Access Issue: Trails are closed from sunset to 6:00 am. Details

Description

Goat Rock is tucked a fair way back from the main Castle Park area, but it's worth the beautiful hike in.

It's a pretty sweet mix of slabs and overhung, cave-like climbs, with lots of pockets all around.

The rock itself is 110 feet high, but the routes run no longer than 80 feet.

From the top you get an even more breathtaking view of the valley.

All the climbs have top-rope bolts except "Left Side of Great Roof" which has 3 bolts to a 2 bolt anchor.

The climbs range from 5.4 to 5.12a, with something for everyone.

This rock is great if you have people with varying skill levels in your group.

The top rope bolts are easily accessed, but you should definitely bring long slings to set up your top rope if you want your rope to last on this sandstone.

If you're planning on staying 'til sundown don't forget to bring a headlamp or flashlight... otherwise the hike out gets very tricky.

Classics on Goat Rock include Great Roof (5.10b) and the Left Side (5.12a) for more advanced climbers, and Swiss Cheese (5.4-5.7) for less experienced climbers.

Getting There

From the main Castle Rock parking lot, take the Saratoga Gap Trail west toward Castle Rock Falls. You will cross Kings Creek, then at the fork in the trail, turn right onto Ridge Trail (there is a sign labeled goat rock). If you reach the observation platform for Castle Rock Falls you have gone past the fork. Passing by Last Temptation Cliff and Billy Goat rock on your right, you will come to Goat Rock on the left side. It's about a 1.3 to 1.5 mile hike in, with a decent amount of uphill walking, on a fairly small but well-traveled trail.

It is also possible to access Goat rock from the backpack camp via the ridge trail.

9 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Goat Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 48
Swiss Cheese
Trad, TR
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c X
 26
Corner Route
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 18
Center Route
TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 26
Triple Overhang
TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 103
The Great Roof
TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Swiss Cheese
 48
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, TR
Corner Route
 26
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c X Trad
Center Route
 18
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c TR
Triple Overhang
 26
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
The Great Roof
 103
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b TR
More Classic Climbs in Goat Rock »

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Photos

Brian Quiter
Oakland, CA
Brian Quiter   Oakland, CA
I'd say the actual rock is closer to 110' than 80', though the climbing only reaches up to about 80'. Jun 25, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This rock used to be popular with army rappeller types. Once a guy in a camouflage outfit scared the shit out of me as he jumped face first off the big overhang, I thought he was committing suicide. But he was doing one of those face first raps, the first 10' in free fall. Jun 28, 2002
T. Maino
Denver, CO
T. Maino   Denver, CO
Led this in the 80's. There was an old bolt before and after the lip's jug. They looked ancient then. Are they still there? Jul 3, 2002
Raphael Varieras
Austin, TX
Raphael Varieras   Austin, TX
Coordinates for goat rock are: 37.228216, -122.107891 Feb 23, 2012
Manny Segovia
Sacramento, California
Manny Segovia   Sacramento, California
Just went out there yesterday, seems legit. bring some long slings to tr tho (20 ft) or a static. you can anchor to a huge bulge for the 3 problems on the right and for the 5.5 and 5.6 i saw someone slinging the bulge and clipped in to one anchor set far back. for the 5.9 and 10 routes right next to each other bring some imagination and ingenuity to set the tr. the rest of the problems to the left are protected with good anchors. The Bay Area Rock book shows that all the climbs are anchored but those bolts have been removed. there's one bold still there but its suuuper rusty. I'm not crazy enough for that haha. It seems super cruiser tho. have fun. the place was packed when we were there so no climbing for us this time :( Apr 7, 2014
JCG22  
The anchor, consisting of a set of what appears to be new bolts in line from horn to face are compromised. The nut on left bolt is loose and bolt moves around in hole. Pics for reference.



Dec 20, 2015
Kelley Gilleran
Sacramento, Ca
Kelley Gilleran   Sacramento, Ca
Looks like a SS wedge anchor to me. Usually pretty bomber even with a loose nut. (Sometimes the hanger gets torqued from different angles and loosens the nut although the bolt is still seated) However the amount of thread above the nut in the first pic concerns me. The rock may have been soft in that spot and the sleeve of the wedge bolt may have had a hard time wedging itself. Remember that shear strength is relatively high compared to pullout strength (outward). I bet whoever comes back to tighten this bolt up will be able to keep cranking on it till they run out of threads. Sometimes glue-ins are more popular in softer sandstone. Those wind eroded pockets, huecos, and caves were made by just that-- wind. Probably somewhat soft stone in spots. Dec 23, 2015
pdao
San Francisco
pdao   San Francisco
Noticed yesterday that some of the hangers on the anchors on top of climber's right of Goat Rock have been removed. Sep 12, 2016
Ben LC
The Road @ USA
Ben LC   The Road @ USA
Went today and most the bolts to setup a top rope AND the ones to lead are gone. Alternatives are to come from the side and build natural anchors on some of the rock's features or to bring very long static rope (50-100ft) to attach to the tree or the very top of the rock Nov 12, 2016
Swiss cheese is missing the toprope bolts, and the second anchor point at the top is missing one of the bolts as well. Looks like someone unscrewed them. May 24, 2017
Many bolts have been unscrewed as part of a replacement project by a volunteer group. Got this info from a state park ranger Not sure how long this project has taken, but as of yesterday, these routes do not have bolts:
- Dragon's Breath
- Triple Overhang
- Center Overhang Left
- Center Overhang
- Swiss Cheese Direct
- Swiss Cheese Right

The Great Roof route still has bolts and if you have long slings you can create an anchor for Soute Arete. The slings might also give you access to the Swiss Cheese routes. Aug 26, 2017
As of today, November 12th, there is still only one viable anchor here :(. See previous comment (Aug 26th) for more info. Nov 12, 2017
Bryan Hains
Redwood CIty, CA
Bryan Hains   Redwood CIty, CA
Get ready to fight with REI and a bunch of other companies for space on goat rock and other "good" areas at castle rock. They hang TRs and bosshog the areas from 8 am - 3 pm giving beginner classes to paying noobs every single Sat and Sun. F OFF REI. Jan 10, 2018
David Dentry
San Francisco, CA
David Dentry   San Francisco, CA
As others have mentioned there is one set of fixed bolts at the top of The Great Roof route. It's a very exposed traverse across the top of the crag to get to. I wouldn't go out to it without some backup protection down to the tree on the back side or something.

There is a single bolt in the middle, serving the Swiss Cheese routes but you'd need to extend it up and over the lip about 8-10 feet. The other set of bolts for the middle routes are missing hangars.

I rigged an easy top rope with a 30' webbing around the big rock horn at the top and a second 30' static line as backup. From there you can service the easier Swiss Cheese and South Arete routes

. Oct 28, 2018