Inner city bouldering at its best. This area is located inside the city of Berkeley, and elimination problems are the rule. It can be busy after 5 and on weekends, but if you've got a couple of hours to spare, it's only a few miles from the Berkeley campus, and set in a nice upscale neighborhood.
Rock is mostly smooth, but there is some sharper stuff on the upper area of the rock.
Super classics include the main traverse, and the watercourse area.
Camping can be found in Tilden Park. (510) 562 - PARK is the best way to find information and directions.
A decent selection of beer can be found at the local safeway, which is on Shattuck about a mile south of the rock. There are also numberous breweries and bars in Berkeley's downtown area, and also on Telegraph ave, which can be found just south of the Berkeley campus.
Descent off the top of the rock can be easily accomplished by walking off the back of most routes.
An interesting History of this rock will be added at a later point, when I have a little more information on the rock.
From the UC Berkeley campus:
Go North on Shattuck until it bends left and becomes Henry (which will turn into Sutter without you noticing). Follow it until just before the tunnel. Hang a right on Del Norte instead of going into the tunnel. Head up the hill to the Marin Circle. Leave the circle at the second right (the widest street you can take) and veer right onto Indian Rock Ave. Continue up the hill one long block until you see the prominent rock on the left. Park, and you're there. The main bouldering area is down the stairs on the right side of the rock.
From the North:
Take I-80 south. Exit on Gilman, and turn left (east) onto Gilman. Follow Gilman to a left on Hopkins street. Follow Hopkins up to the Marin circle. Turn right on the 4th street (the widest street leaving the circle), go slight right (and uphill) onto Indian Rock Ave. Head up the hill a long block until you see the prominent rock on the left. Park, and you're there. The main bouldering area is down the stairs on the right side of the rock.
From the South:
Follow directions from the North, except turn right on Gilman instead of left.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Indian Rock:
The best problem in the Bay Area hands down! I can't believe it wasn't listed yet. The obvious line starting from the corner as you come up the stairs...pulling the corner is the first crux...(the top rail is off)...then the bulge right after the tree is the next crux...it ends on the ramp and is about 30 feet long.....[more]Browse More Classics in CA
By Aron Quiter Administrator From: Berkeley, CA Nov 21, 2002
It is my opinion after having visited Indian Rock numberous times that the locals all seem to think that problems that they have dialed must therefore be easier. It is my understanding of the ratings system that once you have a climb dialed, it will become easier to YOU, but that doesn't change the rating. Also, if something was a V1 25 years ago, and 10 grips have fallen off of it or the grips have changed from a good corner to a rounded one, guess what? It's not a V1 anymore. Period.
If you talk to people around there, they all seem to think that people who publish books and sites like this all rate the routes too easy.I've bouldered at my fair share of places in the country, and compared to the bouldering routes in other places in the area (and nation), the ratings on this site and in local books are pretty fair. They might be off by a rating, but the flake traverse is definately NOT a V1.
This is my opinion, please disagree with me if you like!
I climb at Indian Rock all the time because i live kind of near there and i know that people sometimes say that problems are way easier than they really are but alot of the time that is either because they have only climbed there ever and indian rock has just developed its own V rating system, or they want to feel like they are better than other people by making them think that they can't do a V1. Also i know that Flake Traverse is not a V1 because that would be retarded.... Disagree with me if you really care that much.
I am one of the "locals" who never climbed anywhere else. One of my group of friends used to work at REI sporting goods. He stole us all climbing shoes and chalk bags. We would go to Indian Rock and hang out and do all the climbs with other similar people. The climbs, which all have names and well established ways that you are supposed to do them, are usually no more than a few moves but sometimes pretty hard. I would describe them more as problems than climbs, because you learn the technique and try it on a problem, often falling over and over again untill you get it. We also took a lot of acid and smoked a lot of weed. I would imagine this sort of thing is still going on there but i havent been there for a while.
Nice rock ,nice people, nice view, pretty girls, damn good climbing and pretty damn nice that it's close to the house I'm staying in. Who cares about ratings they are all severely subjective anyway.
By Aron Quiter Administrator From: Berkeley, CA Sep 5, 2003
Reading my comment, I've come across as quite a jerk, violating my own rules. Everyone I meet at Indian Rock is VERY nice, and all very accomodating on helping you find a problem that you won't be able to do that you've never seen before. I love climbing here. I love eating lunch here. I love the place, don't get me wrong, but I still think that a lot of the routes are underrated.
Indian Rock shouldn't have ratings. There are times that ratings are good but I think that ratings at Indian Rock should just be wheather you personally can do it or not. Ratings are just guidelines anyway. they are only meant to help choose what problem you want to work on by giving a general idea of how hard the problem will be.
Aron Quiter looking back on his comment made me realize that the comment that I wrote about a year ago has several parts that make no sense at all. basically I am only leaving this comment because I want people to know that it was late at night and I was just rambling. Basically you can understand what I meant even through the randomly organized rambling. Although some time I may look back on this comment and realize that it is stupid as well.
Looove Indian Rock! I'm missing it right now. If you live in Berk./Oakland it is such an amazing resource. Many people speak negatively of the place, but you can't really appreciate the place until you realize you can't just hop on your bike, peddle up there, climb, and catch a sunset with friends.
Also, working Nat's Traverse and finally sending it after hard work is one of the most satisfying experiences a climber can have. What an amazing problem.