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Echo Cliffs

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Alcove, The 
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Java Wall 
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Shrine, The 
Tea Room, The 
Test Site 
Tower of Zen 
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White Wall 
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Echo Cliffs Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 34.1116, -118.9264 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 194,027
Administrators: jt512, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Meredith DB on May 21, 2006  with updates from Benjamin Chapman


87° | 67°

81° | 63°

71° | 59°

68° | 54°

70° | 62°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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BETA PHOTO: Map of Echo Cliffs and its climbing areas. April 2...

Grotto and Lookout closed MORE INFO >>>


Echo Cliffs has become one of the premier sport climbing venues in Southern California and hosts nearly 200 routes. Echo Cliff offers many faces that feature pockets and blocky holds on vertical to overhanging rock in a beautiful, typically sunny setting. Many of the routes found at Echo Cliffs are long and require a 60-meter rope to lower off or toprope, so it's a good idea to always climb with a 60-meter rope and be mindful of the route descriptions and where the end of the rope is. All routes at Echo Cliffs are bolt protected and have fixed anchors at the top. While the temperatures are most enjoyable during the fall, winter, and spring, climbing is still possible in the summer.

Guidebooks: Louie Anderson, "Sport Climbing in the Santa Monicas," 2003.

Steve Edwards, "Rock Climbing Santa Barbara and Ventura," 2000.

Getting There 

From Highway 101 take the Westlake Boulevard exit and head south on Westlake (California 23). After roughly 7 miles turn right (west) on Mulholland Highway. After half a mile turn right on Little Sycamore Canyon Road, which becomes Yerba Buena Road. After 4 miles park in dirt pullouts on either side of the road. The trail starts from parking lot on the right (west) side of road.

The hike in takes about 45 minutes. Take the Mishe Mokwa trail for about 30 minutes. The trail intersects dry stream bed on right; several logs are piled on the stream bed here to indicate that it is not the regular hiking train. Follow the stream bed down to the climbs.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.0 miles from here

184 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',15],['3 Stars',67],['2 Stars',69],['1 Star',28],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Echo Cliffs

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Echo Cliffs:
Righteous Babe   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 180'   Easy Street
Miss Pacman   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Grotto
Black Tide   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Left Flank
Intellitoys   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Test Site
Superfly   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 65'   The Grotto
B-Line   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Left Flank
Fen Gliddich   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   The Tea Room
The Guillotine   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Alcove
Casey at the Bat   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Easy Street
Tea Bag   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   The Tea Room
Blackjack   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 300'   Easy Street
Death by Chocolate   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Chocolate Wall
Americano   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Java Wall
Espresso   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Java Wall
Caffeine   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Java Wall
Restrain This   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Pink Wall
Java   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Java Wall
Split Decision   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Pink Wall
Geezer   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Alcove
Crash and Burn   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Kamikaze Cave
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Echo Cliffs

Featured Route For Echo Cliffs
Rock Climbing Photo: Gravity

Gravity 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a  California : Los Angeles Basin : ... : The Alcove
Start off the flat boulder with both hands matched on a flake. A big move up and left and through some bulges and then up the arete using a variety of moves....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Echo Cliffs Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the end of another fine day of climbing at...
Nearing the end of another fine day of climbing at...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers at Echo Cliffs
Climbers at Echo Cliffs
Rock Climbing Photo: Echo Cliffs, as seen from the Mishe Mokwa trail. T...
BETA PHOTO: Echo Cliffs, as seen from the Mishe Mokwa trail. T...
Rock Climbing Photo: Litter recently gathered from the base of Echo Cli...
Litter recently gathered from the base of Echo Cli...
Rock Climbing Photo: Echo Cliffs from the Mishe Mokwa approach trail.
BETA PHOTO: Echo Cliffs from the Mishe Mokwa approach trail.
Rock Climbing Photo: Dudleya pulverulenta, or chalk lettuce, photograph...
Dudleya pulverulenta, or chalk lettuce, photograph...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise on the Mishe Mokwa trail.  Hiking in early...
Sunrise on the Mishe Mokwa trail. Hiking in early...
Rock Climbing Photo: Joe Wysznski keeping cool on Crash and Burn, 5.12d
Joe Wysznski keeping cool on Crash and Burn, 5.12d
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo of Echo Cliffs without the map, April 2017
Photo of Echo Cliffs without the map, April 2017
Rock Climbing Photo: Expect to find this rope/rebar ladder after Treasu...
BETA PHOTO: Expect to find this rope/rebar ladder after Treasu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Balanced Rock.  Just one more earthquake...
Balanced Rock. Just one more earthquake...
Rock Climbing Photo: From the main trail, head down the steep gully.  W...
BETA PHOTO: From the main trail, head down the steep gully. W...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Echo Cliffs
BETA PHOTO: The Echo Cliffs
Rock Climbing Photo: kamakazie cave 12d
kamakazie cave 12d
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the ladder - now that's an approach!
Looking down the ladder - now that's an approach!
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down Annihilator, 5.11d.  The chalked hold...
Looking down Annihilator, 5.11d. The chalked hold...
Rock Climbing Photo: Echo Cliffs from Sandstone Peak.
Echo Cliffs from Sandstone Peak.
Rock Climbing Photo: A party of 45 hikers checking out the climbers at ...
A party of 45 hikers checking out the climbers at ...
Rock Climbing Photo: New signage at the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead.
New signage at the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead.
Rock Climbing Photo: It is a long way from The Grotto over to the Kamik...
It is a long way from The Grotto over to the Kamik...
Rock Climbing Photo: What wall is the one at the left?
BETA PHOTO: What wall is the one at the left?
Rock Climbing Photo: Where are some serious groves of poison oak surrou...
Where are some serious groves of poison oak surrou...
Rock Climbing Photo: A busy afternoon on the upper tier.  Climber is Co...
A busy afternoon on the upper tier. Climber is Co...
Rock Climbing Photo: The approach slabs to the Grotto in the rainy seas...
The approach slabs to the Grotto in the rainy seas...

Show All 47 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Echo Cliffs Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 10, 2017
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 15, 2006
The trailhead is about a 30-minute drive from Westlake Village. Click on the "Aerial Photo" link above for directions.

Trail Map
By Lizzy Trower
From: Stanford, CA
Sep 26, 2007
You can also reach the trailhead by driving west/north on the PCH from Santa Monica and turning right on Yerba Buena road (at Neptune's Net restaurant) and following that up to the trailhead.
By Ryan Kelly
From: work.
Nov 4, 2007
I don't think the description gives fair mention of the amount of choss you'll find here. There's some fun climbing for sure, but there's enough bad rock to warrant mentioning while describing the place. Just something to keep in mind; you'll have more fun if you know what you're in for. Take your helmet, not so much for the actually climbing, but while hanging out at the base.
By Rob Chaney
Mar 1, 2009
The beta photo on this page of easy street and the far side dose not match the guide book Sport Climbing in the Santa Monicas. I climbed these climbs on 2/28/2009 and the guide book seems to be accurate. Climb #4 is not Golden Years, it is the Sperpent 10A and #5 is not Dirty Deeds it is Watermark 5.9.Golden Years and Dirty deeds are the next set of bolts to the left.
By ryan mattock
From: calabasas Ca
Mar 2, 2009
nice place to go climbing for the afternoon. some anchor replacement has been happening (it's not me), but I 'm glad.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Mar 3, 2009
Thanks for noting the problem with the beta photo, Rob. I made the same note on another part of the site back in September (see here). It would be REALLY nice to get this cleaned up.
By Adam Banzon
Sep 18, 2009
I've had friends new to Echo try to meet me at the wall and I made them this map to help them find me. If it helps you, great. If not, take it down so others don't get F'd. I think it's pretty accurate, but that's for the public to decide:
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Nov 29, 2009
Echo Cliffs is a wonderful area and the recent sunny warm days this Fall have made for awesome climbing. Saturday was beautiful and there was hardly anyone at Echo Cliffs. Unfortunately, there seems to be a trend developing down at the Far Side with parties responding to the call-of-nature and NOT venturing off the trail and/or packing their trash out. An awful mess has been created on the approach to Black Face/Energy Wall with groups feeling this is the restroom. Please remind climbers that you see that others don't care to see their toilet paper and feces and that going down hill, AWAY from the base of the cliff would be more appreciate.
By Rory Moulton
Apr 22, 2010
Great long moderates, including some multi-pitch 8s/9s in the Easy Street section. Extremely well-protected, though rock can be super-sketch in places. Helmet is a MUST for belayers, base-area lingerers.
This is one of the better places to learn lead & multi-pitch climbing on fixed bolts. And it's probably the least crowded crag in LA County. Gorgeous area with a beautiful, shady grotto.
I'm saddened to hear about the trash and feces problem. This area was just starting to gain populairty when I lived there (03-05) and trash hadn't yet become a problem.
C'mon people respect one of LA County's only "backcountry" crags!
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
May 1, 2010
The Park Service has ignored climbers at Echo Cliffs for some time, and expected climbers to police themselves. Unfortunately, activites such as allowing dogs to wander off leash at the base of the cliff, leaving trash/litter, leaving tissue paper/feces, camping, fire pits, and loud music have become a problem and the rangers are monitoring climber activities more closely, and we are on the radar. Again, please monitor your behavior as this wonderful area has been closed before. Routes on the south side of the Grotto have been removed, posted, and closed to protect endangered plants species as well.
By Adamclimbs
Jan 1, 2011
The guidebook for this area is doing climbers a disservice by liberally using a 5 star rating system. A place like J-Tree or Yosemite is deserving of such a system. Stars are given out to many routes in massive quantities where they may not be warranted, especially routes put up by the guidebook author.
By ttriche
From: Altadena, CA
Jan 1, 2011
It's a sport area, the guy who spent a shitload of time and energy developing it is going to be biased. The glue alone probably cost a small fortune. If it bugs you, don't use the guidebook. Or look at the mountainproject ratings. They tend to be a lot more objective. If you could get Williamson reopened, then the problem might work itself out... But unfortunately most of the other sport areas near LA are choss piles, and the ratings in Louie's book are implicitly based on comparisons with other bolted choss.

It's better than nothing; you can either ignore the star ratings in his book or write a better one (in print or on the web). Bottom line is that the guidebook is out there, it represents the viewpoint of a guy who spent a lot of time developing the area, and he just isn't real likely to change it just because the area is (objectively) a choss pile.

With the right frame of mind, training at Echo can still be a good time. You just can't show up expecting Astroman to rise out of the hills.
By Joseph Stover
From: Batesville, AR
Feb 6, 2011
Adam's map is perfectly right on, at least according to the gps on my phone in google maps. Thanks! The climbers trail was marked with many chalk splotches, so you can't miss it. Is this the best way in? The Edwards guide says something about a trail that was frowned upon by rangers, I am assuming this is the climber-specific trail made to ensure plant safety.

This is a beautiful area, this weekend was my first time here, and it was BUSY! I'm not sure if that is normal. If you want to climb below 5.10, you might expect a line. The newer walls (far side and further) seem to still be cleaning up, so helmets for everyone at the base is a good idea, unless there are no other parties. However, if it's not so busy, the moderates here are stellar. It can be quite noisy, and I hope the local residents don't hear it all day everyday.

This is just from a small sampling though. I hope to get back soon to do more. If the rock was cleaner... this area would be STELLAR! But don't let that deter you. The trails along the crag bases were especially nicely maintained.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Feb 11, 2012
Adamclimbs..... this isn't Joshua Tree or Yosemite, so using such areas (granite) as the datum for assigning quality ratings to Echo Cliffs (rhyolite) is ridiculous. As Chris Owen (administrator) has indicated elsewhere, the assigning of quality stars should be adjusted to reflect a spectrum of the best to worst climbs in an area, not to compare climbs from such drastically different areas as Yosemite and Echo Cliffs. As for the guidebook author, Louie Anderson put in a hell of a lot of time, $$, and hard work establishing and climbing the lions share of the routes at Echo Cliffs, so he undoubtedly has much more time in the maai (correct spelling, look it up) then you and has been reasonably objective in assigning quality stars in a venue John Long has referred to as "vertical mud." A quality star rating is just a tool or point of reference, not the word of God.
By Maidy
Nov 18, 2013
Just a note since I've noticed a drastic increase in destructive behavior at Echo cliffs just in the last year... mostly, I believe out of ignorance. Evidently a lot of people are simply unaware of the park's rules so here they are for the record:

Echo cliffs is a federally protected wilderness under the National Park Service. Access can be closed if we as climbers do not respect some simple rules. Simply put.. leave no trace. Pack out your trash and don't destroy stuff. Leave the plants and animals alone. Your dog is required to be on a leash at all times.

Camping is illegal. Fires are not only illegal, but suicidal given the lack of an escape route and the dry conditions. There have been multiple incidents now of camping and fire-pits as well as people (both climbers and non-climbers) clearing bushes and chopping down trees to make room for encampments. This could definitely cause a permanent closure if it continues.

Tampering with plants/wildlife and cutting new access trails upsets the land managers. It has been an issue in the past. Fortunately, with areas like The Grotto and The Lookout, the park was willing to work out a compromise of partial closure. There are established access trails to every wall, so creating new ones is totally unnecessary. If you find yourself sliding down an severely eroding hillside, thrashing though bushes or ripping plants off a route, you are in the wrong place. Stick to walking on rock whenever possible. If you need to mark the trail, use cairns (not paint like some idiot did recently).

For route developers...power drills are prohibited as is vertical gardening. All cliff-line beyond The Tea Room is private property closed to development. Fixed draws are technically illegal as well.

Let's keep Echo safe, beautiful and open for everyone to enjoy in the future. We don't need another one of our prime sport-climbing areas shut down. It's not hard to follow the rules and still have a great day out there. Happy climbing everyone.
By J Kazu
From: Los Angeles, CA
Feb 2, 2014
Saw three cars with broken windows in the parking lot on the way out today. What a bummer, bring or keep anything of value out of sight.
By boosti sorenson
Feb 3, 2014
Just a heads up when parking at the Mishe Mokwa Trail parking lot or any of the other lots in the area, 4 cars broken into at the Mishe Mokwa Trail parking lot on Superbowl sunday (feb. 2nd 2014) , one of which was mine. Nothing was stolen though we did have some empty bags in the back, under one was a camera bag which they did not see (fuckin amateurs, man). Not the smartest move on our end but regardless, According to the NPS ranger its been happening a lot in the area. I spoke to another climber who said his window was busted out on mulhoulland hwy two weeks prior.

An unfortunate reality for a great spot in LA. Ive already created laminated signs for my windows offering a $50 dollar reward to any would be thieves for NOT breaking my rear windshield. Also, on the market for some booby trap riggers. Any leads would be much appreciated.

Aside from the aforementioned above and some pretty jaded hippies, this place ROCKS. PUN INTENDED!!!!!!!
By Fabiano Carpinelli
From: Los Angeles, California
Nov 20, 2014
IS it easy to set a top rope up without Lead climbing here? I don't have anyone in the group experienced enough to belay me on a lead climb.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Nov 21, 2014
Fabiano.......Echo Cliffs ISN'T very TR friendly in respect to being able to easily get to the top and drop a rope into the anchors. There are a few routes where it is possible, but sketchy because the majority of anchors are set BELOW the top (to reduce rope drag). We have witnessed many parties wandering around the top trying to do what you are suggesting, but most found it a waste of time and often knock off rocks and/or get into a sketchy situation trying to set the TR (often from cold shuts) and get down into position to rappel to the base. It's also different to figure out where you are on top relative to the route you want to TR and figure out which set of anchors are on your intended line. Good luck and be safe.
By Arthur Guittet
Dec 22, 2014
Someone changed the anchors on the left flank, they are now brand new rings or mussy hooks. This was very much needed.
To the person who did that, THANK YOU !
By Countzen Shin
From: Santa Monica, CA
Jun 1, 2015
I hate getting lost and missing the turn out...

So here's a GPS from parking lot to base of climbs.
By aworkofmarc
Apr 7, 2017
Any guys looking to be filmed climbing? I'm a hobby photographer / videographer with a Typhoon H drone. I just discovered I really like taking drone 4K film of gorgeous scenery and guys rock climbing (not limited to rock climbing tho). So if it's within travel distance from the LA area and schedules coincide it might be fun to take some footage and 'star' in my amateur video. Weather permitting. Drones do not seem partial to rain :) Find me through
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Apr 27, 2017 may want to check with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, but the Echo Cliffs area is administered by the National Park Service and much of it is a NO FLY Zone for drones.
By Roland Wyatt
May 9, 2017
Found a car key at the alcove today. Message me if it's yours so I can get it back to you!
By S. Lucas
From: CA
May 22, 2017
I found a belay device at the base of Windfall, if it was yours hit me up.
By P.J. Tezza
From: Oxnard, CA
Aug 10, 2017
A buddy of mine and I experienced serious rock fall on the route Espresso. At the last bolt, Kevin pulled off a very large flake. He said it had lots of chalk on it and didn't look unusually loose. Wear a helmet and watch for falling rock at Echo!

On the drive back down Yerba Buena Road, we picked up a fallen motorcyclist and took him along on our ride to the hospital. He had slid out on rock fall debris. He ended up with broken ribs. Take it easy and watch for fallen rock on the roads!

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