REI Community
San Francisco Bay Area

Select Area...
Beaver Street Wall 
Big Basin State Park 
Black Sand Beach 
Buildering and Manufactured Walls 
Castle Rock Area 
Cliff House Boulders 
Coyote Hills 
Glen Canyon 
Indian Joe Caves 
Mazzones, The 
Mickey's Beach 
Mount Diablo State Park 
Mount Tamalpais 
Pacifica Headlands 
Point Reyes National Seashore 
Ring Mountain 
Vista Rock 
Wine Country 
Woodside Rock 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Harkins Ridge Trail
Steep and dry fire road. Near Half Moon Bay, California
Borden Hatch Mill Trail
A shaded fire road climb. Near Woodside, California
Whittemore Gulch Trail
Fantastic views and flows. It is hard not to love this trail. Near Half Moon Bay, California
Grabtown Gulch Trail
Extend your Purisima Creek ride with this. Near Woodside, California
Wildcat Creek Trail
An easy beginner trail with several branching singletrack options. Near East Richmond Heights, California
Purisima Creek Grand Loop
Mostly doubletrack and fire roads. Wow views, big trees, and tough climbing. Not technical. Near Woodside, California
From MP's sister site:

San Francisco Bay Area Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.81843, -122.28806 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,123,801
Administrators: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)


73° | 52°

68° | 53°

64° | 56°

65° | 52°

70° | 53°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [4 people like this page.]
Dave on Gimme My Forty Sucka, Hidden Boulder

Old Training Ground Meets Locals' Playground 

While not generally thought of as a destination area for rock climbing, the pure number of visitors that head to the bay area for other purposes make this a great location for a quick day on the rock in between other commitments.

You can climb year round in the Bay Area, provided that winter rains haven't pummeled the area too recently. Often, inland areas are extremely hot in the summer, though the coastal areas will stay pleasant.

American Big Wall climbing took its first roots here, with locals practicing their skills on local rocks before heading to Yosemite for its renowned cliffs. Almost every area that has a chimney in Northern California was first climbed by Warren Harding or Forrest Shute, and you will often see a piton stuck in the rock left over from climbers of another age.

Berkeley, Castle Rock and Sonoma will hold your attention for a great day of bouldering. Mount Saint Helena or Lover's Leap (in the Tahoe area, but still only about 2 hours drive from most locations), or Table Mountain for a sport or trad experience.

Visitors and locals alike should check out the area along the Sonoma coast for a sport or bouldering experience unique to California, where waves, wind and rock found only here make an unforgettable day's climbing.

People with several days free in the Bay Area will probably want to head east to the Tahoe area in the summer or fall, to Yosemite for the trad folks, and perhaps all the way out (6-8 hours) to the Eastern Sierra areas like Bishop and Mammoth for a world class alpine, sport, or bouldering experience.

Unfortunately, a significant portion of the best climbing in the Bay Area is on private property, and unless you're in the know, you don't get to go.

The Bay Area's Areas

A few notes for first time visitors on where the rocks are clustered around here.

  • The East Bay is across the Bay Bridge from the city, and includes many parks in Berkeley and Oakland. The best climbing is near its eastern boundary, at Mount Diablo State Park.

  • The South Bay and Silicon Valley are south of the city. The most popular climbing areas here are in the Castle Rock Area, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can overhear tech employees talking about Google while you belay.

  • The North Bay starts north from the city across the famous Golden Gate Bridge, including Marin and neighboring counties. Climbing areas here include Mickey's Beach, Mount Tam and Ring Mountain.

  • Wine Country refers (Baycentrically) to wild and rural areas further north than the North Bay. This includes Napa, Sonoma and nearby counties, with climbing mostly on the rolling hills of the coast ranges, sometimes right on the scenic coast. Areas here include Mount St. Helena and The Nut Tree Boulders.

Most urban locales can be reached by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and connecting systems, or Uber if you're a high roller. Some crags are best reached by car, but keep in mind parking can be pricey in spots, and the bridges often collect tolls.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.7 miles from here

1,185 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',79],['3 Stars',383],['2 Stars',532],['1 Star',166],['Bomb',8]

Classic Climbing Routes in San Francisco Bay Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for San Francisco Bay Area:
The Spoon   V1+ 5     Boulder, 10'   Castle Rock Loop : The Spoon
Mr Magoo   V1-2 5     Boulder, 10'   Magoos : Mr Magoo Boulder
The Ramp   V4 6B     Boulder, 10'   Berkeley : Mortar Rock
Table Scraps   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Mount St. Helena : Table Scraps Pinnacle
Shute-Mills Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Mount St. Helena : The Far Side
Aperitif   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Mount St. Helena : Table Scraps Pinnacle
Face, The Bubble Mt. St. Helena   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Mount St. Helena : The Bubble
Degeneration   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Castle Rock Area : Waterfall Cliff
Mullah   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 50'   Castle Rock Area : California Ridge
Puckered Starfish   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Castle Rock Area : Indian Rock
Blowing Bubbles   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, TR, 50'   Castle Rock Area : Indian Rock
Amazing Face   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Boy Scout Rocks : Lower Tier
Farewell to Arms   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Cragmont Park : Southeast Face
The Great Roof   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Castle Rock Area : Goat Rock
Silverado Squatters   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Mount St. Helena : The Bear
Corner Route   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Mickey's Beach : Main Rock
The Falls   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Castle Rock Area : Waterfall Cliff
Rampage   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 60'   Mount St. Helena : The Bear
Viscious Circles   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Castle Rock Area : Indian Rock
Bolt Route   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Boy Scout Rocks : Lower Tier
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in San Francisco Bay Area

Featured Route For San Francisco Bay Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul leading the lower 5.8/5.9 section.

The Great Roof 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b  California : San Francisco Bay Area : ... : Goat Rock
The Great Roof is the extremely odvious roof hanging atop Goat Rock. The climb beneath the roof is easy (5.8), yet complicated by the fact that you have a top rope on - you can't go under the rock! Once you're in the large cave, you traverse out the left side, then up towards your toprope anchors....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of San Francisco Bay Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Golden Gate. Photo by Blitzo.
The Golden Gate. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: photo:kyle turner
photo:kyle turner
Rock Climbing Photo: Liquid Amber is a common tree along the streets in...
Liquid Amber is a common tree along the streets in...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pier 39, SF.
Pier 39, SF.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Rock.  SF bay.
The Rock. SF bay.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Grateful Dead at Oakland Coliseum, February, 1...
The Grateful Dead at Oakland Coliseum, February, 1...

Comments on San Francisco Bay Area Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About