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The Rock of Ages

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Cave Route S 
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The Rock of Ages Rock Climbing 

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Location: 37.88057, -121.98549 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 11,895
Administrators: Aron Quiter, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Salamanizer on Jan 29, 2013  with updates from ColinR
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BETA PHOTO: Pagoda Rock and Rock of Ages

Falcon Nesting Closure at Castle Rock MORE INFO >>>


The Rock of Ages is found just behind the Pagoda. It has a large distinctive cave half way up the wall. The rock can range form crumbly and loose to solid and clean. The base of this wall is a great place to hang out when the temps soar. You can always find shade and a nice cool breeze comes up from the bottom of the canyon. This rock sees the most traffic in the canyon, but you'll still be lucky to see anyone.

Getting There 

Approach form its left side and through the narrow passageway between the Rock of Ages and the Pagoda.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.7 miles from here

5 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Rock of Ages

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Rock of Ages:
Cave Route   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 140'   
West Face   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   
Evolution   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 155'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Rock of Ages

Featured Route For The Rock of Ages
Rock Climbing Photo: Dimitri climbs Evolution 5.10b/c on Rock of Ages, ...

Evolution 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  CA : San Francisco Bay Area : ... : The Rock of Ages
Starts 40 ft to the right of the Cave Route and shares the first five bolts with the West Face route. At the first cave, go left and continue up past a bolt and into a larger cave. From here, go out left (through a short crux) up a steep headwall. Continue strait up what seems to be a never ending wall. Nearly every bolt has a good stacne/rest where you clip it followed by sustained moves up holds that are hard to see. Searching around a bit before you commit to the next move usually produces a ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Comments on The Rock of Ages Add Comment
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By old5ten
From: Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
Mar 18, 2013
I was truly appalled by the amount of graffiti on the direct trail to pagoda/rock of ages and the amount of trash on the trail behind rock of ages.
By Jskierpx
Sep 8, 2013
A little bit of access info for finding Rock of Ages. We went on quite the scramble to eventually find the area following the somewhat vague map in the Bay Area rock guide.

For the trail that leads straight up to Rock of ages (ie the cave route, etc):

Follow the fire road from the parking lot as the guide book says. Keep hiking until you hit the #10 trail marker post. Keep hiking another 100-200 feet and take the well travelled single track trail that climbs off and to the left of the fire road, essentially working its way up the creek and becoming a drainage.

As stated for the area, it is a tough approach, very steep and loose, but if you can manage to start up the correct drainage and actually end up at the base of the climb you are searching for you will save a few hours of your day scrambling up high on the hill!

And I will second the graffiti and trash comment. Truly disgusting, but I would put my money on the fact that it is 99% from non-climbers using the area as an escape from the city to tag up the rock. I will be bringing a full size garbage bag next time I head up, and would encourage the same for others.... It was frustrating being up there climbing with no way to pack anything out.

By Salamanizer
From: Vacaville Ca.
Sep 9, 2013
I'm willing to bet big money that the trash and graffiti is 100% not from climbers. The place has had some trash and graffiti over the years. Especially lower down toward the bottom of the canyon. But the volume of trash and spray paint has increased ten fold over the past two or so years.

The description in the Bay Area guide (assuming you're referring to the new Thornburg guide) is no more vague than yours.

Spot the Rock of Ages and Pagoda from the main trail. Find the dry creek/gully that goes up just to it's climbers right side. BOOM!!! You're there...

Beats the old guidebooks that told you to approach from the backside.
By ColinR
2 days ago
Jskierpx commented that the approach trail is past trail marker #10 but it's really just after #8:
From the main fire trail The Rock of Ages shares its approach with Pulpit and Pagoda Rock. On the left of the trail is a wooden post for trail marker #8. Soon after that, on the left, is a straight, narrow, well-worn dirt trail that goes uphill and to the right. Immediately after the trail entrance, on the left, is a small dried creek. If you hit trail marker #9 you've gone too far. If you hit the green gate you've gone even farther.
After a short hike up the trail and over some rocks you'll see Pulpit on the left. It's the first area and it's hard to miss with its bolted route right next to the approach. Shortly up past Pulpit is Pagoda Rock, and shortly up past that is The Rock of Ages.

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