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Ortega Falls

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Dihedral T,TR 
Falls, Right T,TR 
Fingers T,TR 
Horn T,TR 
Polished T,TR 
Red-tailed S 
Splitter T,TR 
Thing One T,TR 
Thing Two T,TR 

Ortega Falls  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 33.6259, -117.4263 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 14,827
Administrators: jt512, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nate "Mustang" Johnson on Aug 3, 2007
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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Ortega Falls is a small climbing area (only six actual routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.10c). There is abundant bouldering opportunities in the area if you follow the stream bed in either direction. The rock is water polished and can be very slick. Depending on the time of day it can be a nice shady place and usually has a pleasant breeze to mellow out the heat (which can be pretty terrible, 95+ in summer). There is a gereral store and a bar a few miles down the highway. Most people top rope but it can be led. There is a trail to the right of the falls that will take you to the top.

Getting There 

Ortega Falls is located .5 miles off of Highway 74. Park in the large turnout 2 miles west of El Cariso Village. The falls will be visible from the turn out. There are several small trails heading in every direction, so make sure you take the trails furthest to the right hand side of the turnout. The approach is about .5 miles of very mild hiking.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.9 miles from here

9 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ortega Falls:
Dihedral   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Fingers   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Splitter   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
Browse More Classics in Ortega Falls

Featured Route For Ortega Falls
Splitter is the left thin crack. Right thinner crack is an old aid line. <br /> <br />Be very cautious of aggressive bats in the splitter crack.

Splitter 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  CA : Los Angeles Basin : ... : Ortega Falls
This route is easily seen from the hike in. Thirty feet of tight fingers and tips. The crux (for me) is the last few face moves to top out....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Ortega Falls Slideshow Add Photo
A better shot of the routes.  You can TR or trad the 5.9 to the right; there really isn't anywhere to place pro for the 5.7 route, so it's TR only.
A better shot of the routes. You can TR or trad t...
Routes on face left of falls
BETA PHOTO: Routes on face left of falls
Rapping down the 5.7 TR (but along the 5.9 route).
Rapping down the 5.7 TR (but along the 5.9 route).
Caleb working the fingers crack
Caleb working the fingers crack
A view of the falls and the pool beneath.  It's only like this during late winter and spring.
A view of the falls and the pool beneath. It's on...
View of Ortega boulders
View of Ortega boulders
A shot of the main face from the hilside. (Stolen from RC)
A shot of the main face from the hilside. (Stolen ...
5.7 is on the left, 5.9 is on the right <br />
5.7 is on the left, 5.9 is on the right
Albert Boulder
BETA PHOTO: Albert Boulder
From the ledge, looking down.  This was taken from a TR I set up for the 5.7, but the view down is the same for both routes.
From the ledge, looking down. This was taken from...

Comments on Ortega Falls Add Comment
Show which comments
By transattic
From: Los Angeles, CA
Apr 20, 2011
map coordinates:


By wankel7
From: Indiana
Jul 6, 2011
I spent Sunday bouldering and exploring the area. I guess you need a Forest Adventure Pass to park in the turnout (I'm from out of town). Turns out the ticket / violation is the same as the day pass.... $5:)

Looks like the top rope area was in the shade after 3pm.

I saw four or five bolts on a huge boulder about 20' above the TR anchors...looked super hard...what is it?

Better lat long for the turn out 33.62593,-117.426342

I was surprised to see a drivers license / sobriety check point setup at the turn out.
By Witty1
From: Riverside, Ca
Mar 2, 2012
There have been some recent rocks that have fallen... I don't know where they originated but there are a few rock scars around the routes... As always... be careful around areas that see moving water & changing conditions.
By Jim H
From: Pasadena, CA
May 8, 2012
Correct and more accurate map coordinates. Stay high and to the right as you approach the falls/main area. You will want this easy approach from the top if you are setting topropes.