|Big Rock Area
Big Rock is located in southern part of Lake Perris State Recreation Area. While other small developed slabs surround Big Rock, most of the routes are found on the main wall, containing about thirty routes. Of these, less than 5 are cracks, with the balance being bolted face routes. The rock quality is very good, and with the routes facing northwest it gets lots of afternoon sun.
The routes are low-angled, with generally more than ample bolted protection. It is a great place for beginners and novices. Most all belays are three-bolt set-ups, many of which have been recently replaced. While most of the routes can be done in one pitch, some have bolted anchors midway, allowing one to practice belay switch-overs. There is some bouldering around the base of the rock, with more still on the surrounding hillsides.
A great historical link about Big Rock can be read here courtesy of Don Chambers,. Comments by some legends of the sport that many would not have guessed climbed at Big Rock.
Access to Big Rock is via Hwy 215 exiting on the Ramona Expressway, heading east towards Lake Perris. About 7 miles down the road on the left is an unmarked park entrance road, called Bernasconi Rd. Left here leads to a self-pay station. Parking in the park is steep at $10.00 per vehicle, or one can park about 1/2 mile out of the park on Bernasconi and walk in for free. Once in the park, hike left through the picnic area on a paved service road for about 1/3 mile until Big Rock becomes apparent on the left hillside.
67 Total Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',16],['2 Stars',34],['1 Star',14],['Bomb',0]
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News and Events For Big Rock Area
Photo by Todd Gordon.
Late afternoon at Big Rock, Lake Perris SRA.
The view from the dam, Lake Perris SRA
BETA PHOTO: Big Rock, Lake Perris State Recreation Area
Shade until about 11 a.m.
Wide view of Big Rock
Daniel leading through the non-existant holds of L...
BETA PHOTO: The seldom if ever manned entrance booth has a sel...
Dave Coffman at the start of Mad Dog, in between L...
BETA PHOTO: Don't miss this sign on the way in...
Big Rock with Lake Perris in the background. This ...
BETA PHOTO: Welcome to Big Rock.
Paul Gleason in Kronhofers attempting the FFA of "...
BETA PHOTO: This handy topo is located at the base of Big Rock...
Lisa Pritchett climbing at Big Rock, California.
BETA PHOTO: Some portions of Big Rock are rife with xenoliths....
Tables below from Let It Bleed belay.
BETA PHOTO: How far to climb?
BETA PHOTO: Bernasconi Road park entrance looking West and gat...
BETA PHOTO: shot of the Big Rock climbing area looking south
180 degree Lake view from mid Big Rock.
Lake Perris/Big Rock panorama.
Big Rock Lots of Climbers, Dec. 20 2009
Sunset near Big Rock.
Local wildlife, Lake Perris SRA
Big Rock in the early 80's when you could park at ...
Keith Leaman wearing epoxied Cortinas on "Roman No...
Another early 80's photo.
|By C Miller|
Feb 21, 2006
Parking outside the gate avoids the fee and only adds 5-10 minutes to the approach with the benefit of being able to climb until dark as the rangers close the gate promptly at sunset. That said, be aware that cars have been vandalized while parked outside the gate.
|By Josh Hibbard|
From: Los Angeles Area, CA
Mar 26, 2007
Plan for a 20-25 minute walk from the gate. Cut the time to 5 minutes if you bring a bike or skateboard. The gate never seems to be unlocked during the weekdays, so I have concluded that it is only unlocked on the weekends. However, I usually don't climb there in the summer (because of the heat), so it may just be a seasonal thing and unlocked in the summer. The rangers will give you a ticket if you don't pay the parking fee of $8...
|By Bill Olszewski|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 30, 2007
Great info guys, and right on the mark. I would just like to add, for anyone who has not been to Big Rock and may only be comfortable leading heavily bolted lines, that this is not a typical sport climbing wall. For anyone who didn't know, "sport climbing" generally refers to well-bolted half-pitch routes (i.e. they can be top-roped with a single rope). Although Big Rock has some sport routes (see Let it Bleed and Cheap Thrills) most are closer to traditional slab. As an example, Africa Flake, although adequately protected, takes the full 60m passing 6 bolts. A true sport climb generally has a bolt every 6 to 10 feet. Obviously there is some gray area here, but most of these lines on Big Rock are too sparsely bolted to qualify as sport. But not to worry, due to the low angle of the rock, most lead falls are really lead "slides."
|By Allan Cheateaux|
From: Fort Collins, CO
Nov 25, 2007
Climbed here yesterday. Planned on a nice long day of cragging, but got told our car was broken into (we parked inside, have a state parks pass). They broke our passenger front window and boosted a 1st gen ipod (worth about $30 now), charger, Jami's beef jerky and a trash can. Dealing with some real pros here... at least they ignored the 2 $400 phones on the dash...
Fun area with great slab climbing. Just drive a crappy car in and hide your stiff in the boot.
|By Adam Stackhouse|
Nov 25, 2007
I'd really like to be a smart ass, all things considered, but Allen, they lifted a "trash can" from your car? ? ?
|By Tucker P|
Jun 2, 2008
A few days ago my brother and I were approaching Big Rock from the parking lot around 10:30 AM. It was our first time there, so naturally my eyes focused on the climbers perched atop the second pitches instead of the hot concrete we were walking on. I didn't notice the very large rattlesnake that was sunbathing in the middle of the path until my foot was about two and a half feet from his head. Thankfully, they have these great ways of warning us before it's too late. I nearly jumped in the lake when I saw/heard him, but we're both OK. Moral of the story--be aware of snakes! I also heard that one was hanging out under the picnic tables a couple weeks ago.
|By Jon Hanlon|
Jun 3, 2008
HAHA....I had the EXACT same experience there a few years back! Must be his M.O...
|By Nate "Mustang" Johnson|
From: Lake Elsinore, CA
Jun 4, 2008
I have been climbing out here a few times over the last few weeks and it is great. I was just wondering about the quality of the bolts though. Most of them are rusted, spinning hangers, button heads, etc. I am no expert but to me some of the bolts out there looked kinda shady, especially given the longer distance between bolts. Any input would be greatly appreciated
|By C Miller|
Jun 4, 2008
Nate - The majority of the old bolts at Big Rock were replaced with 3/8" bolts in the late 80's, with even more bolts replaced in the late 90's. There are however still some original 1/4" bolts out there as well as some high traffic bolts which might stand being upgraded to 1/2".
If there's any routes needing a look and/or upgrade post them here, thanks.
|By Scotty W|
From: Ladera Ranch, CA
Apr 20, 2011
Why would the area be closed? Is it being shut down?
|By Lindsay P|
Aug 31, 2011
called the Ranger out at the park yesterday and she said that they haven't even started construction yet on the dam. Climbing area is still open!
Mar 25, 2012
Is big Rock Open still? also anyone been to the big rock sport boulder near big rock? any info on that? is it worth checking out?
|By Jef Gluckstein|
May 18, 2012
Big Rock is still open. I had a great day of climbing there two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I parked outside the gate and had my car damaged and broken into despite the fact that I left the car unlocked in case anyone wanted to steal my valueless possessions. Police said it was the first time this year, but if you plan to come a few times it would be easier to buy a pass and park within the gates in order to save yourself a possible broken window.
|By Paul Waggoner|
Jan 9, 2013
Greetings. Does anyone know if the main wall gets any sun in the winter, and if so, what time of day? It's north-facing, so I wasn't sure. It's a bit cold out there in the shade when taking slower climbers.
|By C Miller|
Jan 9, 2013
Paul - The main slab of Big Rock faces mostly west and receives sun from late morning until late afternoon/early evening when the hillide in front of it blocks the sun.
Jan 14, 2013
Is the Helios Boulder the "sport boulder" ?
or if it isn't, why isn't it listed? Access issue??
and if it is, that might be a good AKA to add, plus the other routes.
|By C Miller|
Jan 14, 2013
The Helios Boulder is not the Sport Boulder.