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Underworld Rock

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Balance Sheet T,S,TR 
Black Market Babies S 
Drug Lord S,TR 
Gestapo Priest S,TR 
Hair Dresser T,S,TR 
High on Life S,TR 
Hit Man S,TR 
Poop Shoot S 
Underpass S,TR 

Underworld Rock Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.2257, -122.0984 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 10,952
Administrators: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Matt Andrews on Sep 27, 2002


67° | 51°

71° | 52°

71° | 55°

72° | 54°

73° | 57°
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Dan makes some crimpy moves past the second bolt.

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


This Rock requires a bit of a hike, but is well worth it for its pleasant shaded atmosphere, and the number of moderate slab routes (5.8-5.11mumble) it offers. All of the routes can be relatively easily top roped, and most are bolted.

Getting There 

Approach Time: 10 - 20 minutes.

Start from the Castle Rock State Park parking lot, and start down the Saratoga Gap trail (the entrance is about 15 yards to the left of the latrine) for about 200 yards to a side trail which splits off to the left up the hill at a sign post.

Follow the left trail up the hill through a number of switchbacks until you see a the first smaller unmarked trail to the right (there is a log along the right side of the main trail which separates it from the smaller trail and a sign informing you that this is not 'the' trail.) Take this right trail, and if you see a series of nice looking boulders on your left (the largest with a small cavelike formation called The Graveyard Boulders and Pyramid Rock) you have gone too far.

Take the climbers trail for about 100 yards to a moderate clearing (this used to be part of an old road.) There are two small trails (ok, they look more like goat paths than trails) on the far side of the clearing. One leads up and to the right of Chew Tooth Rock, while the other leads down directly to the top of The Underworld. Top ropes for most of the climbs here can be set up from one of 2 sets of bolts accessable from here.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.5 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Underworld Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Underworld Rock:
Hair Dresser   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   
Hit Man   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   
Poop Shoot   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Gestapo Priest   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Black Market Babies   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Underworld Rock

Featured Route For Underworld Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Michelle Franco top-roping "High On Life"...

High on Life 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  California : San Francisco Bay Area : ... : Underworld Rock
This is the rightmost route Underworld Rock, which begins just uphill of the large crack system that leads up to the roof known as the Underpass (5.11a).Climb up the slab to the first bolt, which seems high offthe ground, though once you get off the ground climbing is simple until you reach this bolt. From the bolt, get over the small, off-vertical bulge to the next bolt. Once over, walk up easy terrain to the top anchor....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Comments on Underworld Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By Brian Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Sep 13, 2004
One minor inconvienence surrounding the Underworld is that almost all climbs share the same anchors atop the rock. That means if another party is there, you've just done the hike for nothing... unless you're creative.

Equalize an anchor with a 6' sling from the tree branch atop the rock and the last bolt of Underpass. With this anchor (as long as you stay right of the other party) you can toprope or lead Poop Shoot and anything right of there.
By Bryan Howell
From: San Francisco, CA
Apr 21, 2008
Is the anchor situation still the same now, in good ol' 2008? Anyone been there recently who can shed some light on this?
By Jennifer H
Aug 3, 2009
Yes, the anchor situation is the same now (in 2009). Luckily this rock doesn't seem to get as much traffic as other areas in Castle Rock.
By Samantha H
Sep 8, 2014
Is rappelling off the top anchor the only way to get to the base of the rock?
By Guy T. B.
From: Santa Cruz, California
Jan 20, 2015
Does anyone have a bit more detailed gear beta? What size of pro does this take?
By Michele LaCagnina
Oct 16, 2016
Finding the rock is one of the most challenging aspects of Underworld Rock. The directions above are pretty clear until you get to the fork. Where the directions say "One leads up and to the right of Chew Tooth Rock, while the other leads down directly to the top of The Underworld", take the trail on the left. Once you're on this trail, there are numerous goat trails running off in multiple directions. When faced with a fork, choose the steepest path where it looks like you're about to fall grass over teakettle. Just keep going down, down, down, and you'll find the Underworld.

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