Elevation: 617 ft
GPS: 37.186, -121.872 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 7,994 total · 73/month
Shared By: Nic Hoggan on Dec 30, 2009 with updates from Ricky Harline
Admins: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin ., Vicki Schwantes
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Access Issue: Trails are closed from sunset to 6:00 am. Details


Guadalupe Rock is possibly the most underrated crag in the Bay Area.

For example, the book Rock Climbing the San Fransisco Bay Area warns climbers to "steer clear of the unpleasant mud and flies at Guadalupe Rock and find a better place to climb." (pg 211)

I don't know what the author was pissed off about the day she visited the place, because the crag is downright pleasant. Granted, conditions around the rock change, as this crag sits next to/in the stream that feeds into Guadalupe Reservoir (or, when the reservoir is especially high, in the reservoir itself). But if you don't mind rock-hopping across the stream to start your route, this is a beautiful, secluded place that has several very fun routes and practically no approach. I have climbed here a good 15 times over the last 10 years, and I have never seen another person climbing here.

The rock is really a huge boulder (45-50ft)of moderate-to-good quality stone (I don't know what kind of rock it is). The rock holds about half a dozen established routes (that is, I have found some documentation for them) but could easily see some more development.

All routes can be easily toproped by walking around the back of the rock and scrambling up to the top (not sketchy at all). There are several solid bolts at the top, but they are somewhat spread out. I like to bring a 20ft piece of webbing for the anchors.

There is one route (the 10c I believe)that is well bolted and can be led. There are other bolts on other routes, but I don't fancy clipping rusted 1/4 inch button heads with homemade hangers. I see no reason why someone who wanted to shouldn't rebolt those lines and/or bolt new ones.

It should be noted that the ratings provided here come from the only place I could find them-- rockclimbing.com. They seem to be fairly accurate though.

To be fair, this place is no Castle Rock State Park. But the routes are fun, the area is beautiful, and there is some good potential for more routes here.

Getting There

Guadalupe Rock is located just south of Guadalupe Reservoir near the town of Los Gatos. To get their, take Hicks Road from where it begins on Camden Ave. (a couple miles south of the 85) for about ten minutes or so until you reach the reservoir. Continue alongside the reservoir, passing a trashy-looking, graffiti-covered crag on the right side of the road (this is Roadside Rock). As you pass the reservoir (or maybe half a mile past it), keep an eye out for an enormous boulder sitting in the creek on the left-hand side of the road. The boulder sits about 50 feet down from the road, and the top of the boulder is about level with the road. There is a turnout another hundred yards or so down the road where you can park.

6 Total Climbs

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Location: Lower Guadalupe Rock Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Lower Guadalupe Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Bolt Line
Sport, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Left Crack
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Bolt Line
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport, TR
Left Crack
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
More Classic Climbs in Lower Guadalupe Rock »

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Santa Cruz, CA
scotticusmaximus   Santa Cruz, CA
Just went out here today to check it out and I was pleasantly surprised. It is an absolutely gorgeous drive out there, and the rock location right on the creek makes for a nice setting. But, that was also a small drawback to the crag, as most all of the bottoms of the routes were surrounded by water. That's no problem though if you lower down to start the route, though you'd probably want your partner to belay from above. It might make leading a route hard unless your belayer was standing on the other bank. I hear the water line goes down later in the season though, so that might remedy this. At any rate, the rock was a little dirty at the bottom, but the climbs were great! If you want a nice peaceful place away from the hustle and the bustle and are sick of all those Castle Rock slopers, come check out the nice crimpers and features on this rock. Definitely makes for a nice day! May 2, 2012
Sorry I didn't like your home crag, Guadalupe Rocks. I think my climbing partner might still be mad at me for making him climb with me there that day.
One of the main issues is that since water surrounds most of the climbs, the rock is pretty dirty and unfortunately this will be a continual problem since the water levels change throughout the year.
-Tresa Black
p.s. I will measure the rock. I highly doubt it is 45 feet most of the year, but I could be wrong. Oct 28, 2012
Danny Herrera
San Bruno, CA
Danny Herrera   San Bruno, CA
fun and muddy. anchor bolts look fairly new, waterline is low enough to rock hop to base and climb all routes Jan 14, 2018
Cash Johnson
Palo Alto, CA
Cash Johnson   Palo Alto, CA
Great rock. It's treated us well for the last week since we found it and we have fell in love ever since. It's near the city and you can grab a bite to eat and bring it up.

Perfect for beginners who are just starting and looking to hone their skills, but it's not a very nice relax spots; A lot of water creating a mote around and little rocks to stand and belay.

Overall, good shit man. Jul 4, 2018
David Dentry
San Francisco, CA
David Dentry   San Francisco, CA
I have kind of mixed feelings about this rock. It's easy to get to, has an easy walk up to set top ropes, has lots of decent bolts and climbs of all levels for mixed groups.

Perfect, right?

If the entire base weren't surrounded by water it would be perfect, but even in November, when it hasn't rained in almost a year, there was a few feet of water surrounding the rock. Your rope is going to get a little wet, and your belaying options are slim, but a nice place to climb. Nov 18, 2018