BETA PHOTO: Table Rock in all its glory!
Despite being the Bay Area's tallest cliff, this swath of stone has remained off of the majority of the Bay's climbers radar. Every wonder what that giant cliff was on the right hand side of 29 as you drive east towards the MSH parking area out of Calistoga?
That's Table Rock!
While the rock is unfortunately a bit on the soft / chossy side, it features an amazing variety of pockets, crimpers, and jugs on terrain ranging from slab to wild overhangs.
Take The Table Rock Overlook Trail out of the SW side of the South Lot (gps N 38.39.155 W122.35.961). This trail winds uphill for about 1.0 mile towards the Overlook. Prior to reaching the overlook at 0.5 Miles in you will see a trail marker showing you to turn right and is reassuring you that you are on the right trail!
When you get to the marker, stay true to the trail by going right up more switchbacks to the Overlook. Once there, head down and left into the valley. You will pass a small stone walkway maze thing that is kind of funny. Keep going down. Eventually you will reach a small more flat area where the trail bends right and becomes a bit smaller. Follow this down hill further. You will shortly pass a small formation on your right, which may eventually contain routes. Keep going down. At the 2nd small formation, the trail will bend sharp left, at this point you will want to go right around the north side of the rocks. There is another option to continue to follow the TR trail to the top and scramble down one of the gullies to the face.
Once you head to the right, follow the obvious trail that crosses Garnet Creek then heads down towards another section of the creek. Once down, head right paralleling the creek over a small rock outcrop, THEN, cross the stream and pick up the old road on
the other side. Recently this road was signed as no trespassing, but climbers have not run into any trouble. Please make sure you close the gate! If this access closes, then continue on the Table Rock trail to top of crag and scramble down one of the gullies on the left side of the cliff (easy 3rd class).
Follow the road till a right bend. To head up to the The Cave, scramble up the slope then follow the small trail up to the base. It crosses a small gully while traversing West. To go directly to the Iron Curtain (gps N38.38.577 W122.34.969) and other downhill walls, keep on the road for another 200 yards until a pipe is seen. Head uphill here and then traverse back and forth up to the wall. Total Hike : ~2 miles / Takes about 1 hour each way.
East on Highway 29 out of Calistoga. Approximately 9 miles up the hill towards Middletown after several steep / sharp switchbacks is a parking lot on both side of the road at a summit. A Robert Luis Stevenson State Park sign preceeds the parking when coming in from the West by about 200 yards. For Table Rock, park on the right (south) side which is where the trailhead begins.
Browse More Classics in Table Rock
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Table Rock:
Featured Route For Table Rock
Cool places to chill out at the base of Table Rock
From: Petaluma California
Dec 29, 2012
Aaron: thanks for posting the information. The routes are fun, and a unique experience. All the bolts I've used have been solid. Any glue ins?
The hand holds are generally solid, foot nubbins are generally crumbly. It is uncertain if the routes will sustain a prolonged assault by bay area climbers. During your first day or two climbing table, you might find the grades about appropriate. For me, once I got accustomed to the tuft, I found the grades a bit soft. I took some falls on one of the hard routes without incident. A hold broke on one of the lower angle routes, and I was cheese grated for 5 or so feet. No sutures.
Anyway, the largest bay area cliff, in exceptional surroundings. A low climbing profile is probably a good idea.
From: San Francisco
Jan 27, 2013
Thanks for posting the beta. I was pretty excited to check this area out after seeing it on my first trip to Mt. St. Helena. Although I must say,... some the routes make Pinnacles seem bomber! Agree that the area probably won't sustain heavy traffic but I think the approach alone will prevent a full assault.
Jan 27, 2013
The area will slowly clean up. Remember, this area is newly "unwrapped" and most of the routes have seen only a few ascents at most. Totally agree though that the hike will stop most people from returning, though once you know how it goes, it isn't too bad :)
Mar 10, 2013
We found the approach to be preferable to the stuff on the other side of the road... more trail/less fire rd. Helmets are mandatory.