Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Jailhouse Rock

Alcatraz S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Burrito Supreme S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Cell Block S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Chain Gang S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Common Thug S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Conjugal Visit S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Cuckoo's Nest S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Death Sentence S 5.14b 8c 33 X+ 33 E9 7b
Early Release S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Electric Chair S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Felon S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Fugitive S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Haul of Justice S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Insecurity S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Iron Junkie S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Jailbait S 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Juice, The S 5.13d 8b 31 X 32 E8 7a
Le Mens Sauce S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Life Sentence S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Line Up S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Lobotomy (aka McDevitt Route) S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Minimum Security75 S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Misdemeanor S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Pulp Friction S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Rhumb Line S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Slammer S 5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Soap on a Rope S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Straight Jacket S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Strange Ways S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Supreme Being S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Violated S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Whipping Boy S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Elevation: 1,000 ft
GPS: 37.907, -120.558 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 41,678 total, 499/month
Shared By: Tom Addison on Feb 1, 2011
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

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
Private property with a public access easement and conservation easement allowing climbing held by the Access Fund. Critical to see current requirements and restrictions. Details

Getting There

Jailhouse is in western Tuolumne County above the Stanislaus River between Lake Tulloch and New Melones Reservoirs. As of November 13, 2011, the climbers' traditional access up a steep hill immediately northeast of the east end of the O'Byrnes Ferry Bridge is CLOSED and not to be used. Instead, 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 mentioned below. TO CLIMB AT JAILHOUSE, YOU NEED THE GATE CODE. The code for the lock is at:
www.accessfund.org/jailhouse

Before you go here, check with the Access Fund (accessfund.org/jailhouse) for current conditions or restrictions. Please read the Acess Fund information. 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. accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5K…

32 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Jailhouse Rock Change
Type:  to 
Quality: Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Jailhouse Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Lobotomy (aka McDevitt Route)
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Cuckoo's Nest
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Chain Gang
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Line Up
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Whipping Boy
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Common Thug
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Pulp Friction
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Iron Junkie
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Burrito Supreme
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Supreme Being
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Soap on a Rope
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Electric Chair
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Fugitive
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Cell Block
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Jailbait
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Lobotomy (aka McDevitt Route) 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Cuckoo's Nest 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Chain Gang 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Line Up 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Whipping Boy 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Common Thug 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Pulp Friction 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Iron Junkie 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Burrito Supreme 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Supreme Being 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Soap on a Rope 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Electric Chair 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Fugitive 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Cell Block 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Jailbait 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Jailhouse Rock »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Hi all,
This is a long shot, but I left an orange grigri 2 (with an autolocker) at Jailhouse on Tuesday (2/28). I'm heading back up tomorrow, but if anyone has been up there since Tuesday and picked it up, I'd be really psyched to be reunited with it. (You can message me via mountainproject.) Mar 3, 2017
Todd Graham
Sierra Eastside, CA
Todd Graham   Sierra Eastside, CA
First went to Jailhouse in 92 or so after hearing about it from Schultz. Blown away on Soap. Best steep climbing I have ever seen in Cali. Kudos to Addison for his tremendous work. Miss so much the experience of such an amazing place. Also miss the characters back then ... Chen, Kennedy, McClanahan, Herbert, Belizzi, Corliss, Knapp, Carkeet, Addison, and Scott. Jan 4, 2016
Luke Stefurak
Seattle, WA
Luke Stefurak   Seattle, WA
As Tom Mentioned above. DO NOT park at the bridge and use the old approach. This crosses private land that was sold to a new owner. There is a specific climber parking lot that is approached via gate on closer to the 120/108 on O'Byrnes Ferry Road. More details at the Access Fund site.

Jan 25, 2013
Just Climbed here today,the gates were left open. Regardless we parked near the bridge and hiked to the rock- APPROACH 50min-1.5hr depending on if you can find the trail or not. This is not an extremely popular climbing sight due to the difficulty of the climbing but it is a must see if you are capable- never seen a ledge like it- one of the most vertical climbing spots in California.. Pictures cannot do it justice. And it is indeed hot as ---- in the summer time. Aug 26, 2012
On November 12th, the Access Fund is sponsoring a work party at Jailhouse to close the current trail approach to the cliff (from the bridge) and install gates, fencing, and parking via the new approach (from a gate higher on O'Byrnes Ferry Road). Please come help us; we have a lot to do in one day. Also, from that point on, the old approach will be closed, and we will drive through the gate and park at a new parking area. The gate will be locked, so you will need the code to get in! The code will be available on the accessfund.org/jailhouse website.

Dogs are not allowed per the conditions of the easement.
Thanks! Oct 3, 2011
J. Albers
Colorado
J. Albers   Colorado
The approach is 20-30 min. Jun 19, 2011
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
can I ask how long the approach is? Jun 19, 2011
Hi Jon
The new easement does not require that the cliff not be publicized, and we want to make sure that climbers know about the easement conditions (for example, dogs are no longer allowed). On the other hand, the owner wants to discourage non-climber traffic on her private property, so they do not want articles or stories about the climbing in non-climbing media, such as the local Sonora papers. We all get to climb out there because of the kindness and generosity of the owners, and we really want climbers to make sure that our current good relationship with them continues to be a good one. We're trying to strike a balance! Feb 3, 2011
J. Albers
Colorado
J. Albers   Colorado
Hey Tom,
So I guess your posting up Jailhouse means that information no longer needs to be kept "word of mouth", eh?

Thanks for all the hard work that you put into getting Jailhouse officially opened.
Cheers. Feb 2, 2011

More About Jailhouse Rock

Printer-Friendly Guide
What's New

All Photos Within Jailhouse Rock (30)

Most Popular · Newest