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Sonora Pass Highway (108)

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Sonora Pass Highway (108)  


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Location: 38.17532, -120.02685 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 138,646
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M.Morley on Sep 24, 2011
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Description 

The Sonora Pass highway is a short drive from Northern California's major population centers, yet offers rock like Tahoe AND Yosemite without the crowds of either destination.

The low country includes a series of crags along highway 108 from the San Joaquin Valley into the foothills near the town of Sonora itself.

In the fall, Table Mountain, especially around the Grotto, is one of the most beautiful places in the state. However, learn about its paradoxical access issues before visiting the Gold Wall or Jail House Rock areas there. They contain some of the finest climbing around, but aren't documented online or in guidebooks.

Approaches range from roadside pullouts with painted grades (established by the US Marines on public land near their Mountain Warfare Training Center), to remote and wild alpine lines requiring both luck and determination to climb successfully.

The high country is highly seasonal! Sonora Pass closes down every winter, and sometimes with little notice in spring and fall when there's snow on the ground.

A 2013 edition of "A Climber's Guide to the Sonora Pass Highway" may increase visits.

Other updates beyond the book can be found at the Sonora Pass Climbing website.

Getting There 

From the west, head east on Hwy 108 from the small community of Sonora.

From the east, head west on Hwy 108 from Bridgeport at the junction of Hwy 395.

Note that the highway is closed in winter, generally November through May. Check dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/sr108 for road conditions and closures.

Climbing Season



Weather station 15.6 miles from here

101 Total Routes

['4 Stars',13],['3 Stars',29],['2 Stars',43],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',3],['5.8',7],['5.9',11],['5.10',27],['5.11',19],['5.12',22],['5.13',5],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',2],['V2-3',2],['V4-5',1],['V6-7',1],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sonora Pass Highway (108):
Table Manners   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Bandito   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Granted   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Go with the Flow   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Enemy at the Gates   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Table Mountain : Eastern Front
Chicken Ranch Bingo   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Color Coded Quickdraws   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Table Mountain : Ort Wall
Three Fingered Jack   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Crystal Planet   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Second Quarry Area (5N06 tu... : Second Quarry
AC Devil Dog   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Rawhide   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Snake Bite   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Squealer   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Men's Crisis Center   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Flight Simulator   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Table Mountain : The Grotto
Whipping Boy   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 65'   Jailhouse Rock
Iron Junkie   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 90'   Jailhouse Rock
Soap on a Rope   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Jailhouse Rock
Cell Block Six   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Jailhouse Rock
Fugitive   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Jailhouse Rock
Browse More Classics in Sonora Pass Highway (108)

Featured Route For Sonora Pass Highway (108)
Mid route

Slammer 5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a  CA : Central Sierra : ... : Jailhouse Rock
This storied route was my nemesis and a labor of love, bringing me back to Jailhouse intermittently for 3 seasons after I moved to Denver in 2009. Originally a decent but not-sought-after 5.13b from the early Jailhouse days until a vital glue-reinforced fin broke off in the early 2000's, Slammer transformed into a notoriously elusive 5.13+ and repelled many a jailhouse hardman for years. Finally, I believe in 2007, during Alex Honnold's blitzkrieg at the House, he unlocked the new crux and calle...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Comments on Sonora Pass Highway (108) Add Comment
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By Tom Addison
Dec 6, 2014
The sign was posted by the Bureau of Reclamation. After conversation with the Bureau, the Access Fund will be reaching out to the climbing community and asking us not to place any bolts or install any fixed hardware on Table Mountain cliffs for the time being. Furthermore, please refrain from camping,having fires, or establishing new use trails in the area. The Bureau has expressed a number of concerns, but the signs are specifically a reaction to their concerns about possible negative affects of climbing and fixed hardware on a sensitive bat species. We'll put out more information as the situation develops.
USBR signs posted late November 2014 at Table Moun...
USBR signs posted late November 2014 at Table Mountain Parking (end of Shell Road)
By Justin Johnsen
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 9, 2014
Thanks Tom, added a copy of your photo and note to the Table Mountain area.