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

Accommodation

GOLF ESCAPE

Rancho Bernardo Inn
Valid: Jan 3 - ongoing

Experience the best of Rancho Bernardo Inn with our signature Golf Escape package. The package for two adults includes: One-night stay Unlimited golf for two

Accommodation

SeaWorld & Friends Package

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Aug 10, 2021 - ongoing

There is so much fun to be had at SeaWorld San Diego! It's home to everything from "One Ocean," to the stellar Shamu show, to thrilling water rides. As for an excellent way to experience it all,...

Accommodation

Book Now and Parking is Included

Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine
Valid: Dec 9, 2021 - ongoing

Book Now and receive self-parking for one car per night while staying in the heart of UTC-La Jolla. Simply enter your dates of stay and select the 'Parking Package' at check out.

Events to check out

Event

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2022

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed...

Event

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 21 - Jul 24, 2022

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

San Diego International Fringe Festival

Jun 2 - Jun 12, 2022

The San Diego International Fringe Festival brings the beautiful, the bizarre and the unexpected to America’s Finest City. In 2015, our award-winning venture includes Family Fringe, Emerging Fringe,...

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

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