Elevation: 15 ft
GPS: 36.992, -122.17 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 21,096 total · 99/month
Shared By: Aron Quiter on Mar 30, 2003
Admins: andy patterson, M Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes


Bouldering in Santa Cruz County? Of course!

Unlike the larger Castle Rock bouldering areas, Panther Beach is beachside and on a nice ocean day, the setting is awesome. If the tide is high this can be a very scenic and loud place.

Though smaller in area, this area is gorgeous. There is a large boulderable arch, and many many beachside climbing sections, most in a fairly tight area. Landings are in sand, which is excellent for highball problems.

This 60' high cliff has some rock that is not sandstone for the first 25 feet or so that makes for some excellent overhangs and fingery vertical face climbs. Above the rocks you will find from very scary loose sandstone, so watch your hands and feet when you get about 15 or so feet!

Routes on this rock range from 5.1 to V6ish, with potential for harder routes than this. Chris Sharma has put up some of the routes here, and undoubtedly many of his routes are considerably harder. Climbing ranges in difficulties from really easy, to terrifyingly tough sections that can put you over 25 feet in the air. Some sections are slabby, some sections are severely overhung. One thing that is for certain is that all of the rock is soft sandstone, and most of the rock in the area can pull off. After a rainstorm, this is not a good place to be for your safety, and the potential for damage to the rock itself.

All routes are either traverse left or right to a good down climbable area, or simply jump off onto crashpads / sand below.

This wall will be in the sun in the afternoon, and will be in the fog for large portions of the year.

You can't legally camp on Panther Beach, but I'm told that it has been done by climbers and non-climbers alike.

Getting There

Located about 8 miles north of Santa Cruz, and 2 miles south of Davenport, this unmarked beach can be tough to find.

From the North: Take highway 1 south approximately 2 miles south of Davenport, which is located about 1/2 an hour south of Half Moon Bay.

From the South: Head north out of Santa Cruz on highway 1. The parking lot is about 6.1 miles north of the milage sign just out of Santa Cruz.

The parking lot is large, and parallels the highway, though it sits considerably higher than the highway. Once you see a wide driveway on the beach side of 1 at approximately those milages, you should pull in. The parking lot itself is about 300 yards wide, with the trail to the beach on the north end. Several of the sections of the parking lot are quite rough on a 2wd vehicle,so choose your path carefully!

Estimated approach time: 5 minutes from the end of the parking lot.

From the end of the parking lot, head down the downhill path onto the beach below. Walk over to the cliffy area on the left, and a hole will show up in the middle of the cliff, though it is now visible from the parking lot. Walk through the hole, and around to the left, where you will find the beachside wall. The wall continues for about 200 yards, where the rock turns severely loose and sandy.

4 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Panther Beach

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2 5+
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V2 5+ Boulder
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