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Bonita Rock Climbing 

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Location: 32.6913, -117.012 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Marc Kajut, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: KraigP on Oct 5, 2008  with updates from Konrad
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Current San Diego County Advisories MORE INFO >>>


The Bonita Crag is located in South County San Diego. It's a little known area with 4 easily accessible routes 3 of which are good quality. The rock itself is high quality. This is the ideal spot for a climber in the area to throw up a climb without the drive and when time is of the essence. Unsure of when the area was developed it's enjoyable and rarely climbed due to little knowledge of the area.

Getting There 

Take the 805 freeway to 54 east. Take the Briarwood exit and head south (right) to the bottom of the hill. Turn left on Sweetwater road. Stay straight for about 2 miles and turn right on Quarry road. At the end of the road there is a dead end. Park here.

Do not follow the obvious paved road heading in a incline under the bridge. Instead turn to your right and you should seen a faint dirt road at a decline which is also heading under the bridge except more in the direction of the canyon.

Follow this dirt road until you reach a series of pipes running across an inaccessible bridge (it's surrounded by a fence and barbed wire). A social trail is located on the right of the bridge and circles down underneath.

Scramble down until you get to the bottom and stay canyon left. Most of the climbs at Bonita Crag are on the left wall. There are some routes on the other side too.

Climbing Season

For the South San Diego County area.

Weather station 2.0 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Bonita

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Bonita:
Respect My Authority   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   
King Snake   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Bonita

Featured Route For Bonita
Rock Climbing Photo: Woodchuck on Ike

King Snake 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a  California : San Diego County : ... : Bonita
A 5.10 start to the a 5.12 roof section. Climb is the 3rd climb from the left on the main wall. Crimps to small rails to underclings under the roof section....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Bonita Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Creek running between the walls. Noticed some poss...
Creek running between the walls. Noticed some poss...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bonita Wall
BETA PHOTO: Bonita Wall

Comments on Bonita Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 25, 2015
By KraigP
Oct 5, 2008
I'm still working on completing the climbs with my climbing partner and will post more about the area as we get the chance to climb it more.
By KraigP
Oct 20, 2008
I see activity at the crag! Anyone on here been there? If so post up please!!!!
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Mar 2, 2009
Great little place for a half day of climbing. Rock quality is pretty solid. The bolts and shuts all seem good but I won't complain if anyone wants to replace the open-shut anchors! (I guess it's just mental) Just out of curiosity, Kraig, where did you find route name info?

Pay attention to the weather as this small gorge must be very dangerous in flash flood conditions! (There's a reason all that bamboo is laying on its side...)
By KraigP
Mar 20, 2009
Bill. We had posted a sign on the rock asking anyone who knew about the area to call me, and sought to find the developer of the area. Never found anything out, so as we cleaned up the rock a little we started to name the climbs based on South Park. But if someone knows the actual names I'd love to know them. I really want to know who developed the area. I've cleaned up some of the trash before but it just keeps coming back. I'm glad people are using it. It's not too bad if you live down here and don't want to drive.
By KraigP
Mar 20, 2009
Bill when were you there last? I'm out of climbing for awhile. I tore two ligaments while bouldering at Solid Rock OT about 3 weeks ago and will be moving out of town in June for 7 months, so I wont be around. Was there chalk on the wall? Did it look like someone had been there at all?
By jack howard
Mar 27, 2011
saw your older post. ive been going for yrs. was basicly closed for few yrs why freeway was being built. seven routes. main wall on north side are best.4 routes left to right are 11b,10c,12a, and 9. south side are 10a,10b and 8. good sport wall to hit up once or twice yr
By Jeff Ludwig
From: phoenix, Az
Mar 6, 2012
Having grown up in Bonita in the 80's, my friend Dave and I went into this canyon in '86 to check out the climbing potential. We found fixed pins in some cracks and did some climbing there.
By Jim H
From: Pasadena, CA
Jul 23, 2012
All of these routes are top-rope(able). Just approach the face from the top and not too much exposure to get to the anchors (IMOP).
By SCherry
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 29, 2012
Bill Maki bolted this cliff and I'm pretty sure the 5.12 is called King Snake. Apparently when he placed the anchors there was a big ole king snake at the top of the cliff, thus the name.
By Paul Salmons
Oct 8, 2012
Went out here to Bonita yesterday. Had a lot of problems finding the climb. When you first head out here, stay left along the dirt trail, you will be looking for a big white pipe spanning a gap over a small creek. That pipe is also in a semi fenced in area (most predominant man made thing out there till you hike in a little further). Once you reach this part, head down the steep hill/rocks on the right side of the fence. All in all this place is pretty trashy and a little sketchy but some decent climbing.
By Sdm1568
From: Ca
May 19, 2013
Climbed here a few times in the last week (most local rock). There is a large beehive you can see when hiking down to the start of these climbs - be careful as they swarmed last time I was there. No one was stung or attacked but figured we were pushing our luck, so we left - I'm not sure if anyone knows of a bee service that's does free removal or maybe allied climbers?
By Konrad
Jul 10, 2015
This crag is in desperate need of updating. #1 There are a few more routes not posted on here. #2 Pretty much all of the bolts at this crag need to be updated. They are all rusted and sketchy. I top roped everything because none of it seemed safe. Fortunately there are two bolts above the crag that you can use to rappel down and set rope rope. Unfortunately the two bolts we used are also sketchy. #3 Tons of trash and graffiti. The place is a bit gross and could use a good cleaning.

I think if the place was cleaned up a bit and the bolts replaced this could be a nice little afternoon climbing spot. Despite the gross scenery, the climbs were a lot of fun and interesting. There are a couple of spaces I saw to the left that may have some route potential.

I didn't have a chance to look on the other side of the canyon, but I imagine there might be some boulder and route potential too.
By Kemper Brightman
From: Tucson
Aug 25, 2015
I went to Bonita enticed by the idea of upgrading a local crag and adding a couple more routes. Here's what I found:

Bonita is a vintage local climbing experience. Imagine weaving through sewer pipes to climb four routes on rusty SMC hangers and bolts from the 90's. Add to this the ambiance of a stagnant drainage ditch full of trash, urban run-off and graffiti and you have something close to this crag. Make sure to wipe the glass-shards and needles off your shoes before climbing as these tend to polish the rock. As my climbing partner said while taking off, then putting back on his shirt "This isn't really the kind of place where you want to have any of your skin exposed is it".

Putting up this little crag would have been a fun project back in the day, but at this point I'm not sure its worth the effort to maintain. In general, I think bolt replacement efforts are best focused on higher traffic areas where it benefits the largest number of climbers. If this is your favorite spot then go for it, but in my book its probably time to let "nature" re-claim this place.

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