Elevation: 2,210 ft
GPS: 34.125, -118.928 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 20,116 total · 137/month
Shared By: Art Morimitsu on Feb 26, 2007 with updates from Benjamin Chapman
Admins: jt512, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Access Issue: Echo Cliffs - Closed due to fire Details
Access Issue: Emergency Closure to Protect Sensitive Plant Species Details

Description

The Grotto is a wonderful place to climb in the summer, under the shade of a group of huge Sycamore trees. Located upstream from the base of the Drainage descent trail, the Grotto lies at the western end of the cliff band of Echo Cliffs. Due to canopy created by the Sycamore trees the Grotto enjoys mixed shade all day long. Routes in the Grotto range from 5.7 - 5.12b. There is typically a good flow of water during the winter and spring, but dries up by early summer.

Getting There

the first climbing area encountered on the approach trail

23 Total Climbs

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Location: The Grotto Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at The Grotto

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 12
Mystic River
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 55
Miss Pacman
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 16
Little Giant
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 40
Superfly
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 7
Garden of Expectations
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 31
Lowrider
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 15
Slammer
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 16
Air Ranger
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 19
Wonder Woman
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 12
Intensity
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Mystic River
 12
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Miss Pacman
 55
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Little Giant
 16
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Superfly
 40
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Garden of Expectations
 7
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Lowrider
 31
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Slammer
 15
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Air Ranger
 16
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Wonder Woman
 19
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Intensity
 12
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Grotto »

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Simon H
Oakland, CA
Simon H   Oakland, CA
I Climbed Mystic River and Garden of Expectations with a few friends today and were approached by a group of concerned park rangers. Apparently, these routes cut through one of the world's 3 remaining populations of a critically endangered succulent. After the rangers identified the plant for us it was obvious that activity by climbers has destroyed much of this population. They mentioned that Echo was almost closed years ago in an effort to protect this specific plant. We convinced them that the climbing community is not only passionate about preserving the environment, but respectful towards rules, especially when access was contingent on them.

Please help the park service to preserve this species by not only discontinuing climbing in the northwest of the grotto, but making sure that other climbers know that the routes in the area run through critical habitat. As continuing to climb this route will likely lead to closure of the whole area, it is better to climb routes that do not promise to cause the extinction of a species. May 1, 2010
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
The Park Service has closed all routes of the south side of the Grotto. Signs have been posted and bolts/anchors removed from the five affected routes. This was done to protect endangered plants. (although nothing was stated about threatened or endangered plants existing in the Grotto during the discussions of 2002).
Climbers have been largely ignored, but due to an increase in litter, tissue/feces, dogs at the base of the cliff, and camping, rangers will be monitoring climber's activities more closely. Rangers have expressed concern that climbers have been inaffective at self-policing regarding these impacts at the cliff. May 3, 2010
BP29  
Was it really necessary to remove the route descriptions of the affected climbs? While they may be currently closed, they will hopefully be available to climb next year. May 16, 2010
Brian Hench
Costa Mesa, CA
Brian Hench   Costa Mesa, CA
Those climbs will never be open for climbing- ever! They were all erased!

Those routes were on north-facing cliffs- precisely where Dudleyas prefer to grow. There are a lot of different Dudleya species at Echo. If I remember correctly, the ranger said the endangered one was D. moreliana, named for its tendency to hold onto its dead leaves.

This web site has a long list of Dudleya species.

crassulaceae.net/index.php?… May 17, 2010
The routes at the grotto were not very good either way, (no offense to the guys who bolted them.) there is plenty of great moderate climbing at the Left Flank, and the Far Side. Jan 11, 2011