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Moonstone Beach

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Moonstone Beach Rock Climbing 

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Location: 41.03, -124.1125 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 27,645
Administrators: Rick Shull, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Rick Shull on Nov 2, 2006

64° | 54°

64° | 54°

65° | 55°

67° | 56°

68° | 56°

68° | 56°
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Richie cranking on the South Triangle Boulder in p...


Moonstone Beach is Eureka/Arcata's easiest access climbing area. The good quality sandstone and greenstone boulders and cliffs, combined with soft sand landings under most of the boulders, make this a favorite for both the "The-sun's-out-class-can-wait" and the after work crowd. From the parking area there are four main areas with clusters of problems and routes. The rock dries quickly after storms and is climbable all year 'round but it can be foggy in the summer and days of rain in the winter. A rope bag or tarp is recommended when pulling your rope to keep it out of the sand. Moonstone is also THE place to meet partners for other local adventures.

Moonstone Trivia:
#1 Many of the moderate topropes were pioneered in the 60's or earlier by Andy Montgomery, a minister from Arcata who trained on a wall he built inside the bell tower of his church.

#2 The Moonstone outdoor clothing company was started by the beach caretaker in a tin-can trailer on this beach.

Getting There 

Take Highway 101 north from Arcata, exit at Westhaven Drive(just north of Clam Beach), take a left under 101 and left back south and take the first right to the beach.

A guidebook is available at outdoor shops in Arcata and Eureka.


Camping can be found just south at Clam Beach or 15 minutes north at Patrick's Point State Park.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.4 miles from here

36 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',20],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Moonstone Beach

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Moonstone Beach:
The Triangles   V0-1 4+     Boulder, 10'   North Rocks
Karen Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Karen Rock
Standard Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     TR, 60'   Karen Rock
Unknown   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 60'   Karen Rock
Pyramid Rock South Face   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   North Rocks
No Time aka North Crack   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   North Rocks
Urchin   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     TR, 60'   Karen Rock
Lizard Head   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     TR, 40'   Karen Rock
Assembly Line   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     TR, Chipped, 60'   Karen Rock
Dyno-Soar   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Karen Rock
Dream Theme   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     TR, 1 pitch, 55'   Karen Rock
Nightmare   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     TR, 60'   Karen Rock
Sticked Wiffy   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     TR, 30'   North Rocks
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Moonstone Beach

Featured Route For Moonstone Beach
Rock Climbing Photo: Making the reach to the "urchin" is the ...

Urchin 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  California : Redwood Coast : ... : Karen Rock
Urchin follows the Standard Route until it exits left into the chimney. At the top of the upper dihedral continue straight up ever steepening finger buckets until the surprise move to the "urchin". Find the two finger pocket with your left hand and mantel onto the slab....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Moonstone Beach Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The end of another great day, Moonstone Beach
The end of another great day, Moonstone Beach
Rock Climbing Photo: Pelicans and surf, Moonstone Beach
Pelicans and surf, Moonstone Beach
Rock Climbing Photo: YEAH
Rock Climbing Photo: From Obscure Gully.
From Obscure Gully.
Rock Climbing Photo: sweet...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kristen Moon at Moonstone Beach.
Kristen Moon at Moonstone Beach.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking inland, Moonstone Beach
Looking inland, Moonstone Beach
Rock Climbing Photo: sunset, the mist finally leaves!
sunset, the mist finally leaves!
Rock Climbing Photo: Up the creek . . .
Up the creek . . .
Rock Climbing Photo: more...
Rock Climbing Photo: nice rocks
nice rocks
Rock Climbing Photo: Surfers at dusk
Surfers at dusk
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun routes.
Fun routes.
Rock Climbing Photo: I like my drysuit . . .
I like my drysuit . . .
Rock Climbing Photo: south end
south end
Rock Climbing Photo: Karen Rock
Karen Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Jim Hammerle leading Karen Crack on Karen Rock.
Jim Hammerle leading Karen Crack on Karen Rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering on the beach.
Bouldering on the beach.
Rock Climbing Photo: haze...
Rock Climbing Photo: wet
Rock Climbing Photo: Sun, sea & sand - Marc entering the crux of Dream ...
Sun, sea & sand - Marc entering the crux of Dream ...
Rock Climbing Photo: afternoon light
afternoon light
Rock Climbing Photo: Grey day.
Grey day.

Show All 28 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Moonstone Beach Add Comment
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By Rick Shull
From: Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Dec 15, 2008
The Holladay-Hatfield is still there, although the hangerless bolts have been looking pretty bad for 15 years. The trees and shrubs seem to have overtaken the route.
By Evan Wisheropp
Apr 30, 2010
I'm trying to figure out where this climb is exactly. The guidebook has "Holladay Traverse" as 5.10 and "2 old hangerless bolts, shrub belay, 35 feet" but the guide shows that one on the south side of North Rock... Any clarification?
By Christian Cota
From: Arcata, CA
Jul 13, 2013
what is the policy on bolting at moonstone? I've heard that it's prohibited on karen rock. can anyone confirm that? some of those lines would be rad leads.. What about bolting any other lines at north rocks or anywhere near that?
By Rick Shull
From: Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Jul 15, 2013
Many of the lines on Karen Rock would make for some nice leads but due to the wide variety of beach users and complaints of desecration by local tribes, climbers have only replaced existing bolts for safety. The management plan for the beach suggested several scenarios at Moonstone that included removing all bolts or not replacing the old ones. A decision was not issued as the tribes did not pursue the removal of the bolts BUT the issue could be revisited at any time, so climbers have not pushed the issue of new bolts. We are fortunate that climbing is allowed at all at Moonstone, especially with the tribal issues. Also, pretty much all of the routes have been free soloed or led with (sometimes iffy) gear, so "leads" have been established and can be led in the style of the original lead ascents....
By Crimper E6
From: cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Oct 19, 2015
The biggest impact on the beach is all the annoying dogs and their shite!
By Nate Gasaway
Jun 17, 2017
Hello! We're planning a family vacation to the redwood coast and my 16 year old has been an avid indoor climber for about a year at our local gym here in Omaha, NE. He'd really love to try outdoor climbing, but since none of us has ever climbed outside of an indoor gym, I thought it would be a good idea to get some guide/outfitter recommendations for this area... we're planning on camping at clam beach for a night or two. Any suggestions appreciated!


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