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Mission Gorge

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Mission Gorge Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 32.8187, -117.056 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 145,022
Administrators: Marc Kajut, M.Morley, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Adam Stackhouse, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Marc Kajut on Jan 25, 2006


58° | 47°

55° | 44°

59° | 44°

62° | 46°

64° | 48°
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Mission Gorge climbing area from the road.

Current San Diego County Advisories MORE INFO >>>


Mission Gorge is located in the Mission Trails Regional Park - Routes include traditional, sport, and a few clean aid lines.

Getting There 

From Interstate 8 - Take 8 to the Mission Gorge/Fairmount exit. Turn north onto Mission Gorge Road. Continue down Mission Gorge Road for approximately 4 miles. Look for the large wooden park sign on Mission Gorge Road. Turn left onto Father Junipero Serra Trail. Park along the road prior to the gates, or in the dirt parking lots next to the visitors center. The climbers loop trails are on the right side about 0.4 miles down Father Junipero Serra Trail as marked by kiosks.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.4 miles from here

174 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',67],['2 Stars',89],['1 Star',16],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Mission Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mission Gorge:
The Ramp   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Lunch Rock
The Tower   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 50'   Limbo Area
Turkey Chute   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 45'   Limbo Area
As the Crow Flies   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 45'   Limbo Area
Shadowfax   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Middle Earth
Crack of Dust   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   Main Wall
Mission Gorge Traverse   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Wall
Craig's Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 35'   Limbo Area
Mission Control   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Lunch Rock
Suzie's Wild Ride   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
Mariah   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Main Wall
Hangman's Climb   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Main Wall
Khazaddum   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 30'   Middle Earth
Monkey Dance   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Limbo Area
Standard Deviation   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Limbo Area
Prime Directive   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 50'   Main Wall
Orange Sunshine   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Middle Earth
Escapade   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
The Wasp   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
The Thumb   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Main Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mission Gorge

Featured Route For Mission Gorge
Rock Climbing Photo: Prime Directive heads up and left after the bolt t...

Prime Directive 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  California : San Diego County : ... : Main Wall
Start up Sympathy (intense), and head up and left at the bolt. Basically an extension of Sympathy that adds on lots of classic bolt protected face climbing....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Mission Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo:  the "Wasp"  Epperson shooting Allenby 1...
the "Wasp" Epperson shooting Allenby 1...
Rock Climbing Photo: I think this is the first guide for the area.  35 ...
I think this is the first guide for the area. 35 ...
Rock Climbing Photo: 1973 guidebook.  60 small pages with pictures of r...
1973 guidebook. 60 small pages with pictures of r...
Rock Climbing Photo: Amazing MG sunrise
Amazing MG sunrise
Rock Climbing Photo: I ran into this little guy on my way to the main w...
I ran into this little guy on my way to the main w...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kyle Weinstein on the Thumb!
Kyle Weinstein on the Thumb!
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of the Pops!!!
Top of the Pops!!!
Rock Climbing Photo: General Dynamics 5.11a...
General Dynamics 5.11a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Craig's crack. Splitter!!!
Craig's crack. Splitter!!!
Rock Climbing Photo: the best time to climb at the gorge during the war...
the best time to climb at the gorge during the war...
Rock Climbing Photo: 5.easy chimney on far left side of Main Wall
5.easy chimney on far left side of Main Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Old school Mission Gorge bolts.
Old school Mission Gorge bolts.
Rock Climbing Photo: Recently upgraded Mission Gorge climbs.  The quali...
BETA PHOTO: Recently upgraded Mission Gorge climbs. The quali...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber's Loop kiosk trail photo.
BETA PHOTO: Climber's Loop kiosk trail photo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers Loop Kiosk
BETA PHOTO: Climbers Loop Kiosk

Comments on Mission Gorge Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 18, 2017
By Josh Clift
From: San Diego, CA
Nov 4, 2016
There have been lots of car break-ins at the pullouts along the Junipero Serra area latley. Today I walked back to my car after about 4 hours up at the crag to find my right passenger window smashed, crash pad on the ground outside of my car, glove box thrashed.... and go figure, my $2000 worth of tools were still in the trunk untouched, and all they got was $1 in quarters and my school backpack with a few books and a notebook!

THE POINT: Park near the visitor center and endure the extra 10 minutes on your hike. There are way more people and the break-ins don't happen as frequently. If climbing during the week I'd definitely recommend parking in the visitor center lot and get back before the gates are closed!
By Ladd
Apr 21, 2007
Rock here is so slick, footwork is ultra-important
By mschlocker
From: San Diego, CA
Dec 16, 2009
This is my favorite place to climb in San Diego and the only sane option within the county for hot summer months due to the northwest orientation. Show up early and head home when the mid-day sun hits.

Mission Gorge has a high concentration of quality climbs. I can't think of another cragging location in San Diego where you can knock off so many routes in a day. My personal record is 24, each of us leading half the routes. For real though, 10 routes from gate opening at 8am to lunchtime is standard operating procedure.
By Lzpup Brewster
From: santee, ca
Feb 8, 2012

SDG&E is trying to build a Power Plant next to Sycamore canyon (Santee boulders), and Mission Trails Park. They have filled plans to build it and are moving forward. 11 100 ft smoke stacks spewing death down on to our favorite climbs. Please get informed and get involved. ... ng_comment

meeting every Tuesday at Pinacle peaks steak house 6:30, until they quit.
By claudio ricardez
May 17, 2013
PDF of (A.M.) Mission Gorge Topo
By PaoloQ
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Jul 16, 2014
Went to the gorge to climb today (07/16/2014) and the climbers loop trail is closed because of the recent fire that burned through mission trails. I did not see when they were planning to lift the restriction but for now, nobody is allowed through. Although we did see some people climbing/hiking anyway.
By ChadC
From: San Diego CA
Aug 18, 2014
Went to the gorge on 08/16/14 and only the main wall was open. Limbo area and Middle earth were both closed because of the fires. Everything was super crowded because of this. Get there early on weekends if you don't want to have to wait in line for routes.
By Joe McDonough
From: Sacramento, CA
Sep 18, 2014
Is the Gorge open now?
By tomrobinson
From: San Diego/ Denver
Feb 25, 2015
All of the Gorge is now open. Middle Earth, Limbo and the Main Wall
From: Los Angeles, California
Dec 30, 2016
Hey, my girlfriend and I visited the area on December 7 of this year and accidentally left behind a number 5 BD cam in the crack at the bottom of the owl (5.8). If anyone has climbed this climb since then and come across this cam I would be forever indebted to you if I could get it back. Thanks. James (508) 868 5671.
By Jer Om
From: San Diego, CA
5 days ago
Many hikers have been scrambling to areas lately that are supposedly only open to technical climbers so the caretakers have been more vigilant to keep people on trail. My partner and I were scrambling down around a route in order to avoid leaving gear behind and got megaphoned to return to the trail. You will not get in any trouble for scrambling down but consider finding nearby bolts to rap down from in order to lighten their workload (and annoying megaphone announcements.)