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Mission Gorge

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Mission Gorge 

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Location: 32.8187, -117.056 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 310,847
Administrators: Marc Kajut, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Marc Kajut on Jan 25, 2006
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Mission Gorge climbing area from the road.
Current San Diego County Advisories MORE INFO >>>


Mission Gorge is located in the Mission Trails Regional Park - Routes include traditional, sport, and a few clean aid lines.

Getting There 

From Interstate 8 - Take 8 to the Mission Gorge/Fairmount exit. Turn north onto Mission Gorge Road. Continue down Mission Gorge Road for approximately 4 miles. Look for the large wooden park sign on Mission Gorge Road. Turn left onto Father Junipero Serra Trail. Park along the road prior to the gates, or in the dirt parking lots next to the visitors center. The climbers loop trails are on the right side about 0.4 miles down Father Junipero Serra Trail as marked by kiosks.

Climbing Season

159 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',55],['2 Stars',86],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mission Gorge:
The Ramp   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Lunch Rock
The Tower   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 50'   Limbo Area
Skyline Arete   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Lunch Rock
Shadowfax   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Middle Earth
Craig's Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 35'   Limbo Area
Crack of Dust   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   Main Wall
As the Crow Flies   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 45'   Limbo Area
Mission Control   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Lunch Rock
Mission Gorge Traverse   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Wall
Suzie's Wild Ride   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
Hangman's Climb   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Main Wall
Mariah   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Main Wall
Khazaddum   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 30'   Middle Earth
Monkey Dance   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Limbo Area
Standard Deviation   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Limbo Area
Orange Sunshine   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Middle Earth
Escapade   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
General Dynamics   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 30'   Main Wall
Black Rider   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Middle Earth
The Thumb   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Main Wall
Browse More Classics in Mission Gorge

Featured Route For Mission Gorge
Bryan Ferris finishing up The Thumb. <br />

The Thumb 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  CA : San Diego County : ... : Main Wall
This climb uses a variety of powerful sloping side pulls, a few crimps and pinches. The technical crux is probably between bolts 2-4, but keeping it together until you reach the great jugs after the 5th bolt isn't easy. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Mission Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
 the "Wasp"  <br />Epperson shooting Allenby 1986 <br />photo Ron Amick
the "Wasp"
Epperson shooting Allenby 1986
photo ...
General Dynamics 5.11a...
General Dynamics 5.11a...
Recently upgraded Mission Gorge climbs.  The quality ranged from deteriorating to downright dangerous.  Being older, most of these are the original climbs people were having fun on back in the day.  Go get back on these lost treasures!
BETA PHOTO: Recently upgraded Mission Gorge climbs. The quali...
the best time to climb at the gorge during the warmer months... just don't get locked in!
the best time to climb at the gorge during the war...
Climber's Loop kiosk trail photo.
BETA PHOTO: Climber's Loop kiosk trail photo.
Old school Mission Gorge bolts.
Old school Mission Gorge bolts.
5.easy chimney on far left side of Main Wall
5.easy chimney on far left side of Main Wall
Craig's crack. Splitter!!!
Craig's crack. Splitter!!!
Climbers Loop Kiosk
BETA PHOTO: Climbers Loop Kiosk
Top of the Pops!!!
Top of the Pops!!!
Comments on Mission Gorge Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ladd Raine
From: Plymouth, NH
Apr 21, 2007

Rock here is so slick, footwork is ultra-important

By mschlocker
From: San Diego, CA
Dec 16, 2009

This is my favorite place to climb in San Diego and the only sane option within the county for hot summer months due to the northwest orientation. Show up early and head home when the mid-day sun hits.

Mission Gorge has a high concentration of quality climbs. I can't think of another cragging location in San Diego where you can knock off so many routes in a day. My personal record is 24, each of us leading half the routes. For real though, 10 routes from gate opening at 8am to lunchtime is standard operating procedure.

By Lzpup
From: santee, ca
Feb 8, 2012


SDG&E is trying to build a Power Plant next to Sycamore canyon (Santee boulders), and Mission Trails Park. They have filled plans to build it and are moving forward. 11 100 ft smoke stacks spewing death down on to our favorite climbs. Please get informed and get involved. ... ng_comment

meeting every Tuesday at Pinacle peaks steak house 6:30, until they quit.

By claudio ricardez
May 17, 2013
PDF of (A.M.) Mission Gorge Topo

By PaoloQ
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Jul 16, 2014

Went to the gorge to climb today (07/16/2014) and the climbers loop trail is closed because of the recent fire that burned through mission trails. I did not see when they were planning to lift the restriction but for now, nobody is allowed through. Although we did see some people climbing/hiking anyway.

By ChadC
From: San Diego CA
Aug 18, 2014

Went to the gorge on 08/16/14 and only the main wall was open. Limbo area and Middle earth were both closed because of the fires. Everything was super crowded because of this. Get there early on weekends if you don't want to have to wait in line for routes.