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Areas in San Francisco Bay Area

Beaver Street Wall 3 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Berkeley 3 / 3 / 27 / 70 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 92
Big Basin State Park 0 / 0 / 1 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Black Sand Beach 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Buildering and Manufactured Walls 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Castle Rock Area 39 / 103 / 103 / 196 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 358
Cliff House Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Coyote Hills 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Glen Canyon 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Indian Joe Caves 3 / 0 / 11 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Mazzones, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Menlo Park Buildering 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Mickey's Beach 0 / 43 / 10 / 29 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 74
Mount Diablo State Park 15 / 36 / 39 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 71
Mount Tamalpais 8 / 0 / 18 / 37 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 54
Pacifica Headlands 0 / 0 / 1 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Point Reyes National Seashore 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Ring Mountain 3 / 0 / 11 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Rocky Outcrop Park 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Vista Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
West Ridge Rocks 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Wine Country 79 / 210 / 72 / 265 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 555
Woodside Rock 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3

Old Training Ground Meets Locals' Playground

While not generally thought of as a destination area for rock climbing, the pure number of visitors that head to the bay area for other purposes make this a great location for a quick day on the rock in between other commitments.

You can climb year round in the Bay Area, provided that winter rains haven't pummeled the area too recently. Often, inland areas are extremely hot in the summer, though the coastal areas will stay pleasant.

American Big Wall climbing took its first roots here, with locals practicing their skills on local rocks before heading to Yosemite for its renowned cliffs. Almost every area that has a chimney in Northern California was first climbed by Warren Harding or Forrest Shute, and you will often see a piton stuck in the rock left over from climbers of another age.

Berkeley, Castle Rock and Sonoma will hold your attention for a great day of bouldering. Mount Saint Helena or Lover's Leap (in the Tahoe area, but still only about 2 hours drive from most locations), or Table Mountain for a sport or trad experience.

Visitors and locals alike should check out the area along the Sonoma coast for a sport or bouldering experience unique to California, where waves, wind and rock found only here make an unforgettable day's climbing.

People with several days free in the Bay Area will probably want to head east to the Tahoe area in the summer or fall, to Yosemite for the trad folks, and perhaps all the way out (6-8 hours) to the Eastern Sierra areas like Bishop and Mammoth for a world class alpine, sport, or bouldering experience.

Unfortunately, a significant portion of the best climbing in the Bay Area is on private property, and unless you're in the know, you don't get to go.

The Bay Area's Areas

A few notes for first time visitors on where the rocks are clustered around here.

  • San Francisco is the city itself. Areas to climb here include Beaver Street Wall, Cliff House Boulders and Glen Canyon.
  • The East Bay is across the Bay Bridge from the city, and includes many parks in Berkeley and Oakland. The best climbing is near its eastern boundary, at Mount Diablo State Park.
  • The South Bay and Silicon Valley are south of the city. The most popular climbing areas here are in the Castle Rock Area, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can overhear tech employees talking about Google while you belay.
  • The North Bay starts north from the city across the famous Golden Gate Bridge, including Marin and neighboring counties. Climbing areas here include Mickey's Beach, Mount Tam and Ring Mountain.
  • Wine Country refers (Baycentrically) to wild and rural areas further north than the North Bay. This includes Napa, Sonoma and nearby counties, with climbing mostly on the rolling hills of the coast ranges, sometimes right on the scenic coast. Areas here include Mount St. Helena and The Nut Tree Boulders.

Most urban locales can be reached by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and connecting systems, or Uber if you're a high roller. Some crags are best reached by car, but keep in mind parking can be pricey in spots, and the bridges often collect tolls.

Access

BACC (Bay Area Climbers Coalition) is the local Access Fund org at work here.

1,289 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at San Francisco Bay Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1+ 5
 102
The Spoon
Boulder
V1-2 5
 101
Mr Magoo
Boulder
V4 6B
 81
The Ramp
Boulder
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 72
Cave Route
Sport 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 75
Shute-Mills Route
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 72
Aperitif
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 103
Degeneration
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 237
Amazing Face
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 103
Mullah
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 101
The Great Roof
TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 92
Farewell to Arms
TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 72
Silverado Squatters
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
 104
The Falls
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 68
Rampage
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 83
Bolt Route
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Spoon Castle Rock Area > … > Castle Rock Loop > Spoon
 102
V1+ 5 Boulder
Mr Magoo Castle Rock Area > … > Magoos > Mr Magoo Boulder
 101
V1-2 5 Boulder
The Ramp Berkeley > Mortar Rock
 81
V4 6B Boulder
Cave Route Mount Diablo SP > Pine Canyon > Rock of Ages
 72
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Sport 2 pitches
Shute-Mills Route Wine Country > … > Far Side > Shute-Mills Area
 75
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Aperitif Wine Country > Mount St. Helena > Table Scraps Pinnacle
 72
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Degeneration Castle Rock Area > Waterfall Cliff
 103
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, TR
Amazing Face Mount Diablo SP > Boy Scout Rocks > Lower Tier
 237
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Mullah Castle Rock Area > California Ridge
 103
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
The Great Roof Castle Rock Area > Goat Rock
 101
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b TR
Farewell to Arms Berkeley > Cragmont Park > Southeast Face
 92
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b TR
Silverado Squatters Wine Country > Mount St. Helena > Bear
 72
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
The Falls Castle Rock Area > Waterfall Cliff
 104
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R Sport
Rampage Wine Country > Mount St. Helena > Bear
 68
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Bolt Route Mount Diablo SP > Boy Scout Rocks > Lower Tier
 83
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in San Francisco Bay Area »

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