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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

San Francisco Bay Area  


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You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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Dave on Gimme My Forty Sucka, Hidden Boulder

Old Training Ground Meets Locals' Playground 

While not generally thought of as a destination area for rock climbing, the pure number of visitors that head to the bay area for other purposes make this a great location for a quick day on the rock in between other commitments.

You can climb year round in the Bay Area, provided that winter rains haven't pummeled the area too recently. Often, inland areas are extremely hot in the summer, though the coastal areas will stay pleasant.

American Big Wall climbing took its first roots here, with locals practicing their skills on local rocks before heading to Yosemite for its renowned cliffs. Almost every area that has a chimney in Northern California was first climbed by Warren Harding or Forrest Shute, and you will often see a piton stuck in the rock left over from climbers of another age.

Berkeley, Castle Rock and Sonoma will hold your attention for a great day of bouldering. Mount Saint Helena or Lover's Leap (in the Tahoe area, but still only about 2 hours drive from most locations), or Table Mountain for a sport or trad experience.

Visitors and locals alike should check out the area along the Sonoma coast for a sport or bouldering experience unique to California, where waves, wind and rock found only here make an unforgettable day's climbing.

People with several days free in the Bay Area will probably want to head east to the Tahoe area in the summer or fall, to Yosemite for the trad folks, and perhaps all the way out (6-8 hours) to the Eastern Sierra areas like Bishop and Mammoth for a world class alpine, sport, or bouldering experience.

Unfortunately, a significant portion of the best climbing in the Bay Area is on private property, and unless you're in the know, you don't get to go.

The Bay Area's Areas



A few notes for first time visitors on where the rocks are clustered around here.


  • The East Bay is across the Bay Bridge from the city, and includes many parks in Berkeley and Oakland. The best climbing is near its eastern boundary, at Mount Diablo State Park.

  • The South Bay and Silicon Valley are south of the city. The most popular climbing areas here are in the Castle Rock Area, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can overhear tech employees talking about Google while you belay.

  • The North Bay starts north from the city across the famous Golden Gate Bridge, including Marin and neighboring counties. Climbing areas here include Mickey's Beach, Mount Tam and Ring Mountain.

  • Wine Country refers (Baycentrically) to wild and rural areas further north than the North Bay. This includes Napa, Sonoma and nearby counties, with climbing mostly on the rolling hills of the coast ranges, sometimes right on the scenic coast. Areas here include Mount St. Helena and The Nut Tree Boulders.

Most urban locales can be reached by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and connecting systems, or Uber if you're a high roller. Some crags are best reached by car, but keep in mind parking can be pricey in spots, and the bridges often collect tolls.

Climbing Season



Weather station 1.7 miles from here

892 Total Routes

['4 Stars',64],['3 Stars',261],['2 Stars',384],['1 Star',156],['Bomb',8]
['<=5.6',45],['5.7',31],['5.8',47],['5.9',57],['5.10',171],['5.11',109],['5.12',49],['5.13',4],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',79],['V2-3',155],['V4-5',88],['V6-7',58],['V8-9',19],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',7],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for San Francisco Bay Area:
The Spoon   V1 5     Boulder, 10'   * Castle Rock Bouldering : The Spoon
The Classic   V3 6A     Boulder, 12'   * Sanborn-Skyline Boulderin... : Indian Rock Boulders
Tree Problem   V4 6B     Boulder, 20'   * Castle Rock Bouldering : Parking Lot Rock
Bates Arete   V4 6B R     Boulder, 10'   * Castle Rock Bouldering : Bates Arete Boulder
Living a Dream   V6 7A     Boulder, 14'   Fort Ross : Fort Ross - Main Rock
Groundation   V7 7A+     Boulder, 20'   * Castle Rock Bouldering : Cave Boulder
Deforestation    V7+ 7A+     Boulder, 14'   * Castle Rock Bouldering : Parking Lot Rock
Nat's Traverse   V8 7B     Boulder, 10'   Indian Rock : Mortar Rock
Cave Route   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 140'   Pine Canyon : The Rock of Ages
Shute-Mills Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Mount St. Helena : The Far Side
Hailstone Arete   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Satellite Rocks : Hailstone Rock
Amazing Face   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Boy Scout Rocks : Lower Tier
The Great Roof   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Castle Rock Area : Goat Rock
Tall Man Simplex   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, TR   Castle Rock Area : Shady Rock
Bolt Route   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Boy Scout Rocks : Lower Tier
Aloha Patrol   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 4 pitches, 300'   Table Rock : Iron Curtain
Egghead   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R     Sport, 60'   Mickey's Beach : The Egg
Clamydia   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Castle Rock Area : Waterfall Cliff
Treasure Island   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Mount St. Helena : The Bear
Sex Porpoises   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Mickey's Beach : Main Rock
Browse More Classics in San Francisco Bay Area

Featured Route For San Francisco Bay Area
Rock Scar

Rock Scar V3-4 6A+  CA : San Francisco Bay Area : ... : Sunset Boulders
Sit start on the good sloper on the far left of the boulder. Move right using the obvious holds. The crux is a big move or a bump sequence to a large jug. High feet is key for the crux....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Local Information for San Francisco Bay Area
Photos of San Francisco Bay Area Slideshow Add Photo
The Golden Gate. Photo by Blitzo.
The Golden Gate. Photo by Blitzo.
Pier 39, SF.
Pier 39, SF.
The Grateful Dead at Oakland Coliseum, February, 1...
The Grateful Dead at Oakland Coliseum, February, 1...
The Rock.  SF bay.
The Rock. SF bay.
Liquid Amber is a common tree along the streets in...
Liquid Amber is a common tree along the streets in...

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