Elevation: 7,200 ft
GPS: 34.22, -116.993 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 23,377 total · 257/month
Shared By: Chris Owen on Jun 24, 2011
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Description

This remote and wild crag sits on the edge of the mesa west of Bluff Mesa Group Camp. The crag probably has one of the best outlooks of any crag in Southern California, with spectacular views across Bear Creek to Hwy 18 (Arctic Circle section), all the way to Mount Baldy. The rock is granite, about 80 feet high, with predominantly crack climbs, a number of which are very fine indeed. This coupled with the wildness, and the outlook makes it a very worthy destination.

A perfect counterpoint to Holcomb Valley Pinnacles.

Getting There

From Big Bear Lake take Mill Creek Road which turns into Forest Road 2N10 for about 3.5 miles to a Tee in the road and make a right on 2N86 following it until it splits off left on a smaller dirt road (2N86A) to Bluff Mesa Group Campground. Park before you reach the campground, if you don't you'll get a lot of people staring at you, and maybe even asking you leave "their" campground.

Walk through the campground to it's western edge and start looking for either a cairn, or a plastic sign post (like the Joshua Tree Access Fund types) - once you find this you'll be set, carefully follow cairns and posts to a wide gully on the edge of the mesa which will lead down the slope and left to the bottom of the crag, it's about 1.5 miles following the cairns and wandering past many a likely candidate for good bouldering.

Be warned that's it's easy to get lost on the mesa, check your way there and be very aware of your surroundings. Some people have placed a set of cairns which run south to Siberia Creek, if, on the way back to the campground, you hit a trail next to a creek you've gone the wrong way and will need to back track.

27 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Black Bluff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 35
Scratch and Sniff
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 25
Best of Both Worlds
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 37
Black Bart
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 13
Arctic Circle Jerk
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 51
Aurora Borealis
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 11
After the Fire
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 24
Social D
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 9
Black Beard
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 21
Shooting Star
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 13
Slap and Tickle
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 16
Powder Finger
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 6
Black and Tan
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Scratch and Sniff Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 35
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Best of Both Worlds Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 25
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Black Bart Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 37
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Arctic Circle Jerk Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 13
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Aurora Borealis Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 51
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
After the Fire Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 11
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Social D Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 24
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Black Beard Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 9
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Shooting Star Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 21
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Slap and Tickle Black Bluff - W Face
 13
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Powder Finger Black Bluff - N… > Black Bluff - N Face…
 16
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Black and Tan Black Bluff - W Face
 6
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Black Bluff »

Weather Averages

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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
Nelson Day
Joshua Tree, CA
Nelson Day   Joshua Tree, CA
This place is home to some of the best climbs I have done in the Big Bear area. Excellent view, great quality rock, and numerous excellent trad lines make this definitely worth the hike, which is also beautiful. Jun 10, 2013
One of the best climbing spots in the San Bernardino Mountains. Beautiful location and great rock make this the best spot in the big bear area in my opinion. Jun 25, 2013
CAC
CAC  
Great small cliff, can climb most the routes in a day. All routes have rappel anchors so you only need one 60M rope for this cliff. Morning shade, only partial sun in the afternoon, never really got too hot. Aug 22, 2015
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
Went here for the first time last week. Probably the best crag I'ved climbed at in Big Bear area. Crag isn't hard to find once you spot the cairins from the parking area. The trail is heavily marked with plenty of cairins to get you to the right spot.

trail beta: You will eventually hit a logging road with a climbing sign right before it. Head left on the logging road passing another climbers sign into a huge open field. Pay attention of cairins and head straight through the open field and slightly left going up the next hill. You will be about 10 minutes from the crag once you hit the open field Sep 27, 2015
Camron  
The crag is west of the campground. Just keep walking west following the cairns and climbing access signs.

  • **The GPS coordinates for the crag are incorrect. Do not use them!***
Jul 10, 2016
Bradley Gorsline
Pasadena, CA
Bradley Gorsline   Pasadena, CA
As long as you can always see a cairn on the approach you shouldn't get lost (we did not do this). The correct GPS coordinates are 34.219833, -116.992667. Aug 14, 2016
Although it seems like a right of passage to get lost on your first venture to Black Bluff, It would be great to lessen our impact with fewer false cairns and trailblazing. I'm posting the .GPX below in the interest of this.

This is the clearest and most developed trail, in my opinion. It follows the series of cairns and climbing posts. Please feel free to use it if you have a device to upload the GPX to.

wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/b…
Direct Link to .GPX:
dropbox.com/s/gwu5ji7lo6l2g… May 21, 2018