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Areas in Santa Barbara

* Santa Barbara Bouldering 1 / 0 / 2 / 420 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 422
Cathedral Peak 6 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Cielo Crack Crag 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Crag Full of Dynamite 0 / 6 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Fire Crags 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Gibraltar Area 26 / 18 / 16 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 48
Green Dome 0 / 16 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 17
Hermit Rock 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Hot Springs Canyon 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
La Cumbre Peak 2 / 7 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Lower Mission Canyon / Seven Falls 6 / 15 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 26
Panic Town 49 / 0 / 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 52
Paradise Road 1 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Playground, The 0 / 12 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13
Potter's Point 0 / 7 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Renaissance Crag 4 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
San Ysidro 17 / 3 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 21
San Ysidro (Upper) 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Sandcastle, The 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Top Bun 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Elevation: 438 ft
GPS: 34.448, -119.68 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 317,910 total, 2,200/month
Shared By: EricT on Jan 31, 2006
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Getting There

Santa Barbara is a low-key town an hour north of Los Angeles. Take the 101 north and you go right through town.

Description

Santa Barbara has a large number of short cliffs scattered about the ridgeline behind the city. The rock is dense sandstone of mixed quality and primarily bolted. Like San Luis Obispo, it's not a destination area, but good routes exist.

The rock is soft, and softer when wet, so please respect the one day of drying for each day of rain rule.

Guidebooks currently available in local stores:

  • Rock Climbing Santa Barbara & Ventura by Steve Edwards (well put together and still quite complete, covers roped routes as well as the major bouldering areas)
  • Ocean's Eleven - Bouldering around Santa Barbara by Bob Banks (brand spankin' new!)

And a guidebook not currently available in stores, but obtainable on Ebay, Amazon, etc:

  • "Climbing! Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo" by Steve Tucker and Kevin Steele. A fabulous text that pays ample homage to Santa Barbara's traditional roots. A little outdated in some areas, but a gem of adventurous and off-the-beaten-track routes nonetheless. It's out of print, so happy searching!

Here's some additional climbing related links with a local flair:

  • www.king-dino.com: catalogue of climbing and assorted adventure from guidebook author Bob Banks.
  • www.crankenstein.com: let burly sport climber and Owl Tor afficionado Elijah Ball show you what's rad, and what's not. Topics range from climbing to freediving to weightlifting.

668 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Santa Barbara

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0+ 4+
Lizards' Mouth Traverse
Boulder
V1 5
The Extremist
Boulder
V2 5+
Ace in the Hole
Boulder
V2-3 5+
Breathless
Boulder
V3 6A
Shaken, Not Stirred
Boulder
V3 6A
Charlotte's Web
Boulder
V4 6B
Yeti
Boulder
V4-5 6B+
Watch the Dog
Boulder
V6 7A
Smooth Criminal
Boulder
V8 7B
Dancing Outlaw
Boulder
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Orangahang
Trad, TR
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Many Happy Returns
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Great Race
Sport, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
T-Crack
Trad, TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Vanishing Flakes
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Lizards' Mouth Traverse Santa Barbara Bo… > Lizard's Mouth > Mouth V0+ 4+ Boulder
The Extremist Santa Barbara Bo… > Brickyard > Extremist Boulder V1 5 Boulder
Ace in the Hole Santa Barbara Bo… > Lizard's Mouth > Meilee Area V2 5+ Boulder
Breathless Santa Barbara Bo… > Lizard's Mouth > Meilee Area V2-3 5+ Boulder
Shaken, Not Stirred Santa Barbara Bo… > Lizard's Mouth > Femme Fatale Area V3 6A Boulder
Charlotte's Web Santa Barbara Bo… > Brickyard > Charlotte's Web Area V3 6A Boulder
Yeti Santa Barbara Bo… > Brickyard > Yeti Boulder V4 6B Boulder
Watch the Dog Santa Barbara Bo… > Brickyard > Soot Patrol Boulder V4-5 6B+ Boulder
Smooth Criminal Santa Barbara Bo… > Brickyard > Dancing Outlaw Boulder V6 7A Boulder
Dancing Outlaw Santa Barbara Bo… > Brickyard > Dancing Outlaw Boulder V8 7B Boulder
Orangahang San Ysidro 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Many Happy Returns San Ysidro 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Great Race San Ysidro 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, TR
T-Crack Gibraltar Area > Gibraltar Rock 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, TR
Vanishing Flakes San Ysidro 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in Santa Barbara »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Bob and Andy are spot on. Post the link on the Brickyard and Lizard Mouth pages. Sep 20, 2010
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
An update from Bob Banks:

king-dino.com/rant.html

C'mon, people. Spread the wisdom. Sep 9, 2010
Rob Riggleman
Santa Barbara, CA
Rob Riggleman   Santa Barbara, CA
There is a trail restoration day planned for June 13th for many of the trails affected by the Jesusita fire. Not too many details on the organization of the day yet, but the general plan is to meet at Skofield park and then set out to work on the Jesusita, Tunnel, Rattlesnake, and the West Fork of the Cold Springs trails.

Check this blog for further updates. May 28, 2009
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
The Jesusita Fire, which destroyed more than 8700 acres, has had a dramatic effect on Santa Barbara climbing sites. Upper Rattlesnake and Upper Cold Springs Canyons suffered severe damage. The entire Gibraltar Area, including Cold Springs Dome, has burned.

To see photos of the Gibraltar Area after the fire, click here May 27, 2009
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
As of Fall 2008, much of the climbing on West Camino Cielo is closed due to some sort of post-fire mulch operation instituted by the Forest Service. Lizard's Mouth is still open, but places like the Brickyard and the Playground are off-limits until (apparently) next Fall. Please respect the Forest Service's wishes and don't climb the closed areas. There's plenty of other rock in the area. Oct 29, 2008
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
Actually, there are a number of awesome multi-pitch routs in S.B.: Cathedral Peak (adventuresome 3 pitch 5.7), Upper Gibraltar (2 pitch 5.10b), and a number of others... Jun 19, 2007
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
For single-pitch sport climbing, you've got several options in and around SB:

  • Wheeler Gorge - on the way to Sespe along Hwy 33 - a good variety from 5.8 to mid 5.11 on 3 distinct rock types. Nice when it's hot, right along creek. About an hour or so from SB.
  • Little Lebowski - a good half day's worth. Short routes. A 15 min walk, just off W Camino Cielo.
  • Fire Crags - a good half day's worth. Nice views. Short routes, short approach. Right off 154 at Painted Cave.
  • Crag Full 'o Dynamite - zero approach, about a dozen short, fun routes literally right on the road. 15 minutes drive past Upper Gibraltar.

An hour and a half to the north, San Luis Obispo has some fun climbing on entirely different rock than the Santa Barbara/Ojai/Ventura variety. The best routes are on Bishop Peak and the [currently closed] Cerro Romualdo.

Pretty much the only multipitch climbing within 3 hours of Santa Barbara is at Sespe Gorge. Ending Crack is the best of the lot. Tahquitz/Suicide offers many fantastic multipitch routes, but it's a 3.5 hr drive from SB directly through L.A. Tollhouse Rock is another option for multipitch, but again, it's a good 5-hr drive, you're almost better off going to Yosemite. May 16, 2006

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