Elevation: 1,684 ft
GPS: 34.493, -119.793 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 14,387 total · 92/month
Shared By: M. Morley on Feb 15, 2006 with updates from Kevin Fox
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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The Fire Crags consist of two boulders that were discovered after the Painted Cave fire swept through the area in late June of 1990, uncovering them from the surrounding chaparral. Randy Judycki established it first as a TR area until it cleaned up. He enlisted the help of Santa Barbara local Mike Colee (long "o", long "e") to establish most of the lead routes in 1992. "It was a mess to clean up," Colee remembers.

"I spent much of my time the first two years building the trail and cleaning the routes," recalls Judycki. "Since the rock is soft sandstone and it went through a very hot fire, [it] was cleaned extensively so no large blocks would fall on people".

There are more than a dozen sport routes, the longest (and best) about 50 feet in length. It's easy to knock out all or most of the routes in a half day. Bring about 8 draws and a camera - the view is great!

The route numbers follow.

Upper/Burnt Boulder
16. Europe Revisited (5.6) - 2 bolts to anchor, 20'.
17. Tester (5.9) - 3 bolts to anchor (shared with Europe Revisited), 30'.
18. Short Shot (5.8) - 3 bolts to anchor, 30'.
19. Bent Brain (5.8) - 4 bolts to anchor, 40'.
20. Jensen's Jugs (5.10b) - 4 bolts to anchor, 50'.
21. Movin' Out (5.11b/c) - 5 bolts to anchor, 50', chipped holds.
22. Grib Dat Hole (5.11a) - 6 bolts to anchor, 50', chipped.
23. Finger Fit (5.11b) - 5 bolts.
24. Face the Seam (5.10a) - 3 bolts to anchor, 35'.
25. Black Crack (5.9+) - 4 bolts to anchor, 35'.

Lower/Cave Boulder
26. Quick Crank (5.10+) - Don't bother.
27. Screaming Knee Knee (5.11c) - 3 bolts.
28. Flaccidily Flexing Forearms (5.11d) - 3 bolts.
29. Crack It Up (5.9) - Long boulder problem.

Getting There

From Santa Barbara, take Hwy 154 (San Marcos Pass) toward Santa Ynez; turn right at Painted Cave Road, and head up the road for about 1/2 mile to a hairpin turn with a pull-out on the left. Park here. Follow established foot trail for 5 minutes.

10 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Fire Crags

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bent Brain
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Jensen's Jugs
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Grib Dat Hole
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Finger Fit
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Bent Brain
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Jensen's Jugs
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Sport
Grib Dat Hole
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Finger Fit
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Fire Crags »

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Stephen Pratt
Goleta, CA
Stephen Pratt   Goleta, CA
Just went climbing here over the weekend (7/15/07) and noticed that someone yanked out the anchor bolts above Europe Revisited. Is someone putting up a new anchor or just going to leave it like that? Jul 16, 2007
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
Fire Crags recently suffered a failure of the first lead bolt on "Black Crack." The bolt was a 3/8" Rawl. The rock at Fire Crags is softer than nearby crags. Sep 18, 2007
Bruno Hache
Longmont, CO
Bruno Hache   Longmont, CO
Hi guys,
I was wondering if you guys should consider Titanium anchors?

Look at the following link for good reasons to do so:

Those Titanium Rock Climbing anchors can be found at Ushba Mountaineering.
Titanium is uniquely inert to chemicals like salt corrosion.

I was told they became affordable due to the cheaper Titanium found in Eastern Europe.
Those anchors will become the standard for Rock Climbing Anchors in Marine Environment.

They were designed to withstand the corrosion issue that is unique to those environment.
Cayman Island, Thailand, Calanques (France) anchors are being replaced with those anchors due to Chloride Salt Corrosion Cracking (read the article in the link).

Also, the Glue-In (which you are using with the Batinox) is well documented to be the best option in soft rocks:
They also describe the best configuration of the eye-bolt to use.

Good luck and keep up the good work!

Colorado Climber Oct 14, 2008
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
Thanks for the info.

I believe that the problem at Fire Crags is not salt corrosion. It's super soft rock. I recently removed the second bolt on Black's Crack in order to inspect it, and it demonstrated little corrosion. Even so, the first bolt on this route pulled out in a lead fall.

As such, I'm not sure that Titanium bolts would change the situation. Your idea about using glue-ins is one that I can get behind, though. Having placed them at other crags, my only thought is that it is extremely difficult and time consuming compared to dropping a few sleeve bolts in the wall. I would be very, very grateful if someone were willing to undertake all of this extra work. Apr 13, 2009
A headsup, I am planning on replacing some anchors and bolts at the Firecrags sometime this summer. I plan using Fixe glueins (with links)and Hlti HIT-RE 500 Epoxy Adhesive.

Jensons' Jugs:
Anchor and top two bolts

Grib dat Hole:
Anchor and lower two bolts

Bent Brain - maybe, anchors are loose
Haven't examined Black Crack yet

Comments and suggestions? May 14, 2009
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Jan, I suggest getting in touch with Randy Judycki first, as I know he was also planning on replacing them. Give me a holler and I can put you in touch. May 14, 2009
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
Any updates on the status of anchor quality/safety at this crag? Did replacements ever go in? Feb 1, 2010
Anchors have not been replaced yet.
I was in communication with Randy back and forth and he planned to do it in October but I got distracted with another new crag so I really haven't followed up with him.
Someday... Nov 18, 2010
Matt N
Santa Barbara, CA
Matt N   Santa Barbara, CA
A couple of weeks ago we setup a TR on Jensons Jugs off of the older bolts up top b/c the missing rock around the hooks didn't sit well with us. To be overkillingly redundant we also backed it up to the SS rap anchors set way up top. Flake at the top of the crux felt hollow too - I'd hate to pull that off and ruin the route! Nov 24, 2010
Santa Barbara, CA
5150dhbiker   Santa Barbara, CA
Visited here today after climbing at The Playground to check it out. Looks like most routes have been freshly bolted with solid anchors on most routes. Jan 26, 2014
Chris Morissette
Santa Barbara
Chris Morissette   Santa Barbara
I was up at Fire Crag yesterday and saw two baby rattlesnakes on the trail between the lower and the upper crag. There must be a den near there. They were extremely camouflaged so be careful. Mar 14, 2014
Stefan E
West Los Angeles, CA
Stefan E   West Los Angeles, CA
Anyone know what the route is between Finger Fit and Face the Seam? Jul 5, 2017
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
Stefan, I think the route in question is an old Chris leube (sp?) route. It goes at 5.12ish. Probably towards the harder end of that scale. The opening move is quite desperate, and after that the moves stay fairly sustained, but not as bad as the start. There is a decent amount of old glue (if memory serves) on the route, and per the rock-quality of Fire Crags, holds may have changed. Expect to be confounded and frustrated by this route. I've climbed with Chris a little bit in the past, and I've rarely met a more enthused, positive guy. Perhaps it was his tendency towards optimism that motivated him to put up this route...

Chris was also EXTREMELY strong on awkward crimpy climbing. Bear that in mind when attempting this route. Jul 7, 2017
Stefan E
West Los Angeles, CA
Stefan E   West Los Angeles, CA
Thanks for the info Andy. The opening moves did look very tough. Jul 10, 2017