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The Grotto

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
AC Devil Dog S 
Bandito T 
Chicken Ranch Bingo S 
Flight Simulator S 
Go with the Flow T 
Granted T 
Gyro Gearloose T 
Hole in the Wall T 
Journey to Find the Sun S 
Men's Crisis Center T 
Moss Critique S 
Prime Directive S 
Rawhide T 
Snake Bite T 
Squealer T,S 
Table Manners T 
Table Manners - Left T 
Three Fingered Jack T 
To Pin or Not To Be T 

The Grotto Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 1,588'
Location: 37.926, -120.4635 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 49,456
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian Quiter on Jun 22, 2002


72° | 46°

64° | 42°

69° | 49°

77° | 50°

80° | 51°
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BETA PHOTO: The Grotto. From left to right, Bryce on Rawhide, ...

Please do not place any new bolts or fixed hardware at Table Mountain, and minimize our impact here. Climbing is open, with restrictions: private property. MORE INFO >>>


The Grotto is one of the most alien places I've ever seen (alongside Joshua Tree)! You're in a 30-foot deep pit, surrounded by climbing. The main wall is columnar basalt until it gets to the surrounding ground level, then becomes more featured and very overhung above ground.The area is also a lot cooler due to its location, and doesn't see much sun. The lower part of the wall has mainly trad climbs, though a few bolted routes like the classic AC Devil Dog are present too. The upper wall is all sport and is mostly very difficult. It can only be reached by climbing the lower routes first.

Getting There 

Approach time: 20 - 25 minutes.

Use the "Getting There" description for Welcome Wall, then simply continue left another 2 minutes on the trail. You'll go down a steep trail between some rocks, and you will see the columnar Grotto in front of you on the right, the Ort Wall on the left, and The Cave Routes ahead and left.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.1 miles from here

19 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',13],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Grotto

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Grotto:
Table Manners   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Bandito   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Go with the Flow   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Granted   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Chicken Ranch Bingo   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Hole in the Wall   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Three Fingered Jack   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
AC Devil Dog   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Rawhide   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Table Manners - Left   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
To Pin or Not To Be   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Snake Bite   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Moss Critique   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Squealer   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   
Men's Crisis Center   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Flight Simulator   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Grotto

Featured Route For The Grotto
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting into the fingers on Snake Bite.   Photo: J...

Snake Bite 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  California : Sonora Pass Highway (108) : ... : The Grotto
About 4 colums left of AC Devil Dog, there is a thin crack that goes over a small roof. This is Snake Bite. The climbing starts as 5.8 stemming then pulls the small roof (5.10-) then the crux section pulls a very thin crack for about 10 feet until larger holds present themselves....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of The Grotto Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Grotto
The Grotto

Comments on The Grotto Add Comment
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By Simon Hatfield
From: Oakland, CA
Sep 23, 2011
Although the climbing is excellent, it is worth noting that the grotto reeks of (rodent? bat?) excrement, and is mobbed on weekends.
By Justin Johnsen
From: Nor Cal
Aug 27, 2013
Grotto routes sorted left to right (Columns and Upper Headwall)

Prime Directive 5.10c R
Granted 5.9
Hole in the Wall 5.10a
Three Fingered Jack 5.10b
Snake Bite 5.11b
Gyro Gearloose 5.10c
Rawhide 5.10d
Men's Crisis Center 5.12a
Table Manners - Left 5.11a
Table Manners 5.8
AC Devil Dog 5.10d
Bandito 5.8
To Pin or Not To Be
Moss Critique
Go with the Flow 5.9
Flight Simulator 5.12b
Journey to Find the Sun 5.12a
Squealer 5.11c
Chicken Ranch Bingo 5.10b

The Cave routes sorted left to right:

Grotto Monkey 5.12a
Dwarf Toss 5.11d
By Marcus Duvoisin
From: Sacramento, California
Apr 11, 2014
the dude with the tie-dye shirt that climbed the grotto a couple weekends ago, you were looking for someone to get you into trad climbing, (530) 945-6577 Marcus
By Michal Orczyk
From: Portland, OR
Oct 12, 2015
I left a watch and a red 49ers hat at the base of Rawhide... if you happen to find it PM me and I'll be very very happy. Also, don't get fooled by the approach: take the dirt road until there is a big and obvious trail splitting off to the left. Don't bushwhack up some BS trail to a telephone pole like I did.
By Sergey Shelukhin
From: Seattle, WA
Oct 25, 2015
Are the climbs on the back wall (opposite of the pillars) in some other area on MP? Cannot find them. I could add them but I dunno the names :( There's a 10c, 10d, 11?, 10b, 9 and an 8 I think? Maybe more.
By Pat Hastings
From: Fort Collins, CO
Oct 30, 2015
the wall opposite the Grotto that you are describing is Ort Wall
By Sheets
From: Livermore, CA
Nov 30, 2016
Anyone know what that fenced off big hole is on the approach to the Grotto? An old mine shaft? It is quite deep so if you peer in be careful.
By Carolyn Prescott
Jan 29, 2017
Had to boogie pretty quickly as it was getting dark and sadly left a few items behind. If anyone comes across a pair of sunglasses, a visor, or a single purple clog please message me! TY!
By sean burke
From: Concord, Ca
Mar 4, 2017
The clog is still there as of 3/3/17. It's up near the top before you descend into the grotto proper. Carolyn prescott
By jack keane
Mar 10, 2017
Courtesy heads up, I'll be with a group of 10 friends between the Grotto, Ort, Welcome, and Gold wall on Sunday March 12th. Apologies for the insta-crowd, we'll do our best to spread out.

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