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San Luis Obispo

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San Luis Obispo Rock Climbing 

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Location: 35.3063, -120.678 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: andy patterson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
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Ken Klis on Edgeucation, Bishop Peak summit. photo...


San Luis Obispo, or "SLO" as the locals call it, is situated along the Central Coast of California, roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The town is best known for its university, Cal Poly. SLO is also the home of the regionally famous (and very pink) Madonna Inn, as well as the turning off point for tourists visiting the Hearst Castle. The town itself has a population of around 45,000.

There are seven main "morros", or small peaks, that define the quaint and bucolic landscape around San Luis Obispo. Even John Muir, famed naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, made note of them in his 1883 travel diary:

"The trail brings the traveler suddenly in sight of
Bishop Peak...
The town is fairly encircled with beautiful hills...
the one just named being most conspicuous."


  • Bishop Peak is the primary climbing area and offers several dozen (mostly) single-pitch routes as well as some of the best bouldering along the Central Coast.

  • Cabrillo Peak (Cerro Cabrillo) lies just south of Morro Bay and overlooks the scenic Morro Bay estuary. Cabrillo is a beginner-friendly area that's well-suited for toproping and larger groups.

  • Cerro Romualdo, which lies on some 500+ acres leased by the National Guard (Camp San Luis) affords excellent slab-to-steep face climbing.

As of January 2006, CERRO ROMUALDO IS ENTIRELY CLOSED TO CLIMBING. There are ongoing talks with the National Guard, and progress is being made. The hope is that a "win-win" solution can be achieved. For now, future access is uncertain. PLEASE RESPECT CLOSURES AS NOT TO JEPRODIZE THE EFFORTS OF LOCAL CLIMBERS THAT ARE WORKING VERY HARD TO RESTORE ACCESS.

There is **NO PUBLIC ACCESS** to Hollister Peak or Chumash Peak, as these are entirely on private property.


  • The best climbing shop in town is Mountain Air Sports, located downtown at the corner of Marsh and Broad.

  • The Firestone Grill downtown is the place to go for tri-tip, burgers, and fries. The steak cobb salad is highly recommended.

  • Farmer's Market happens every Thursday downtown.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.7 miles from here

202 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',13],['3 Stars',67],['2 Stars',79],['1 Star',39],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in San Luis Obispo

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for San Luis Obispo:
Mushy   V3 6A     Boulder, 15'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Chlorissa
Ejakulator   V4- 6B     Boulder, 15'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : True Summit Blocks
Peanuts   V4 6B     Boulder, 16'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Boulder In The Woods
Pete's Problem   V5 6C     Boulder   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Pete
60 Seconds Over Soledad   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Shadow   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Bishop Peak : Shadow Rock
P-Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 80'   Bishop Peak : P-Wall
Mouse Maze   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13     Trad, Sport, 40'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Desperado   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Bishop Peak : Shadow Rock
Impacted Stool Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 50'   Bishop Peak : P-Wall
Thin Man   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   Bishop Peak : Shadow Rock
Civilized Evil   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Corridor Crack   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, TR, 45'   Bishop Peak : Hidden Gully
Gold Rush/High Noon   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Bishop Peak : Wild, Wild Western Pinnacle...
Camel   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Lama   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Only Way To Fly   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Western Airlines   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Mickey B Way   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a R     Trad, 70'   Bishop Peak : True Summit Block
Namasté   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Sport, 70'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in San Luis Obispo

Featured Route For San Luis Obispo
Rock Climbing Photo: Bob Hill ascending into the clouds via Gold Rush (...

Gold Rush/High Noon 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b  CA : Central Coast : ... : Wild, Wild Western Pinnacle...
Gold Rush is the easiest climb to access at GWP. It's right next to the trail and you won't have to fight the poison oak to get there. This route features solid rock with small edges and smears. The rock is rough and features friction like Joshua Tree. The southwestern exposure makes this a good choice for a cool day. You can also cruise around to the left and set up a top rope in a matter of minutes. To top it all off, the views from here are supreme....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of San Luis Obispo Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Hollister peak on the right
Hollister peak on the right
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset-Morro Bay. Photo by Blitzo.
Sunset-Morro Bay. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Morro Bay winter clouds
Morro Bay winter clouds
Rock Climbing Photo: Bishop Moon. Photo Tom Slater
Bishop Moon. Photo Tom Slater

Comments on San Luis Obispo Add Comment
Show which comments
By Sean P. Sullivan
From: Morro Bay, California
Mar 7, 2014
Does anyone know where exactly where the supa boulders are? (not listed on MP, but supposedly off the 41 outside of a-town.) searched all over even with the GPS and couldn't find jack. Anyone?
By Ken Klis
Mar 8, 2014
41 has 3 sites I know about between Mbay and Atascadero.

1) limestone area just west off the summit with small pullout to park, routes on north bank of creek, very good but limited qty

2) some little bs boulders are at the bottom of the east slope of the hills as you leave town, you can see them from your car and you may even want to stop and climb there once

3) fairly good sized cliff north and above road that I walked to once and thought kind of loose but I've been wrong 51% of the time my whole life
By Justin Johnsen
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 23, 2015
A recent forum discussion of access changes here: Bishop's Peak , San Luis Obispo.

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