Sonora Pass Highway (108) Rock Climbing
The Sonora Pass highway is a short drive from Northern California's major population centers, yet offers rock like Tahoe AND Yosemite without the crowds of either destination.
The low country includes a series of crags along highway 108 from the San Joaquin Valley into the foothills near the town of Sonora itself.
In the fall, Table Mountain, especially around the Grotto, is one of the most beautiful places in the state. However, learn about its paradoxical access issues before visiting the Gold Wall or Jail House Rock areas there. They contain some of the finest climbing around, but aren't documented online or in guidebooks.
Approaches range from roadside pullouts with painted grades (established by the US Marines on public land near their Mountain Warfare Training Center), to remote and wild alpine lines requiring both luck and determination to climb successfully.
The high country is highly seasonal! Sonora Pass closes down every winter, and sometimes with little notice in spring and fall when there's snow on the ground.
A 2013 edition of "A Climber's Guide to the Sonora Pass Highway" may increase visits.
Other updates beyond the book can be found at the Sonora Pass Climbing website
From the west, head east on Hwy 108 from the small community of Sonora.
From the east, head west on Hwy 108 from Bridgeport at the junction of Hwy 395.
Note that the highway is closed in winter, generally November through May. Check dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/sr108
for road conditions and closures.
Weather station 15.6 miles from here
102 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',12],['3 Stars',34],['2 Stars',40],['1 Star',14],['Bomb',1]
Classic Climbing Routes in Sonora Pass Highway (108)
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sonora Pass Highway (108)
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sonora Pass Highway (108):
Featured Route For Sonora Pass Highway (108)
Slammer 5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a CA
: Central Sierra
: ... : Jailhouse Rock
This storied route was my nemesis and a labor of love, bringing me back to Jailhouse intermittently for 3 seasons after I moved to Denver in 2009. Originally a decent but not-sought-after 5.13b from the early Jailhouse days until a vital glue-reinforced fin broke off in the early 2000's, Slammer transformed into a notoriously elusive 5.13+ and repelled many a jailhouse hardman for years. Finally, I believe in 2007, during Alex Honnold's blitzkrieg at the House, he unlocked the new crux and calle...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
By Tom Addison
Dec 6, 2014
The sign was posted by the Bureau of Reclamation. After conversation with the Bureau, the Access Fund will be reaching out to the climbing community and asking us not to place any bolts or install any fixed hardware on Table Mountain cliffs for the time being. Furthermore, please refrain from camping,having fires, or establishing new use trails in the area. The Bureau has expressed a number of concerns, but the signs are specifically a reaction to their concerns about possible negative affects of climbing and fixed hardware on a sensitive bat species. We'll put out more information as the situation develops.
USBR signs posted late November 2014 at Table Mountain Parking (end of Shell Road)
By Justin Johnsen
Dec 9, 2014
Thanks Tom, added a copy of your photo and note to the Table Mountain area.