Elevation: 2,193 ft
GPS: 33.626, -117.426 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 31,038 total · 221/month
Shared By: Nate "Mustang" Johnson on Aug 3, 2007 with updates from V Rheanne
Admins: jt512, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Ortega Falls is a small climbing area (only six actual routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.10c). There is abundant bouldering opportunities in the area if you follow the stream bed in either direction. The rock is water polished and can be very slick. Depending on the time of day it can be a nice shady place and usually has a pleasant breeze to mellow out the heat (which can be pretty terrible, 95+ in summer). There is a gereral store and a bar a few miles down the highway. Most people top rope but it can be led. There is a trail to the right of the falls that will take you to the top.

Getting There

Ortega Falls is located .5 miles off of Highway 74. Park in the large turnout 2 miles west of El Cariso Village. The falls will be visible from the turn out. There are several small trails heading in every direction, so make sure you take the trails furthest to the right hand side of the turnout. The approach is about .5 miles of very mild hiking.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ortega Falls

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Weather Averages

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Los Angeles, CA
transattic   Los Angeles, CA
map coordinates:


maps.google.com/maps?f=q&so… Apr 20, 2011
wankel7   Indiana
I spent Sunday bouldering and exploring the area. I guess you need a Forest Adventure Pass to park in the turnout (I'm from out of town). Turns out the ticket / violation is the same as the day pass.... $5:)

Looks like the top rope area was in the shade after 3pm.

I saw four or five bolts on a huge boulder about 20' above the TR anchors...looked super hard...what is it?

Better lat long for the turn out 33.62593,-117.426342

I was surprised to see a drivers license / sobriety check point setup at the turn out. Jul 6, 2011
Riverside, Ca
Witty1   Riverside, Ca
There have been some recent rocks that have fallen... I don't know where they originated but there are a few rock scars around the routes... As always... be careful around areas that see moving water & changing conditions. Mar 2, 2012
Jim H
Pasadena, CA
Jim H   Pasadena, CA
Correct and more accurate map coordinates. Stay high and to the right as you approach the falls/main area. You will want this easy approach from the top if you are setting topropes.

@33.626524,-117.428326 May 8, 2012
Anyone ever camped here? Looks like there are remnants of a campfire at the base of the falls. Seems like a great place to spend a night but not sure if its legal? Nov 21, 2016
Andrew Ingals
Lake Forest
Andrew Ingals   Lake Forest
Just climbed here on 11 May 2017 and the falls are still flowing! While the water at the base of the primary routes is not deep at all (shin height at max depth), my buddy and I improvised a spicy traverse to access Dihedral and Fingers for lead climbs. However, we predominantly climbed the four main routes TR from the anchor. The routes have plenty of spots to take passive and active pro, though I preferred using mostly the former purely for the sake of gaining experience. The rock is pretty slick towards the base, which is what made our traverse interesting. I would also like to add that for both Dihedral and Fingers, the old, three hanger anchor has been removed and replaced and moved a bit closer to the edge. The new hardware has two hanger bolts, each with a rappel ring on screw-links. Similarly, the three-point anchor for Polished and Horn was also replaced and moved closer to the edge and bolted with two new hangers and screw-links. The route, Splitter, still has a three-point anchor for those interested in high lining out there. May 12, 2017
Carlos S
Carlos S   Corona
Thanks to whoever replaced the Dihedral/Fingers anchor bolts with glue-ins. Jul 26, 2017
Thinking about climbing out here this weekend. Does anybody know how much water there is right now? I've never been out here, but I don't want to ruin my rope belaying in a pool of water. Jul 27, 2017
The approach is closer to 0.1 miles than 0.5. Although staying high and right does get you more directly to the anchors, it's not a big deal. If you hike to the dry pool, you can scramble up the trail on the right side of the falls. Dec 2, 2017
The problem with leading most of this stuff would be that the first few moves are the hard ones, and I doubt you could get any pro in before making those moves. The ones that look most doable as trad leads are Dihedral and Fingers. To lead Dihedral, you'd probably want to reach over and place pro in Fingers. Jan 3, 2018