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San Bernardino Mountains

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Big Bear Lake Area 
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Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

San Bernardino Mountains Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 34.2059, -117.123 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 233,993
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: C Miller on Feb 2, 2006
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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.

How to get 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 and Fire Restrictions 

Free camping is available almost anywhere in the forest, often with established campsites near the climbing area.

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 to the Area 

Below is a listing of current and old guidebooks, some of which are out of print.

  • Singer, B. (2002). Hidden Treasures, Rock Climbing in the San Bernardino Mountains. San Bernardino, CA: Glentex Publications. - the only comprehensive guidebook for this area is out of print.

  • Mayr, T. (2004). Southern California Sport Climbing Guide, 3rd Edition. Huntington Beach, CA: K. Daniels and Associates. - has a limited amount of information on the area making it more of a "select" guide.

  • Singer, B. (2008). Hidden Treasures East: Big Bear Basin. San Bernardino, CA: Glentex Publications. - covers climbs in the Big Bear Area but it too is out of print.

  • Slater, T. (2013). Southern California Rock Climbing, California Road Trip Vol. II. Bishop, CA: Maximus Press. - is the newest guide to feature a sampling of routes in the Central Pinnacles.

Websites 



Climbing Season



Weather station 3.7 miles from here

955 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',21],['3 Stars',226],['2 Stars',424],['1 Star',264],['Bomb',3]
['<=5.6',77],['5.7',72],['5.8',85],['5.9',108],['5.10',306],['5.11',116],['5.12',54],['5.13',6],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',64],['V2-3',47],['V4-5',18],['V6-7',1],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in San Bernardino Mountains

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for San Bernardino Mountains:
Gold Standard   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Gold Wall
Bye Crackie   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
The Dead Terrorist   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Frustration Creek : Lower Tier
Coyotes at Sunset   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
Aurora Borealis   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Black Bluff - North Face : Black Bluff - N. Face (Righ...
Golden Poodle   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
One Armed Bandit   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
Vertical Epic   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pinnacles North : Stone Wall
Powder Keg   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Motherlode Rock : Motherlode Rock - North Fac...
Claim Jumper   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
Ricochet   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Central Pinnacles : Pistol Whipped Wall
Pistol Pete   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Doc Holliday Wall
Lost Orbit   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Lost Orbit Rock : Lost Orbit Rock - East Face
Doc's Holiday   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Doc Holliday Wall
Coyotes in the Henhouse   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
Arrogant Bastard   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pinnacles North : Stone Wall
Delusions   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Frustration Creek : Upper Tier
Lightning Strike   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Frustration Creek : The Headwall
Mohawk   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Frustration Creek : Upper Tier
The Incinerator   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Central Pinnacles : Incinerator Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in San Bernardino Mountains

Featured Route For San Bernardino Mountains
Rock Climbing Photo: Steve nearing the first crux, pulling the roof. Lo...

Knightline 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b  CA : San Bernardino Mountains : ... : Castle Rock - Southeast Fac...
The first bolt is about 40 feet up but you can place gear on easy 5.8+ cracks to the first bolt if you don't feel comfortable running it out. The crux is found when you have to pull the roof although you have very good hands and a bolt right at your waist. The final crux is moving to the last bolt kind of a tricky slab move on thin hands. This one is rope stretcher a 60 m rope was not long enough to lower all the way to the ground. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of San Bernardino Mountains Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset from the top of Hungover Wall
Sunset from the top of Hungover Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Daly on 'Arrowsphere' (5.9), Pinnacle #2, on ...
Dave Daly on 'Arrowsphere' (5.9), Pinnacle #2, on ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fire on the mountain (9/01/07), Butler Peak
Fire on the mountain (9/01/07), Butler Peak
Rock Climbing Photo: Tala at the Luna Boulders, San Bernardino Mountain...
Tala at the Luna Boulders, San Bernardino Mountain...
Rock Climbing Photo: Coxey Meadow, San Bernardino Mountains
Coxey Meadow, San Bernardino Mountains
Rock Climbing Photo: Above the clouds.
Above the clouds.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tyler Logan at the crux of Highgrader, 5.11a, West...
Tyler Logan at the crux of Highgrader, 5.11a, West...
Rock Climbing Photo: Closeup of the massive bolts used in the Lucky Bal...
Closeup of the massive bolts used in the Lucky Bal...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike making the long reaches on Segments in Space,...
Mike making the long reaches on Segments in Space,...
Rock Climbing Photo: San Gabriels from Rim of the World (Hwy 18) on a J...
San Gabriels from Rim of the World (Hwy 18) on a J...
Rock Climbing Photo: Boulders, San Bernardino Mountains
Boulders, San Bernardino Mountains
Rock Climbing Photo: Butler 2 fire from Keller Peak 9/15/07
Butler 2 fire from Keller Peak 9/15/07
Rock Climbing Photo: A beautiful day on Big Bear Lake
A beautiful day on Big Bear Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the top of Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb Val...
Nearing the top of Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb Val...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking into Holcomb Valley from the Pinnacles, Bi...
Looking into Holcomb Valley from the Pinnacles, Bi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Slide Peak from the west, Keller Peak
Slide Peak from the west, Keller Peak
Rock Climbing Photo: Bluff Lake up on the mesa south of Big Bear Lake.
Bluff Lake up on the mesa south of Big Bear Lake.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sugarloaf Truck Trail/Radford Road (2N06), San Ber...
Sugarloaf Truck Trail/Radford Road (2N06), San Ber...
Rock Climbing Photo: Palm Pilot (5.10b), Onyx Summit Crag
Palm Pilot (5.10b), Onyx Summit Crag
Rock Climbing Photo: Hawks on the pacific crest
Hawks on the pacific crest
Rock Climbing Photo: Velveeta (5.10b), Craft's Peak
Velveeta (5.10b), Craft's Peak
Rock Climbing Photo: Furnace Canyon view, San Bernardino Mountains
Furnace Canyon view, San Bernardino Mountains
Rock Climbing Photo: Storm clouds over Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Mo...
Storm clouds over Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Mo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Welcome to Fawnskin, Big Bear North
Welcome to Fawnskin, Big Bear North

Show All 46 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on San Bernardino Mountains Add Comment
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By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Feb 29, 2012
No more stupid fees (for those that comply with these kinds of things)

latimes.com/news/local/la-me-f...

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