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Pirate's Cove (aka The Beach or Corona Del Mar)

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Baby Ricky T 
Big Ricky T 
C.F.'s Edge Crank 
Chips Ahoy 
Courtney's side 
Crystal Clear 
Dave's Problem T 
Diamond Man 
Diamond Man Dyno 
Faith T 
Fale Problem 
Gather Up 
Green Burrito 
Head Above the Stairs 
High Over Beached Whales T 
Hinge Direct 
Hinge Indirect 
Hinge, The 
Iron Man 
Italian Fall T 
Knob City 
Layback, The 
Lttle Ricky T 
Not Even 
Not Even Chips (and reverse) 
Nowhere Man 
Onion Man 
Paper Boy 
Pin Hole 
Pin Scar 
Pin Scar Direct 
Poodle Press 
Pyramid, The T 
Rib Romp T 
Roman Engineering 
Sand Gully 
Shark's Tooth T 
Shelf, The T 
Tin Man 

Pirate's Cove (aka The Beach or Corona Del Mar)  

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Location: 33.5949, -117.8781 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 75,721
Administrators: jt512, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jordan Ramey on Feb 26, 2007
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AJ, Melinda, and Sebastian climbing in Corona Del ...

Summer climbing times restricted MORE INFO >>>


Shade and Sun. Best times are late in the day after the cliff has had some time to dry out. The climbing here is characterized by sandstone caves that come out into a short cliff. The sandstone is typically juggy. It can be VERY greasy. Recommended to bring shoes, chalkbag, brush for holds, towel to clean off shoes and get sand out of your eyes. Awesome landings onto soft sand beach. No need for a crashpad in many spots.

Craig Fry's "Southern California Bouldering Guide, 2nd edition" has this area listed and info.

Getting There 

Drive to Corona Del Mar State Beach. There is free parking along the roads that run along the beach or pay parking inside the park. The Cliff is located at the extreme west side of the beach. If you're in the beach parking lot head west past the picnic area and scramble over the rocks to a staircase that leads down the cliff to the beach and bouldering.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.7 miles from here

42 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',14],['2 Stars',20],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Pirate's Cove (aka The Beach or Corona Del Mar):
Onion Man   V0 4     Boulder, 20'   
Pin Scar   V0 4     Boulder, 15'   
Hinge Indirect   V0 4     Boulder, 20'   
The Hinge   V0 4     Boulder, 20'   
Pin Hole   V0 4 PG13     Boulder, 1 pitch, 20'   
Tin Man   V0+ 4+     Boulder, 15'   
Green Burrito   V1 5     Boulder, 30'   
Anabel   V2 5+     Boulder   
Not Even   V2 5+     Boulder, 20'   
Crystal Clear   V2 5+     Boulder, 20'   
Not Even Chips (and reverse)   V2+ 5+ PG13     Boulder, 20'   
Pin Scar Direct   V2-3 5+     Boulder, 15'   
Iron Man   V2-3 5+     Boulder, 18'   
Italian Fall   V3-4 6A+     Trad, Boulder   
Diamond Man   V4 6B     Boulder, 25'   
Hinge Direct   V4 6B     Boulder, 20'   
Shark's Tooth   V4-5 6B+     Trad, Boulder, 20'   
Chips Ahoy   V4-5 6B+     Boulder, 15'   
Faith   V6-7 7A+     Trad, Boulder, 20'   
Lieback   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b V-easy 3     Boulder, 20'   
Browse More Classics in Pirate's Cove (aka The Beach or Corona Del Mar)

Featured Route For Pirate's Cove (aka The Beach or Corona Del Mar)
Paper Boy starts towards the back of the cave. Sta...

Paper Boy V7 7A+  CA : Los Angeles Basin : Pirate's Cove (aka The Beac...
Sit start deep in the cave right of Iron Man. The line follows the fairly obvious edges and pockets out of the cave and up the face. Once on the face, you have the option of a left or right exit. Both seem to be about the same grade.This climb is very weather dependent. It is best when the sun or wind has had a chance to dry out this area. The holds can get very wet and gummy if the conditions are not right, making it extremely hard to climb....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Pirate's Cove (aka The Beach or Corona Del Mar) Slideshow Add Photo
Enjoying the sunset after a good session!
Enjoying the sunset after a good session!
Caves left of staircase.
BETA PHOTO: Caves left of staircase.
South cave. Right of staircase (if viewed from bea...
BETA PHOTO: South cave. Right of staircase (if viewed from bea...
Caves further left (north) of staircase.
BETA PHOTO: Caves further left (north) of staircase.
Looking down at Pirate's Cove (Corona Del Mar Beac...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down at Pirate's Cove (Corona Del Mar Beac...
City Ordinance Crack 5.11+ 1980s.
City Ordinance Crack 5.11+ 1980s.
CDM at sunset
CDM at sunset
Sandman V3+  I don't know if this route already ex...
BETA PHOTO: Sandman V3+ I don't know if this route already ex...

Comments on Pirate's Cove (aka The Beach or Corona Del Mar) Add Comment
Show which comments
By Shawn Adams
From: Pasadena, CA
Jan 23, 2010
Choss pile.....
Dirty diapers and dead things, need I say more?
By Patricio Chervin
Mar 27, 2010
Hey, does anyone have video or picture of someone finishing Anabel sometime in the last year or so (since lots of the original holds are now missing). Any beta would help! Thanks, Patrick.
By Elias
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 12, 2012
I came, I climbed, I was watched like Chris Sharma.
By Clif Clap
Sep 20, 2013
I'll preface this by saying I'm a sport climber not a boulderer, but all kinds of climbing only work when you go for it. It's harder to go for it when sand is covering everything. That said, bouldering on the beach is pretty novel and the place has some real charms. Many low-grade problems are available too if you want to be conservative and just have fun.
By Jacob S.
From: Garden Grove, CA
Jan 6, 2014
Despite the conditions that can sometimes make it a difficult place to climb (e.g. sand and rock moisture make gripping the rock difficult), Corona del Mar (Pirates Cove) is an awesome place for anyone in the area to come check out.

There are a bunch of climbs with varying degrees of difficulty. The sand, which can sometimes make climbing difficult, also provides a softer landing area than most other outdoor areas.

During the summer, it's a great place to come climb during the weekdays, but I wouldn't recommend going until after 5 pm. Anytime before then, the beach is packed with beach goers.

It's not often that you find a place like this. It's easily accessible, it's scenic, and it's go a lot of history to it. If anyone didn't know some of the history behind Pirates Cove, you should check out the article below.

If you plan on checking Pirates Cove out, I would recommend bringing a towel to stand on before you get on a problem and a larger brush of some sort to wipe the sand off your shoes before getting on the rock. Also, most of the people who climb there regularly are pretty friendly so don't hesitate to ask someone for help if you need it!

Also, check the weather conditions before heading over. Ideally, you will want a low tide, low humidity, and a nice breeze. But otherwise, as long as the sun is out, there will be an area that is good to climb.

This is a pretty cool place with a lot to offer if your just starting out or you're an intermediate climber. Definitely worth checking out if you're passing through or live in the area.

Article written by John Long about the history of Pirates Cove:

By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Jun 28, 2014
Don't even think about climbing here on weekends, anytime it's warm or between late Spring and early Fall. The crowds are insane. On the June weekday that I visited, I could not have begun any route without stepping off of a sun bathing tourist. Each of the caves was packed wall-to-wall with bodies.

Welcome to Orange County
Welcome to Orange County
By Brad Alexander
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Aug 3, 2014
Here is a fun video I did with some friends featuring 10 climbs at Pirates.

By skelldify
Oct 22, 2014
Talk about a choss pile! I can't even believe this place is listed as a climbing area! It's packed sand coated by dust! I didn't dare pull on anything for fear I'd flop on my back when it broke.

Maybe the conditions were just bad when I was there...
By Fat Dad
From: Los Angeles, CA
Oct 30, 2014
Comments like the one above are just false, or the guy is just having some fun spewing. Although climbing at The Beach is very condition dependent (lots of posts saying just that), the rock is generally good quality. There are some places in the tall, middle portion of the cliff that are grainier and looser, but that's pretty obvious once you get there. Let's put it this way. I started climbing there more than 30 yrs. ago and, although it's sandstone, the holds on really popular climbs like Iron Man and The Hinge have not changed one bit.

So, once and for all, here's the beta on The Beach.
1. Climb after 5 p.m. or so after the crowds and lifeguards have left.
2. Don't climb on weekends.
3. Don't climb when it's foggy. The best days are sunny, dry days. Santa Ana conditions are optimal.
4. Check the tide tables before you climb or the base of the routes may be washed by waves.
5. Bring a toothbrush (for the sand, not chalk).
6. Bring a good attitude and enjoy. Like most areas, Tuesdays and Thursday bring out the locals, who are usually happy to provide beta.
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