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The Grotto

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Air Ranger S 
Crash Test Dummy S 
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Garden of Expectations S 
Intensity S 
Junior S 
Little Giant S 
Lowrider S 
Mirror of Erised S 
Miss Pacman S 
Mystic River S 
Nimrod S 
Puffing Hunchback S 
Rats & Bats S 
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Stairway to Heaven S 
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Unsorted Routes:

The Grotto  


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Page Views: 10,436
Administrators: jt512, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Art Morimitsu on Feb 26, 2007
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The Grotto approach boulders, winter 2010, after h...

  • Emergency Closure to Protect Sensitive Plant Species MORE INFO >>>
  • Grotto and Lookout closed MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    The first climbing area encountered on the approach trail located in the creek bed. Shady cover produced by trees.

    Getting There 

    the first climbing area encountered on the approach trail

    Climbing Season



    Weather station 3.0 miles from here

    23 Total Routes

    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
    ['<=5.6',1],['5.7',1],['5.8',4],['5.9',3],['5.10',11],['5.11',1],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['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 The Grotto:
    Mystic River   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
    Miss Pacman   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
    Garden of Expectations   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
    Superfly   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 65'   
    Wonder Woman   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
    Air Ranger   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 65'   
    Intensity   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
    Browse More Classics in The Grotto

    Featured Route For The Grotto
    Kash on "Mystic River."

    Mystic River 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  CA : Los Angeles Basin : ... : The Grotto
    ROUTES ON THE NORTH FACING SOUTH SIDE OF THE GROTTO HAVE BEEN REMOVED, POSTED, AND CLOSED. The park service has deemed that there are endangered plants on the north facing faces of The Grotto that need to be protected. Also, the Park Service has ignored climbers at Echo Cliffs, but recent activities such as dogs at the base of the cliff, trash, tissue paper/feces, fire pits, and loud music have been observed and climbers are on notice and on the radar....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

    Photos of The Grotto Slideshow Add Photo
    The climber's trail through the Grotto passes over this wonderful falls. Winter 2010.
    The climber's trail through the Grotto passes over...
    This is a rough map of the grotto. The rest of Echo is toward the bottom of the page to help orient the map.
    BETA PHOTO: This is a rough map of the grotto. The rest of Ech...
    The Grotto at flood stage. Pretty tough conditions for keeping the shoes dry.
    The Grotto at flood stage. Pretty tough conditions...
    The Grotto, Winter 2010, after 7 days of heavy rain. The mystical river reappears...
    The Grotto, Winter 2010, after 7 days of heavy rai...
    If you're going to do "personal maintenance" in the great outdoors the least you could do is to pick up after yourself and NOT leave it in the Grotto for someone else to deal with.
    If you're going to do "personal maintenance" in th...

    Comments on The Grotto Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Simon Hatfield
    From: Oakland, CA
    May 1, 2010
    I Climbed Mystic River and Garden of Expectations with a few friends today and were approached by a group of concerned park rangers. Apparently, these routes cut through one of the world's 3 remaining populations of a critically endangered succulent. After the rangers identified the plant for us it was obvious that activity by climbers has destroyed much of this population. They mentioned that Echo was almost closed years ago in an effort to protect this specific plant. We convinced them that the climbing community is not only passionate about preserving the environment, but respectful towards rules, especially when access was contingent on them.

    Please help the park service to preserve this species by not only discontinuing climbing in the northwest of the grotto, but making sure that other climbers know that the routes in the area run through critical habitat. As continuing to climb this route will likely lead to closure of the whole area, it is better to climb routes that do not promise to cause the extinction of a species.
    By Benjamin Chapman
    From: Small Town, USA
    May 3, 2010
    The Park Service has closed all routes of the south side of the Grotto. Signs have been posted and bolts/anchors removed from the five affected routes. This was done to protect endangered plants. (although nothing was stated about threatened or endangered plants existing in the Grotto during the discussions of 2002).
    Climbers have been largely ignored, but due to an increase in litter, tissue/feces, dogs at the base of the cliff, and camping, rangers will be monitoring climber's activities more closely. Rangers have expressed concern that climbers have been inaffective at self-policing regarding these impacts at the cliff.
    By BP29
    May 16, 2010
    Was it really necessary to remove the route descriptions of the affected climbs? While they may be currently closed, they will hopefully be available to climb next year.
    By Brian Hench
    From: Costa Mesa, CA
    May 17, 2010
    Those climbs will never be open for climbing- ever! They were all erased!

    Those routes were on north-facing cliffs- precisely where Dudleyas prefer to grow. There are a lot of different Dudleya species at Echo. If I remember correctly, the ranger said the endangered one was D. moreliana, named for its tendency to hold onto its dead leaves.

    This web site has a long list of Dudleya species.

    crassulaceae.net/index.php?opt...
    By mtrox713
    Jan 11, 2011
    The routes at the grotto were not very good either way, (no offense to the guys who bolted them.) there is plenty of great moderate climbing at the Left Flank, and the Far Side.