Elevation: 956 ft
GPS: 37.907, -120.558 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 105,188 total · 825/month
Shared By: Tom Addison on Feb 1, 2011 · Updates
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen
Access Issue: LOCK THE GATE. Private property with public access easement allowing climbing held by the Access Fund. Details

Description

****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 11d, but there are only 3 routes easier than 12b. Many routes, particularly the many extensions, require a 70m rope. Most will find kneepads and well-developed stamina helpful

Getting There

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. 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.

71 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Jailhouse Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 36
Cuckoo's Nest
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 20
Whipping Boy
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 16
Iron Junkie
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 8
Electric Chair
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 8
Insecurity
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 11
Misdemeanor
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 33
Soap on a Rope
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 20
Fugitive
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 12
Cell Block
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 6
Alcatraz
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 3
The Governor
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
 9
Jailbait
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
 3
Three Strikes And You're Out
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
 3
Forced Entry
Sport
5.14c 8c+ 34 XI- 35 E9 7b
 3
Green Mile
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Cuckoo's Nest
 36
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Whipping Boy
 20
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Iron Junkie
 16
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Electric Chair
 8
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Insecurity
 8
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Misdemeanor
 11
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Soap on a Rope
 33
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Fugitive
 20
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Cell Block
 12
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Alcatraz
 6
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
The Governor
 3
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
Jailbait
 9
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
Three Strikes And You're Out
 3
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
Forced Entry
 3
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
Green Mile
 3
5.14c 8c+ 34 XI- 35 E9 7b Sport
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