing Company offer a variety of excursions to local climbing sites, with all gear provided. Novices can join the fun too, with beginner classes that get you on the rock in mere minutes.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Boating & Sailing

$5 off Whale Watching Cruises

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Jun 13, 2019 - ongoing

$5 off Whale & Dolphin Watching with Hornblower Cruises. Hornblower offers large comfortable Whale Watching boats with live narration from San Diego Natural History Museum's trained naturalists...

Accommodation

Stay Cool in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter!

San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Mar 12 - ongoing

Stay Cool in the heart of the city, surrounded by restaurants, nightlife & shopping. We’re 90 steps from PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres. And don’t miss ALTITUDE Sky Lounge...

Tours & Sightseeing

Family Friendly- Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Aug 12, 2019 - ongoing

Enjoy an Amazing Race type adventure with your family and Save 20% when you use Promo Code SDFUN. Only $39.20 for a Team of 2-5 people. Have fun and do something unique!

Events to check out

Event

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 23 - Jul 26, 2020

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related...

Event

Supergirl Surf Pro

Aug 14 - Aug 16, 2020

The world’s top professional female surfers are back in Oceanside, CA for the 13th Supergirl Surf Pro, a 3-day event August 14-16, 2020. The weekend will be jam-packed with world-class...

Event

2020 Annual Over The Line Tournament

Jul 11 - Jul 19, 2020

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is calling all players, beach-goers, and sports enthusiasts to the biggest summer event in San Diego!

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish