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Areas in Big Rock Area

Bernasconi Ridge 1 / 8 / 0 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 20
Boobs Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Helios Boulder 2 / 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Main Slab 28 / 6 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 35
Sundeck, The 4 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Elevation: 1,659 ft
GPS: 33.842, -117.164 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: Adam Stackhouse on Feb 21, 2006
Admins: C Miller, Euan Cameron, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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What's here?

Big Rock is located in southern part of Lake Perris State Recreation Area. While other small developed slabs surround Big Rock, most of the routes are found on the main wall, containing about thirty routes. Of these, less than 5 are cracks, with the balance being bolted face routes. The rock quality is very good, and with the routes facing northwest it gets lots of afternoon sun.

The routes are low-angled, with generally more than ample bolted protection. It is a great place for beginners and novices. Most all belays are three-bolt set-ups, many of which have been recently replaced. While most of the routes can be done in one pitch, some have bolted anchors midway, allowing one to practice belay switch-overs. There is some bouldering around the base of the rock, with more still on the surrounding hillsides.
A great historical link about Big Rock can be read here courtesy of Don Chambers,. Comments by some legends of the sport that many would not have guessed climbed at Big Rock.

Big Rock is currently closed to climbing.


Getting There

Access to Big Rock is via Hwy 215 exiting on the Ramona Expressway, heading east towards Lake Perris. About 7 miles down the road on the left is an unmarked park entrance road, called Bernasconi Rd. Left here leads to a self-pay station. Parking in the park is steep at $10.00 per vehicle, or one can park about 1/2 mile out of the park on Bernasconi and walk in for free. Once in the park, hike left through the picnic area on a paved service road for about 1/3 mile until Big Rock becomes apparent on the left hillside.

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FYI - I just spoke with the park service there and they said that they expect climbing to be able to resume around the end of the year. Jan 26, 2017
C Miller   CA  
The Helios Boulder is not the Sport Boulder. Jan 14, 2013
Is the Helios Boulder the "sport boulder" ?

or if it isn't, why isn't it listed? Access issue??

and if it is, that might be a good AKA to add, plus the other routes. Jan 14, 2013
C Miller   CA  
Paul - The main slab of Big Rock faces mostly west and receives sun from late morning until late afternoon/early evening when the hillide in front of it blocks the sun. Jan 9, 2013
Greetings. Does anyone know if the main wall gets any sun in the winter, and if so, what time of day? It's north-facing, so I wasn't sure. It's a bit cold out there in the shade when taking slower climbers.
thanks Jan 9, 2013
Big Rock is still open. I had a great day of climbing there two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I parked outside the gate and had my car damaged and broken into despite the fact that I left the car unlocked in case anyone wanted to steal my valueless possessions. Police said it was the first time this year, but if you plan to come a few times it would be easier to buy a pass and park within the gates in order to save yourself a possible broken window. May 18, 2012
C Miller   CA  
Nate - The majority of the old bolts at Big Rock were replaced with 3/8" bolts in the late 80's, with even more bolts replaced in the late 90's. There are however still some original 1/4" bolts out there as well as some high traffic bolts which might stand being upgraded to 1/2".

If there's any routes needing a look and/or upgrade post them here, thanks. Jun 4, 2008
Nate "Mustang" Johnson
Lake Elsinore, CA
Nate "Mustang" Johnson   Lake Elsinore, CA
I have been climbing out here a few times over the last few weeks and it is great. I was just wondering about the quality of the bolts though. Most of them are rusted, spinning hangers, button heads, etc. I am no expert but to me some of the bolts out there looked kinda shady, especially given the longer distance between bolts. Any input would be greatly appreciated

-Nate Jun 4, 2008
Jon Hanlon   SLO
HAHA....I had the EXACT same experience there a few years back! Must be his M.O... Jun 3, 2008
A few days ago my brother and I were approaching Big Rock from the parking lot around 10:30 AM. It was our first time there, so naturally my eyes focused on the climbers perched atop the second pitches instead of the hot concrete we were walking on. I didn't notice the very large rattlesnake that was sunbathing in the middle of the path until my foot was about two and a half feet from his head. Thankfully, they have these great ways of warning us before it's too late. I nearly jumped in the lake when I saw/heard him, but we're both OK. Moral of the story--be aware of snakes! I also heard that one was hanging out under the picnic tables a couple weeks ago. Jun 2, 2008
I'd really like to be a smart ass, all things considered, but Allen, they lifted a "trash can" from your car? ? ? Nov 25, 2007
Allan Cheateaux
Fort Collins, CO
Allan Cheateaux   Fort Collins, CO
Climbed here yesterday. Planned on a nice long day of cragging, but got told our car was broken into (we parked inside, have a state parks pass). They broke our passenger front window and boosted a 1st gen ipod (worth about $30 now), charger, Jami's beef jerky and a trash can. Dealing with some real pros here... at least they ignored the 2 $400 phones on the dash...

Fun area with great slab climbing. Just drive a crappy car in and hide your stiff in the boot. Nov 25, 2007
Bill Olszewski
Colorado Springs, CO
Bill Olszewski   Colorado Springs, CO
Great info guys, and right on the mark. I would just like to add, for anyone who has not been to Big Rock and may only be comfortable leading heavily bolted lines, that this is not a typical sport climbing wall. For anyone who didn't know, "sport climbing" generally refers to well-bolted half-pitch routes (i.e. they can be top-roped with a single rope). Although Big Rock has some sport routes (see Let it Bleed and Cheap Thrills) most are closer to traditional slab. As an example, Africa Flake, although adequately protected, takes the full 60m passing 6 bolts. A true sport climb generally has a bolt every 6 to 10 feet. Obviously there is some gray area here, but most of these lines on Big Rock are too sparsely bolted to qualify as sport. But not to worry, due to the low angle of the rock, most lead falls are really lead "slides." Apr 30, 2007
Josh Hibbard
Los Angeles Area, CA
Josh Hibbard   Los Angeles Area, CA
Plan for a 20-25 minute walk from the gate. Cut the time to 5 minutes if you bring a bike or skateboard. The gate never seems to be unlocked during the weekdays, so I have concluded that it is only unlocked on the weekends. However, I usually don't climb there in the summer (because of the heat), so it may just be a seasonal thing and unlocked in the summer. The rangers will give you a ticket if you don't pay the parking fee of $8... Mar 26, 2007
C Miller   CA  
Parking outside the gate avoids the fee and only adds 5-10 minutes to the approach with the benefit of being able to climb until dark as the rangers close the gate promptly at sunset. That said, be aware that cars have been vandalized while parked outside the gate. Feb 21, 2006

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