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Central Coast

Select Area...
Big Sur 
Camarillo Springs Boulder (Lonesome Cube) 
Carmel River State Beach (aka Stewart's Cove) 
Conejo Mountain 
Crab Town 
Hwy 166/Silly Rock 
Hwy 33/Ojai 
Panther Beach 
Pinnacles National Park 
Point Mugu 
San Luis Obispo 
Santa Barbara 
Tar Creek (the Swimming Hole) 
Wagon Caves 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Oats Peak Trail
A climb to the highest ridge and peaks in Montana D'Oro SP. Near Los Osos, California
Hazard Peak Trail
A relatively tame trail up to wonderful views plus a fast descent off the backside. Near Los Osos, California
Quarry Short Loop
A combination of great trails in the Quarry area. Near Los Osos, California
Lower Crespi Trail
A great trail that takes you through some coastal oaks. Near Los Osos, California
Johnson Ranch Loop
A smooth loop trail popular with hikers and bikers alike. Near Avila Beach, California
Rinconada Trail 14E30
The main official access trail to all the great riding out of Rinconada. Near San Luis Obispo, California
From MP's sister site:

Central Coast Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 35.2725, -120.6676 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 606,807
Administrators: andy patterson, M.Morley, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Adam Stackhouse, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M.Morley on Feb 13, 2006
Forecast:
Tonight

54°
Sunday

66° | 48°
Monday

67° | 49°
Tuesday

65° | 51°
Wednesday

63° | 51°
Thursday

60° | 46°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [4 people like this page.]
Ken Klis on Edgeucation, Bishop Peak summit. photo...

Description 

Located between major urban centers Los Angeles to the south and the San Francisco Bay to the north, the quaint Central Coast of California spans a 300-mile stretch from the southern Santa Monica Mountains to the northern Monterey Peninsula. While known primarily for surfing, celebrities, exorbitant real estate prices, and wine-tasting (the movie "Sideways" was filmed locally), there is actually surprisingly good climbing to be found. The majority of rock around Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Ojai is medium-grade sandstone (i.e., a little friable), but there's also blue schist (Green Dome), andesite (SLO), and conglomerate (Silly Rock, Wheeler Gorge) out there. The climbing is by no means world class, but what it lacks in quality it makes up for in aesthetics. As a friend of mine would say, "maybe not 4-star climbing, but makes for a 4-star day!"

Areas like the Sespe Gorge (Black Wall) had established routes as early as the late 50s and 60s. Over the years, many well-known climbers have graced these small cliffsides, including the likes of Yvon Chouinard (Yosemite legend and founder/owner of Patagonia), Jonny Woodward (Black Diamond), Jim Donini and even Henry Barber!

Around Santa Barbara and Ventura, pioneers of the '80s and '90s included Kevin Brown, Kevin Steele, Steve Tucker, Menzo Baird, Bob Banks (author of "Ocean's Eleven") and Steve Edwards (guidebook author of "Rock Climbing Santa Barbara & Ventura"), who established many of the newer sport routes around Santa Barbara and Hwy 166/Silly Rock.

In San Luis Obispo county, pioneers include Rusty Garing, Dwight Kroll, Pete Gulyash, brothers Tim and Tobin Sorenson, Ed Sampson, Ken Klis, Tom Slater (guidebook author of "California Central Coast Climbs"), and Brandon Thau. Slater, Thau, and Klis are responsible for developing such crags as Cerro Romauldo, Cabrillo Peak and Big Rocks.

Former Access Fund director Reese Martin lived in the area for a time. Sadly, he was killed in a paragliding accident in July 2004 at the age of 49 (More...).

Guidebooks 


  • Climbing in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo (1994), by Steve Tucker & Kevin Steele (out of print)

Getting There 

Hwy 101 is the major artery between Ventura and San Luis Obispo (and beyond). 99% of the routes described here lie either off the 101, 154 (San Marcos Pass), 33 (Ojai), or 166 (east of Santa Maria). Refer to specific area for details and directions.

This map will help get you oriented.

Climbing Season



Weather station 1.9 miles from here

1,561 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',105],['3 Stars',582],['2 Stars',560],['1 Star',256],['Bomb',9]
['<=5.6',98],['5.7',88],['5.8',124],['5.9',119],['5.10',210],['5.11',123],['5.12',58],['5.13',20],['>=5.14',6],['',0],['<=V1',172],['V2-3',256],['V4-5',130],['V6-7',80],['V8-9',50],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',25],['>=V14',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Central Coast

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Central Coast:
Lizards' Mouth Traverse   V0+ 4+     Boulder, 40'   The Lizard's Mouth : The Mouth
The Extremist   V1 5     Boulder, 20'   The Brickyard : Extremist Boulder
Charlotte's Web   V3 6A     Boulder, 20'   The Brickyard : Charlotte's Web Area
Yeti   V4 6B     Boulder, 15'   The Brickyard : Yeti Boulder
Smooth Criminal   V6 7A     Boulder, 12'   The Brickyard : Dancing Outlaw Boulder
Dancing Outlaw   V8 7B     Boulder, 20'   The Brickyard : Dancing Outlaw Boulder
Costanoan   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Sport, 4 pitches   West Side : The Citadel
Swallow Crack   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   East Side : Discovery Wall
Portent   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 120'   East Side : Discovery Wall
60 Seconds Over Soledad   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Ending Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   Hwy 33/Ojai : Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)
Ordeal   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   East Side : Discovery Wall
P-Crack   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 80'   Bishop Peak : P-Wall
Permanent Income Hypothesis   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 180'   The Fortress : Right Side Gully
The Wet Kiss   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   East Side : Discovery Wall
Riparian Daydream   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 3 pitches, 220'   Hwy 33/Ojai : Wheeler Gorge
Camel   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
T-Crack   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Gibraltar Area : Gibraltar Rock
Post Orgasmic Depression   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   East Side : Monolith
The Verdict (direct)   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   East Side : Discovery Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Central Coast

Featured Route For Central Coast
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Banks (no relation) on Goldak. Ratso at the ba...

Goldak V0 4  CA : Central Coast : ... : The Mouth
Located on the backside of the large boulder behind the Lizard's Mouth cave, Goldak was always and still remains my very favorite problem at Lizard's Mouth. Delicate climbing up the face to the crack and then an exciting finish that's just high enough to keep you fully engaged. Usually a good idea to check the top-out holds for shards of broken glass before casting off....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Central Coast Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Central Coast offers outstanding rest-day oppo...
The Central Coast offers outstanding rest-day oppo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Young Elephant Seal. Photo by Blitzo.
Young Elephant Seal. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Of all of the Central Coast's amazing native anima...
Of all of the Central Coast's amazing native anima...
Rock Climbing Photo: You can't beat the winter sunsets, driving home fr...
You can't beat the winter sunsets, driving home fr...
Rock Climbing Photo: A Western Gull stands guard over a Central Coast c...
A Western Gull stands guard over a Central Coast c...
Rock Climbing Photo: California Central Coast. Photo by Blitzo.
California Central Coast. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Over-wintering Monarch butterfly, Central Coast of...
Over-wintering Monarch butterfly, Central Coast of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful scenery just a mile east of Gilroy.
Beautiful scenery just a mile east of Gilroy.
Rock Climbing Photo: Emma Wood State Park. Just north of the Ventura ri...
Emma Wood State Park. Just north of the Ventura ri...
Rock Climbing Photo: California gulls-the State Bird of Utah. Photo by ...
California gulls-the State Bird of Utah. Photo by ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tidal Pool-Central Coast. Photo by Blitzo.
Tidal Pool-Central Coast. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Montana de Oro Beach, near Morro Bay. Photo by Bli...
Montana de Oro Beach, near Morro Bay. Photo by Bli...
Rock Climbing Photo: California Central Coast. Photo by Blitzo.
California Central Coast. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starfish. Photo by Blitzo.
Starfish. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Highlining Pinnacles National Park
Highlining Pinnacles National Park
Rock Climbing Photo: Still feeling nostalgic--here's one more shot of t...
Still feeling nostalgic--here's one more shot of t...
Rock Climbing Photo: I think the sea lion, the starfish and the butterf...
BETA PHOTO: I think the sea lion, the starfish and the butterf...
Rock Climbing Photo: A little cliff along the beautiful highway 152.  T...
A little cliff along the beautiful highway 152. T...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pt Mugu NAS from Mugu Peak. Mugu marks the souther...
Pt Mugu NAS from Mugu Peak. Mugu marks the souther...
Rock Climbing Photo: The city of Ventura was once home to several nice ...
The city of Ventura was once home to several nice ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Burned leaves from a coast live oak--photographed ...
Burned leaves from a coast live oak--photographed ...

Comments on Central Coast Add Comment
Show which comments
By EricT
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 14, 2006
Nice work Mike, and a good description of the central coast as well.