Hat Creek Cattle Company Rock Climbing
If the Skofield Park boulders have distant, socially reclusive cousins, then this is where they live. Hat Creek Cattle Company makes you believe that just about anything could be hiding beneath the canopy of Santa Barbara's flora and fauna.
On one of my many Rattlesnake rambles (which usually consist of me running up poison oak choked drainages), I stumbled on a nice collection of beautiful stones, nicely shaded by oak trees, and favorably appointed with flat landings. Very cool, said I. So I set to clearing landings, and climbing enough problems to fill a Saturday afternoon.
This is the wild-west of SB bouldering! Expect none of the conveniences of our most popular pebble-wrestling locales: there's a long approach (for SB standards), civilization seems to drift in to memory, and when the leaves rustle around you, you can't tell if it's the wind blowing through the oaks, or a mountain lion casing the joint. Completely awesome area, and gloriously secluded.
The bouldering development here represents just a smidgen of what's possible. Even further upstream lie some gargantuan stones, with lines begging to be climbed (more on those later!). Hat Creek Cattle Company is just the first, nascent gesture of some pretty rad creekbed bouldering adventures in this area. As with all SB bouldering, locals have to dredge historical information from a miasma of undocumented lore. I'll gladly relinquish my names and grades to those who may have gone before me, but I'm pretty confident I was the first soul to climb these problems. You'll understand when you go there; this place feels remote!
Okay, take a deep breath.
These boulders are not hard to GET to, just hard to FIND. Once you know where you are going, expect a hike of about 35-45 minutes, mostly on trail. From the Rattlesnake Canyon trailhead, head up the trail. After about fifteen minutes, you will cross a stream. Fifteen minutes later, right before Renaissance Man, you will cross a stream again. After passing Renaissance Man, you will cross the stream a third time. From this point, walk up the trail to where it begins to climb out of the creek-bed. You will pass a decent-sized boulder on your right that we call "The Warmup Boulder"(see pic). About one hundred feet past The Warmup Boulder, the trail makes a sharp LEFT switchback. Instead of following the trail, go RIGHT down the embankment and in to the stream bed (see pic). Yes, there is some poison oak, but it is easily avoidable.
Hike up stream bed about one hundred fifty meters (very approximate). You will come to a "clearing" of sorts, where the stream stones are white. Some of them contain a prominent vein of fossils. Past this point, walk another fifty feet, and look to your right. There are a jumble of small boulders. Scramble over them and you will arrive in a sort of courtyard of boulders. This is it.
Climbing Season For the * Santa Barbara Bouldering area.
Weather station 3.6 miles from here
4 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Hat Creek Cattle Company
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Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Hat Creek Cattle Company:
Featured Route For Hat Creek Cattle Company
No Pigs For Rent V8+ 7B+ CA
: Central Coast
: ... : Hat Creek Cattle Company
Compression climbing up a beautiful, towering, and richly featured bulge. Sit start very low. Right hand grabs a vertical edge, left hand grabs a cool ramp/edge. First move is a left-hand throw up to a sloper. Pretty hard. Next, huck up and right to an edge (crux). The rest is a mental battle of tricky feet and nerves. Incredible!...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
Doesn't look like anything, does it? Just scramble...
This is where you turn RIGHT and head in to the cr...