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Areas in Moonstone Beach

101 Cliff 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Flat Top Rock 0 / 0 / 2 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Karen Rock 2 / 0 / 12 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
North Rocks 2 / 2 / 3 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
South Rock 2 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Spire Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3


Moonstone Beach is Eureka/Arcata's easiest access climbing area. The good quality sandstone and greenstone boulders and cliffs, combined with soft sand landings under most of the boulders, make this a favorite for both the "The-sun's-out-class-can-wait" and the after work crowd. From the parking area there are four main areas with clusters of problems and routes. The rock dries quickly after storms and is climbable all year 'round but it can be foggy in the summer and days of rain in the winter. A rope bag or tarp is recommended when pulling your rope to keep it out of the sand. Moonstone is also THE place to meet partners for other local adventures.

Moonstone Trivia:
#1 Many of the moderate topropes were pioneered in the 60's or earlier by Andy Montgomery, a minister from Arcata who trained on a wall he built inside the bell tower of his church.

#2 The Moonstone outdoor clothing company was started by the beach caretaker in a tin-can trailer on this beach.

Getting There

Take Highway 101 north from Arcata, exit at Westhaven Drive(just north of Clam Beach), take a left under 101 and left back south and take the first right to the beach.

A guidebook is available at outdoor shops in Arcata and Eureka.


Camping can be found just south at Clam Beach or 15 minutes north at Patrick's Point State Park.

36 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Moonstone Beach

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Hello! We're planning a family vacation to the redwood coast and my 16 year old has been an avid indoor climber for about a year at our local gym here in Omaha, NE. He'd really love to try outdoor climbing, but since none of us has ever climbed outside of an indoor gym, I thought it would be a good idea to get some guide/outfitter recommendations for this area... we're planning on camping at clam beach for a night or two. Any suggestions appreciated!

Nate Jun 17, 2017
Crimper E6
cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Crimper E6   cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
The biggest impact on the beach is all the annoying dogs and their shite! Oct 19, 2015
Rick Shull
Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Rick Shull   Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV  
Many of the lines on Karen Rock would make for some nice leads but due to the wide variety of beach users and complaints of desecration by local tribes, climbers have only replaced existing bolts for safety. The management plan for the beach suggested several scenarios at Moonstone that included removing all bolts or not replacing the old ones. A decision was not issued as the tribes did not pursue the removal of the bolts BUT the issue could be revisited at any time, so climbers have not pushed the issue of new bolts. We are fortunate that climbing is allowed at all at Moonstone, especially with the tribal issues. Also, pretty much all of the routes have been free soloed or led with (sometimes iffy) gear, so "leads" have been established and can be led in the style of the original lead ascents.... Jul 15, 2013
Christian Cota
Arcata, CA
Christian Cota   Arcata, CA
what is the policy on bolting at moonstone? I've heard that it's prohibited on karen rock. can anyone confirm that? some of those lines would be rad leads.. What about bolting any other lines at north rocks or anywhere near that? Jul 13, 2013
I'm trying to figure out where this climb is exactly. The guidebook has "Holladay Traverse" as 5.10 and "2 old hangerless bolts, shrub belay, 35 feet" but the guide shows that one on the south side of North Rock... Any clarification? Apr 30, 2010
Rick Shull
Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Rick Shull   Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV  
The Holladay-Hatfield is still there, although the hangerless bolts have been looking pretty bad for 15 years. The trees and shrubs seem to have overtaken the route. Dec 15, 2008

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