Sonora Pass Highway (108) Rock Climbing
The Sonora Pass highway is a short drive from Northern California's major population centers, yet offers rock like Tahoe AND Yosemite without the crowds of either destination.
The low country includes a series of crags along highway 108 from the San Joaquin Valley into the foothills near the town of Sonora itself.
In the fall, Table Mountain, especially around the Grotto, is one of the most beautiful places in the state. However, learn about its paradoxical access issues before visiting the Gold Wall or Jail House Rock areas there. They contain some of the finest climbing around, but aren't documented online or in guidebooks.
Approaches range from roadside pullouts with painted grades (established by the US Marines on public land near their Mountain Warfare Training Center), to remote and wild alpine lines requiring both luck and determination to climb successfully.
The high country is highly seasonal! Sonora Pass closes down every winter, and sometimes with little notice in spring and fall when there's snow on the ground.
A 2013 edition of "A Climber's Guide to the Sonora Pass Highway" may increase visits.
Other updates beyond the book can be found at the Sonora Pass Climbing website
From the west, head east on Hwy 108 from the small community of Sonora.
From the east, head west on Hwy 108 from Bridgeport at the junction of Hwy 395.
Note that the highway is closed in winter, generally November through May. Check dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/sr108
for road conditions and closures.
Weather station 15.6 miles from here
128 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',16],['3 Stars',42],['2 Stars',48],['1 Star',19],['Bomb',1]
Classic Climbing Routes in Sonora Pass Highway (108)
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sonora Pass Highway (108)
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sonora Pass Highway (108):
Featured Route For Sonora Pass Highway (108)
Jailbait 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a California
: Central Sierra
: ... : Jailhouse Rock
This is a full value endurance 13c which isn't over until you ring the anchor bells. Start on the right of 2 parallel pillars and dial up for ever-steepening technical and powerful moves utilizing a few helpful kneebars along the way. A break on jugs and kneebars at two-thirds heighth gives way to another powerful 30 feet of business with little chance to catch your breath until the anchors. A final stand-up vertical lunge into a blocky undercling usually yields multiple obligatory redpoint whip...[more] Browse More Classics in California
By Tom Addison
Dec 6, 2014
The sign was posted by the Bureau of Reclamation. After conversation with the Bureau, the Access Fund will be reaching out to the climbing community and asking us not to place any bolts or install any fixed hardware on Table Mountain cliffs for the time being. Furthermore, please refrain from camping,having fires, or establishing new use trails in the area. The Bureau has expressed a number of concerns, but the signs are specifically a reaction to their concerns about possible negative affects of climbing and fixed hardware on a sensitive bat species. We'll put out more information as the situation develops.
USBR signs posted late November 2014 at Table Mountain Parking (end of Shell Road)
By Justin Johnsen
Dec 9, 2014
Thanks Tom, added a copy of your photo and note to the Table Mountain area.