Summit Rock contains some really beautiful views of the San Jose area from the tops of the climbs. It's too bad that the bottoms of the climbs and often the interemediate ledges are filled with trash and broken glass from picnicers and partyers above. So, beware sticking your hands places you haven't seen if you're climbing a route for the first time, especially if it looks like the route hasn't been climbed in a while.
Made of sandstone, the slopey vertical and slab climbs that made up the summit rock are nearly all enjoyable. Some of the rock will crumble, and this isn't an area that should be climbed after a recent rain storm.
Nearly all routes are sport, though there are also few trad routes available.
Summit Rock does see some sun in the afternoon, though the lower belay areas are often in the shade.
From the main Castle rock gate: Travel north in your car on Skyline Boulevard about a half mile. After passing the Los Altos gun club on the left (the have a large banner-like sign) you will see a large driveway on the right approximately a 1/4 mile later. There is a parking area 100 yards in.
From Skyline Boulevard and Big Basin: Travel south 1.5 miles until you see a large driveway on the left side. Pull in, and park 100 yards later. If you pass the Los Altos gun club on the right, you've gone too far.
From the Summit Rock parking lot: Approach time: 10 - 15 minutes. Follow the trail out of the end of the parking lot which will wind it's way gently uphill. At the fork, take the left fork (read the sign if you're not sure) and follow it uphill to the rock. From the top of the rock, follow the fence around to the right and downhill. Work your way around the rock following the dirt path.
15 Total Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Summit Rock
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Summit Rock:
Bolt Filcher 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Featured Route For Summit Rock
Skill Saw Gourmet 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a CA
: SF Bay Area
: ... : Summit Rock
Skill Saw Gourmet is a lot tougher than it looks. The move to the first bolt is challenging but is easier than what follows. After you clip it you have a myriad of flared hands and suspect feet at your disposal. Move right past the second bolt and work the arete up past the next couple bolts. Its like a good boulder problem followed by some more pumpy stuff.Finally you reach an easy slab which you basically walk up until the steeper part right at the top. For this it is wise to place a cam ...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
News and Events For Summit Rock
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Photo by Blitzo.
|By Morgan Brown|
Jul 12, 2002
Summit Rock is technically inside Sanborn-Skyline County Park. Doesn't change anything, really, but it might explain all the broken glass.
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 16, 2004
Someone please add "Farewell to Arms". That is a fun route! I would add it but I can't remember any details.
Sep 12, 2006
A pretty messy area! The Madrone forest is beautiful!
|By vincent L.|
Nov 23, 2008
As of this weekend there are a lot of bees around the Santa Clara Practice Route (5.8). It looks like they would be an issue if you were doing Bolt Filcher too.
|By Brian Snider|
Jan 23, 2011
This area is closed! Not sure if it's actualaly patrolled, but does says so on the sign.
|By Bruce Morris|
From: Belmont, CA
May 24, 2011
The Access Fund is currently trying to negotiate with Santa Clara County Parks to have a seasonal closure of Summit Rock. This would allow Peregrine falcon nesting and fledging from January through July and leave Summit available for climbing the rest of the year.