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Shady Rock

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bad Influence S 
Cotton Mouth S 
Dog Breath T 
Herpes Simplex S 
Shady Rock Traverse 
Slot Nose S 
Small Man Complex S 
Special Effects S 
Tall Man Simplex S 
Unknown T 

Shady Rock Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.22666, -122.10054 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 8,049
Administrators: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Morgan Brown on Jul 28, 2002  with updates from Lukas Wiborg


88° | 67°

81° | 65°

80° | 67°

84° | 69°

86° | 70°
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There are some great overhang routes on the east f...

Trails are closed from sunset to 6:00 am. MORE INFO >>>


Shady Rock is a neat little ship of a rock, hidden deep under the forest canopy, but planted on the edge of Stevens Creek Canyon, with big views to the south and west.

In Bruce Morris's guidebook, "Climber's Guide to Skyline Boulevard", Shady Rock is divided into a west side and east side. The west side is preferable, with clean, pocketed, near-vertical sandstone and four bolted routes in the 5.8-5.10 range. The rock on the east side appears much dirtier. It is crumbly and predominantly overhanging. The routes here are 5.10-5.11.

A boulder traverse (left to right) of the entire rock is rated 5.11. Again, the portion on the west side is cleaner, easier, and in my opinion, more fun!

Getting There 

Easiest access is via the main Castle Rock State Park parking lot. Proceed down the Saratoga Gap trail for approximately 0.25 miles. On the right, you'll see a signed trail directing you to "Castle Rock 0.3 miles". In fact, it is MUCH further to Castle Rock itself, but you don't care.

Continue uphill on this trail for approximately 0.25 miles. On the right, note a climber's trail with a log across it, and a sign discouraging you from using it (it says "trail" with an arrow pointing you away from it). Continue for 0.1 miles. You'll come to a small "meadow" with three possible trails. Continue slightly left and uphill. On your left, you'll see a large rock, called "Chew Tooth". Keep going uphill for another 0.2 miles. You'll see a nice overlook ahead, and a seeming dead end. Shady Rock is hidden on the right. You will also be able to see Platypus Rock on your right as you head to shady rock.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.7 miles from here

10 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Shady Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Shady Rock:
Tall Man Simplex   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Small Man Complex   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Shady Rock

Featured Route For Shady Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: East side of Shady rock, with cave and roof in the...

Tall Man Simplex 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  California : San Francisco Bay Area : ... : Shady Rock
This a fun little roof route on the east side of Shady rock. It is hard to reach the first bolt for shorter climbers, hence the name, due to bad feet early on and a necessary reach over the edge. Crux is turning from the overhang to the face....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Shady Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: West Face of Shady Rock, CRSP.  Photos by Morgan B...
BETA PHOTO: West Face of Shady Rock, CRSP. Photos by Morgan B...

Comments on Shady Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bobby F
Oct 5, 2015
Most of the climbs say TR, but I didn't see a way to get to the top without first leading or highballing. Is there a way up I didn't notice?
By Jason Ogasian
From: South Lake Tahoe
May 3, 2016
Bobby, you have to lead the 5.8 to get to the top to set a TR anchor for any of the other routes.
By Lukas Wiborg
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 7, 2016
This area is one of my favorite due to the generally low amount of people on the rock. Occasionally there are groups being guided there but generally it is fairly empty.

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