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Routes in The Rock of Ages

Cave Route S 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Evolution S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Old Bolt Route TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Red Face TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
West Face S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Description

The Rock of Ages is found just behind the Pagoda. It has a large distinctive cave half way up the wall. The rock can range form crumbly and loose to solid and clean. The base of this wall is a great place to hang out when the temps soar. You can always find shade and a nice cool breeze comes up from the bottom of the canyon. This rock sees the most traffic in the canyon, but you'll still be lucky to see anyone.
Falcon Nesting Closure at Castle Rock Details

Getting There

From Stage Road (the main fire trail) The Rock of Ages shares its approach with Pulpit and Pagoda Rock. On the left of the trail is a wooden post for Nature Walk 8. Past that on the right is a post for Nature Walk 11, then a bench, then Nature Walk 10. Shortly after that, on the left, is the straight, narrow, well-worn dirt trail you want (goes uphill and to the right). Immediately after the trail entrance is a small dried creek. If you hit the post for Nature Walk 9 you've gone too far. If you hit the green gate you've gone even farther.

After a short hike up the trail and over some rocks you'll see Pulpit on the left. It's the first area and it's hard to miss with its bolted route right next to the approach. Shortly up past Pulpit is Pagoda Rock, and shortly up past that is The Rock of Ages. Getting from Pagoda to Rock of Ages requires scrambling over some big rocks.

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Rock of Ages

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I was trying to get to Rock of Ages today but had some trouble. I took the trail right off the #10 Trail Marker on Stage Road Trail, thinking this was what Jskierpx/my guidebook was referencing. This leads to a crag with a cave sort of thing. However, this was actually Mammoth (not Rock of Ages) and the 5.10c Bridge of Sighs (not Cave Route).

(We talked to a park ranger who said it's a common mistake).

If you're coming from the 1700 Castle Rock Road parking lot (the lot right after the giant horse barns), you need to go further than the #10 trail marker to get to Rock of Ages. Oct 22, 2017
ColinR  
Jskierpx commented that the approach trail is past trail marker #10 but it's really just after #8:
From the main fire trail The Rock of Ages shares its approach with Pulpit and Pagoda Rock. On the left of the trail is a wooden post for trail marker #8. Soon after that, on the left, is a straight, narrow, well-worn dirt trail that goes uphill and to the right. Immediately after the trail entrance, on the left, is a small dried creek. If you hit trail marker #9 you've gone too far. If you hit the green gate you've gone even farther.
After a short hike up the trail and over some rocks you'll see Pulpit on the left. It's the first area and it's hard to miss with its bolted route right next to the approach. Shortly up past Pulpit is Pagoda Rock, and shortly up past that is The Rock of Ages. Nov 23, 2015
Salamanizer suchoski
Vacaville Ca.
Salamanizer suchoski   Vacaville Ca.  
I'm willing to bet big money that the trash and graffiti is 100% not from climbers. The place has had some trash and graffiti over the years. Especially lower down toward the bottom of the canyon. But the volume of trash and spray paint has increased ten fold over the past two or so years.

The description in the Bay Area guide (assuming you're referring to the new Thornburg guide) is no more vague than yours.

Spot the Rock of Ages and Pagoda from the main trail. Find the dry creek/gully that goes up just to it's climbers right side. BOOM!!! You're there...

Beats the old guidebooks that told you to approach from the backside. Sep 9, 2013
Jskierpx
Truckee, California
Jskierpx   Truckee, California
A little bit of access info for finding Rock of Ages. We went on quite the scramble to eventually find the area following the somewhat vague map in the Bay Area rock guide.

For the trail that leads straight up to Rock of ages (ie the cave route, etc):

Follow the fire road from the parking lot as the guide book says. Keep hiking until you hit the #10 trail marker post. Keep hiking another 100-200 feet and take the well travelled single track trail that climbs off and to the left of the fire road, essentially working its way up the creek and becoming a drainage.

As stated for the area, it is a tough approach, very steep and loose, but if you can manage to start up the correct drainage and actually end up at the base of the climb you are searching for you will save a few hours of your day scrambling up high on the hill!



And I will second the graffiti and trash comment. Truly disgusting, but I would put my money on the fact that it is 99% from non-climbers using the area as an escape from the city to tag up the rock. I will be bringing a full size garbage bag next time I head up, and would encourage the same for others.... It was frustrating being up there climbing with no way to pack anything out.

Cheers~ Sep 8, 2013
old5ten
Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
old5ten   Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
I was truly appalled by the amount of graffiti on the direct trail to pagoda/rock of ages and the amount of trash on the trail behind rock of ages. Mar 18, 2013

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