Description

The Sonora Pass highway is a short drive from Northern California's major population centers, yet offers rock like Tahoe AND Yosemite without the crowds of either destination.

The low country includes a series of crags along highway 108 from the San Joaquin Valley into the foothills near the town of Sonora itself.

In the fall, Table Mountain, especially around the Grotto, is one of the most beautiful places in the state. However, learn about its paradoxical access issues before visiting the Gold Wall or Jail House Rock areas there. They contain some of the finest climbing around, but aren't documented online or in guidebooks.

Approaches range from roadside pullouts with painted grades (established by the US Marines on public land near their Mountain Warfare Training Center), to remote and wild alpine lines requiring both luck and determination to climb successfully.

The high country is highly seasonal! Sonora Pass closes down every winter, and sometimes with little notice in spring and fall when there's snow on the ground.

A 2013 edition of "A Climber's Guide to the Sonora Pass Highway" may increase visits.

Other updates beyond the book can be found at the Sonora Pass Climbing website.

Some bouldering areas include:

Getting There

From the west, head east on Hwy 108 from the small community of Sonora.

From the east, head west on Hwy 108 from Bridgeport at the junction of Hwy 395.

Note that the highway is closed in winter, generally November through May. Check dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/sr108 for road conditions and closures.

203 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sonora Pass Highway (108)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 111
Bandito
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 106
Table Manners
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 91
Go with the Flow
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 63
Granted
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 44
Hole in the Wall
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 39
Chicken Ranch Bingo
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 42
Wing of Bat
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 68
Color Coded Quickdraws
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 72
Three Fingered Jack
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 131
AC Devil Dog
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 93
Rawhide
Trad
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 44
Snake Bite
Trad
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 8
Green Monster
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 16
Soap on a Rope
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 11
Fugitive
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Bandito Table Mountain > Grotto
 111
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Table Manners Table Mountain > Grotto
 106
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Go with the Flow Table Mountain > Grotto
 91
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Granted Table Mountain > Grotto
 63
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Hole in the Wall Table Mountain > Grotto
 44
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Chicken Ranch Bingo Table Mountain > Grotto
 39
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Wing of Bat Table Mountain > Welcome Wall
 42
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Color Coded Quickdraws Table Mountain > Ort Wall
 68
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Three Fingered Jack Table Mountain > Grotto
 72
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
AC Devil Dog Table Mountain > Grotto
 131
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Rawhide Table Mountain > Grotto
 93
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Snake Bite Table Mountain > Grotto
 44
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Green Monster Rd 5N06 Area > Lost World
 8
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Soap on a Rope Jailhouse Rock
 16
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Fugitive Jailhouse Rock
 11
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Sonora Pass Highway (108) »

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Photos

The sign was posted by the Bureau of Reclamation. After conversation with the Bureau, the Access Fund will be reaching out to the climbing community and asking us not to place any bolts or install any fixed hardware on Table Mountain cliffs for the time being. Furthermore, please refrain from camping,having fires, or establishing new use trails in the area. The Bureau has expressed a number of concerns, but the signs are specifically a reaction to their concerns about possible negative affects of climbing and fixed hardware on a sensitive bat species. We'll put out more information as the situation develops.
Dec 6, 2014
Justin Johnsen
Sacramento, CA
Justin Johnsen   Sacramento, CA  
Thanks Tom, added a copy of your photo and note to the Table Mountain area. Dec 9, 2014
J. Albers
Colorado
J. Albers   Colorado
^^^ Camping is definitely a no-no anywhere near Table Mtn unless you are using one of the designated campgrounds. There is NF camping up the pass...if you can make it through the night!!!!

supertopo.com/climbers-foru…

Seriously though, the only free (legal) camping is up the pass. Sep 14, 2017
M Hostetler
Oakland, CA
M Hostetler   Oakland, CA
Information on MP is pretty sparse - highly recommend the guidebook "A Climber's Guide to the Sonora Pass Highway" May 29, 2018