Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
San Bernardino Mountains

Select Area...
8000 Foot Crag 
Aggro Crag Boulder (Roadside Boulder) 
Arctic Temple 
Arrowbear Boulders 
Black Bluff 
Blackhawk Pinnacle 
Bluff Mesa/Little Tibet 
Castle Grey Skull 
Castle Rock Area 
Coven, The 
Deep Creek 
Fawnskin Tower 
Fisherman's Buttress Area 
Frustration Creek 
Hanna Rocks 
Holcomb Creek Crags 
Holcomb Valley Pinnacles 
Jacoby Canyon 
Keller Peak 
Lake Arrowhead Pinnacles 
Legoland 
Luna Boulders 
Mill Creek (Mentone Boulders) 
Mill Creek Wash  
Mormon Rocks 
Mountain Home Creek 
North Shore Boulders 
Onyx Summit Crag 
Pinnacle with a View 
San Gorgonio Mountain 
School Rock (aka Eagle Eye Rock) 
Scot Rock 
Seely Creek  
Sleepy Bear and Nightmare Towers 
Sphinx Rock (aka The Cliff Hanger) 
Tanglewood Slabs Area 
Toot Sweet  
Yellow Post Bouldering 

Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Lower Monroe Truck Trail
A great doubletrack to the top of Glendora Mountain Road and a screaming downhill. Near Glendora, CA
Marshall Canyon
Flow like a dream beneath the oaks in SoCal's very own Sherwood Forest Near La Verne, CA
Marshall Canyon Trail
With almost complete tree coverage, this fast flowing, creek-crossed doubletrack will satisfy. Near La Verne, CA
Peters Canyon Trail
A double-wide dirt road with a little bit of shade in the south, and a lake view in the north. Near North Tustin, CA
Peters Canyon
An ideal place for beginners to build confidence and stamina. Near North Tustin, CA
Lake View
A pleasant Sunday stroll around a man made lake. Near North Tustin, CA
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

San Bernardino Mountains 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 34.2059, -117.123 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 971,965
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: C Miller on Feb 2, 2006
Forecast:
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Clear
76° | 65°
Clear
83° | 68°
Clear
87° | 70°
Partly Cloudy
84° | 67°
Clear
81° | 67°
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [2 people like this page.]
Dave Daly on 'Arrowsphere' (5.9), Pinnacle #...

Description 

Rising east of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Bernardino Mountains are home to the tallest peak in Southern California, Mt. San Gorgonio (11,502'/3506m), as well as numerous hiking trails, campgrounds, off-road trails and thousands, yes thousands, of rock climbs.

The rock in the San Bernardino Mountains (SB's) is mostly granite which ranges in quality from excellent to somewhat grainy ala Joshua Tree, with most being quite good. Because many of the routes are newer don't be surprised if some are a bit dirty and sport some residual lichen - it's nothing a bit of traffic won't take care of.

Routes in the SB's are typically single pitch affairs with the odd exception, but what the SB's lack in height they make up for with diversity and a plethora of crags scattered far and wide. Oddly, the neighboring San Jacinto Mountains (home to Tahquitz and Suicide Rock) seem to have gotten the wealth of multi-pitch crags. Many traditional and sport routes are found here, often with both styles at the same crag. The bouldering potential here is huge and much potential still exists for those so inclined.

Three major climbing areas exist in the SB's - the Lake Arrowhead Pinnacles, Keller Peak and the Holcomb Valley Pinnacles; these are areas with enough climbing to keep one busy for days or more. There also exists many other minor areas which are worth checking out for a day or less of climbing.


Getting There 

Four main routes exist for getting into the San Bernardino Mountains:

  • Highway 18 (southern approach) - Starts from Hwy 30, climbs into the mountains quickly via a 4 lane road, and then pinches down to a narrow and windy 2 lane road when you hit the rim, just past the Crestline turnoff. Plan on 30 minutes to the rim and another 15-20 minutes to Running Springs.

  • Highway 330 - Short and direct, this mostly two-lane highway with the odd passing lane breaks off Highway 30 in the town of Highland and ends at the junction with Highway 18 in the town of Running Springs. Expect about a 30 minute drive from Highland to Running Springs; holiday weekends can more than double this time, so plan accordingly.

  • Highway 38 - Starts at Interstate 10 in Redlands and takes a scenic route through the moutains to end at the Big Bear Lake dam. Also known locally as the "back route", this road tends to avoid the traffic common to Highway 18 with it's lack of facilities along the way. Plan on a one hour drive from Redlands to Big Bear City and note that this is a two-lane road most of the way with the odd passing lane - getting stuck behind a motorhome will increase your drive time.

  • Highway 18 (northern approach) - Leaves Highway 247 (aka the Barstow Road) in the town of Lucerne Valley and climbs steeply up the northern escarpment of the mountains to pop out on the eastern end of Baldwin Lake, which lies due east of Big Bear Lake. Plan on about 45 minutes to Big Bear Lake from the bottom.


Weather 



Camping 

Free camping is available almost anywhere in the forest, often with established campsites near the climbing area. Fire restrictions are commonly in effect during the summer months, meaning no open fires, but stoves are usually allowed.

Scattered throughout the area are a number of pay campgrounds with varying fees and degrees of comfort.

See the individual areas for more detailed camping information.


Climbing Gear 

If sport climbing nothing more than a dozen draws are needed, and if climbing some of the traditional routes a standard rack to 3" should suffice for the majority of the routes. Check the individual area descriptions for more details.


Guidebooks 

Hidden Treasures, the only comprehensive guidebook for this area, is currently out of print. Overall a good book if you can find one but be aware that being older many new routes are not included in it and a number of the ratings are suspect. A newer book covering Big Bear East is now available which covers climbs in that area.

The Southern California Sport Climbing Guide has a limited amount of information on the area making it more of a "select" guide, but be warned that it's full of mistakes (and not just the Holcomb Valley section).


Websites 



788 Total Routes


['4 Stars',16],['3 Stars',201],['2 Stars',337],['1 Star',219],['Bomb',4]
['<=5.6',65],['5.7',66],['5.8',70],['5.9',100],['5.10',268],['5.11',100],['5.12',50],['5.13',6],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',25],['V2-3',26],['V4-5',11],['V6-7',1],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for San Bernardino Mountains:
Gold Standard   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Gold Wall
Bye Crackie   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
The Dead Terrorist   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Sport, 7 pitches, 540'   Frustration Creek : Lower Tier
Coyotes at Sunset   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
Aurora Borealis   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Black Bluff - North Face : Black Bluff - N. Face (Righ...
Golden Poodle   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
NeuroToxin   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Sphinx Rock (aka The Cliff ...
Vertical Epic   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pinnacles North : Stone Wall
Ricochet   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Central Pinnacles : Pistol Whipped Wall
Schizophrenic Slab   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Frustration Creek : Overhead Wall
Powder Keg   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Motherlode Rock : Motherlode Rock - North Fac...
Claim Jumper   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
One Armed Bandit   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
Pistol Pete   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Doc Holiday Wall
Lost Orbit   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Lost Orbit Rock : Lost Orbit Rock - East Face
Doc's Holiday   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Doc Holiday Wall
Coyotes in the Henhouse   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
Arrogant Bastard   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pinnacles North : Stone Wall
Delusions   5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Frustration Creek : Upper Tier
The Incinerator   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Central Pinnacles : Incinerator Wall
Browse More Classics in San Bernardino Mountains

Featured Route For San Bernardino Mountains
Making the clip just after the dyno on Particle Acceleration (5.12a), photo by Tyler Logan.

Particle Acceleration 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a  CA : San Bernardino Mountains : ... : Hungover Wall - Right Side
A local classic that starts by climbing a bouldery face (5.11) past a bolt to a ledge. Wander upwards past two more bolts until just below a small overhang/overlap. The moves past the next bolt are excellent and involve a long reach/dyno to a distant edge and then moving up to a delicate and somewhat heady stand-up move with holds that seem to face the wrong way. The final moves to the top are enjoyable and largely uneventful.Suberb moves on this climb that requires a number of techniques to suc...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of San Bernardino Mountains Slideshow Add Photo
Pre-thunderstorm cloud formations,"no photo doctoring"!
Pre-thunderstorm cloud formations,"no photo doctor...
Sunset from the top of Hungover Wall
Sunset from the top of Hungover Wall
Cool-looking cloud (Altocumulus Lenticularis), 8000 Foot Crag
Cool-looking cloud (Altocumulus Lenticularis), 800...
Tala at the Luna Boulders, San Bernardino Mountains
Tala at the Luna Boulders, San Bernardino Mountain...
Fire on the mountain (9/01/07), Butler Peak
Fire on the mountain (9/01/07), Butler Peak
Closeup of the massive bolts used in the Lucky Baldwin Stamp Mill, Big Bear
Closeup of the massive bolts used in the Lucky Bal...
Coxey Meadow, San Bernardino Mountains
Coxey Meadow, San Bernardino Mountains
Mike making the long reaches on Segments in Space, 5.11c
Mike making the long reaches on Segments in Space,...
Butler 2 fire from Keller Peak 9/15/07
Butler 2 fire from Keller Peak 9/15/07
San Gabriels from Rim of the World (Hwy 18) on a June evening drive up to the cabin with my boys.
San Gabriels from Rim of the World (Hwy 18) on a J...
Boulders, San Bernardino Mountains
Boulders, San Bernardino Mountains
I'm speechless.
I'm speechless.
A beautiful day on Big Bear Lake
A beautiful day on Big Bear Lake
Mt. San Bernardino Crag, San Bernardino Mountains
Mt. San Bernardino Crag, San Bernardino Mountains
Looking into Holcomb Valley from the Pinnacles, Big Bear
Looking into Holcomb Valley from the Pinnacles, Bi...
Big Bear Lake, Big Bear
Big Bear Lake, Big Bear
Stone Wall, at HVP
BETA PHOTO: Stone Wall, at HVP
Rocky Hollow, San Bernardino Mountains
Rocky Hollow, San Bernardino Mountains
Boulder Cove in Big Bear Lake
Boulder Cove in Big Bear Lake
Velveeta (5.10b), Craft's Peak
Velveeta (5.10b), Craft's Peak
California Buckwheat bloom in the foreground
California Buckwheat bloom in the foreground
Frustration Creek, San Bernardino Mountains
Frustration Creek, San Bernardino Mountains
Snow at the Hitchcock Ranch, Holcomb Valley
Snow at the Hitchcock Ranch, Holcomb Valley
The road to adventure, San Bernardino Mountains
The road to adventure, San Bernardino Mountains
The Crow's Nest, Running Springs Area
The Crow's Nest, Running Springs Area
Hitchcock Ranch, Holcomb Valley
Hitchcock Ranch, Holcomb Valley
Snowshoeing along 2N68 - just past the junction with Rim of the World Drive.
Snowshoeing along 2N68 - just past the junction wi...
The main headframe of the Lucky Baldwin Stamp Mill, Big Bear
The main headframe of the Lucky Baldwin Stamp Mill...
Cabin seen from the Woodland Trail on a wintery Saturday afternoon in April 2011.
Cabin seen from the Woodland Trail on a wintery Sa...
Storm clouds over Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Mountains
Storm clouds over Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Mo...
The Turret (5.8) at Castle Rock, Big Bear Lake.
The Turret (5.8) at Castle Rock, Big Bear Lake.
High above the treetops on Pistol Pete (5.10a), Holcomb Valley Pinnacles
High above the treetops on Pistol Pete (5.10a), Ho...
Furnace Canyon view, San Bernardino Mountains
Furnace Canyon view, San Bernardino Mountains
Gnome Dome (aka Butt Rock), San Bernardino Mountains
Gnome Dome (aka Butt Rock), San Bernardino Mountai...
Nearing the top of Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb Valley Pinnacles
Nearing the top of Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb Val...
End of the day, San Bernardino Mountains
End of the day, San Bernardino Mountains
Big Bear Lake from the top of Castle Rock, Big Bear
Big Bear Lake from the top of Castle Rock, Big Bea...
Hawks on the pacific crest
Hawks on the pacific crest
Bryan cruising on Jet Blue (5.11b), Crafts Peak
Bryan cruising on Jet Blue (5.11b), Crafts Peak
Weathered cabin and pines, Holcomb Valley
Weathered cabin and pines, Holcomb Valley
Lucky Baldwin Stamp Mill, Big Bear
Lucky Baldwin Stamp Mill, Big Bear
Discovery Center, Big Bear Lake
Discovery Center, Big Bear Lake
Bluff Lake up on the mesa south of Big Bear Lake.
Bluff Lake up on the mesa south of Big Bear Lake.
Delamar Mountain from the Skyline Trail (2N10), San Bernardino Mountains
Delamar Mountain from the Skyline Trail (2N10), Sa...
Palm Pilot (5.10b), Onyx Summit Crag
Palm Pilot (5.10b), Onyx Summit Crag
Bush Beardtongue (Keckiella breviflora), San Bernardino Mountains
Bush Beardtongue (Keckiella breviflora), San Berna...
Looking southeast from just below the fire lookout, Keller Peak
Looking southeast from just below the fire lookout...
Looking east on 3N07 in Holcomb Valley, San Bernardino Mountains
Looking east on 3N07 in Holcomb Valley, San Bernar...
Comments on San Bernardino Mountains Add Comment
Show which comments
By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Mar 19, 2007

Little spot for a refreshment before heading back to the valley is the Big Bear Mountain Brewery, 40260 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake (909.866.BEER)

By TomTomTom
Jul 24, 2010

Brewery? The food is overpriced and their brew overrated. If you're looking for good beer and reasonably priced food, head down to La Montana off of Moonridge for happy hour(4-7).

If you must go to the brewery though, check out their Red Ant Hill Ale or Grizzly Bear.

By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Feb 29, 2012

No more stupid fees (for those that comply with these kinds of things)

www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-forest-fee-20120229,0,18636>>>

By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Oct 11, 2012

Anyone tried Black Diamond Tavern ?

By Resident
May 8, 2013

Hello, I live in Running Springs. I've been a full time resident for 29 years. I'm writing to you about "the deep creek narrows". Unfortunatly your website tells people to walk down my driveway and through my back yard past a no trespassing sign to get to the narrows. This route takes them very close to my bedroom windos, some even look inside my house or even walk onto my back patio. More thatn 1000 people a year walk to the narrows. Thats more that 1000 people a year invading my privacy. There are now 4 no trespassing signs posted on my property and on the adjacent water company property. Its is 100% illegal to trespass down the driveway and trough my backyard and patio. Please remove the incorrect directions to "the deep creek narrows" from your website. The forest service approverd access point for the deep creek narrows is a dirt road off of Circle Cove rd. in Running Springs. Thank you.

By spencerstewart
From: Big Bear Lake, CA
May 6, 2014

We're just started a little climbing store in Big Bear Valley (Fawnskin area) if y'all ever need anything. Just BD gear and some organic climbing salve for now. No price gouging and 5% of sales goes to clean up the ever more crowded crags like Holcomb!
www.bearclimbing.com

Little new climbing store in Big Bear.
Little new climbing store in Big Bear.