Jailhouse Rock Rock Climbing
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For the current gate code and rules, visit accessfund.org/meet-the-acc…
Some critical conditions of the easement we need to comply with include:
- No dogs on the property
- Close all gates (typically there are over 200 head of horses on the property), particularly the gate to O'Byrnes Ferry Road
- No loud music
- No fires
- No camping at the cliff, trailhead, or anywhere in the vicinity
- Access allowed only from sun-up to one hour after sundown
- No littering
In addition, seasonal raptor closures on a portion of cliff line may be posted on the property and online if there is active raptor nesting.
Our ability to climb here is contingent on our compliance with the conditions of the easement.
****If climbers violate the terms of the easement (for example, by leaving a gate open, or bringing dogs onto the property), that jeopardizes our ability to climb here.**** The first routes at Jailhouse were established ground-up by Dave Schultz, then of Yosemite. Dave had the vision to look past the chossy nature of the overhanging blocky crag, and see its great potential for steep sport climbing. Others, particularly Tom Herbert, Todd Graham, John Scott, Troy Corliss, Justen Sjong, and Brad Johnson, have also been primary developers.
The owners of the property were initially alarmed by the climbing, and closed the cliff in 1992. The Access Fund got the cliff re-opened, but with a number of conditions from the owners, including the longstanding 'no publicitiy' policy. In late 2010, the current owners graciously have signed an access easement allowing climbing on their property with certain conditions, as discussed in the access box above.
Jailhouse offers steep, blocky, volcanic sport climbing on basalt. Routes are in the shade in the morning, and in the sun in the afternoon. The low elevation crag is best in the winter (although many routes seep given California's winter rains) or early spring/late fall. It's much too hot in the summer unless you are a reptile. The quality climbing here starts at 12d and currently goes to 14+, although there are some limited easier routes. The two easiest routes at the cliff are frequently closed for nesting raptors. The easiest route is 11c, but there are only 3 routes easier than 12b. Many routes, particularly the many extensions, require a 70m rope. Nearly all routes have fixed draws. Most will find kneepads and well-developed stamina helpful.
There is a pit toilet near the approach trail, about 5-10 minutes from the parking, but you have to bring your own TP and you MUST pack it out.
Jailhouse is in western Tuolumne County above the Stanislaus River between Lake Tulloch and New Melones Reservoirs. The only legal approach to the cliff is through a locked gate off O'Byrnes Ferry Road west of the prison, but before the road drops and winds south into the hairpin turn down to the lake. Do not try to enter the gate marked Shotgun Creek Estates; this is not the correct gate and is private property. The correct gate is west of this gate, and is best found by following the detailed directions on the Access Fund website. Also reference the site for current conditions or restrictions.
After you park in the lot and close the third gate, hop on the dirt road and go right after you pass the creek to get to the crag.
Repeat, if climbers violate the terms of the easement (for example, by leaving a gate open, or bringing dogs onto the property), that jeopardizes our ability to climb here. TO CLIMB AT JAILHOUSE, YOU NEED THE GATE CODE. The code for the lock is here
Classic Climbing Routes at Jailhouse Rock
Days w Precip