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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.

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

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