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San Diego Mission Trails


Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego

Drive from San Diego:


Approach time car to climb:



Welcome to San Diego’s backyard and adventure playground. Mission Trails has quite a long history of rock climbing tracing back to the mid and late 50’s. Until today about 200 different rock climbs have been established in the area. A multitude of them are great for beginner to intermediate climbers. The average length of the routes is about 50’-65’ feet with a few up to 100’ feet. Due to its proximity to the city and beaches (25min. drive) Mission Trails Regional Park is a popular recreational hotspot in SD for rock-climbing, hiking and mountain biking. A short approach trail leads to the start of the first climb in only 15min.

Check out Mountain Project for more info on the area!

In San Diego we are blessed with endless rock landscapes sprinkled out East. Many of the formations are well established rock climbing areas with a history dating back to the 1950’s. Rock Climbing in the county often requires long approaches including steep and strenuous hikes until the climbing starts (such as El Cajon Mountain or Corte Madera…). Mission Trails rock climbing is different! By far it is the most accessible climbing location close to the city with a quick approach hike. The “Gorge” (how climber’s call it) is Southwest facing which guarantees shaded climbing in the morning till about 11am to 1pm (depending on which area you climb at). In the hot summer months of July, August and September it is often crucial to start early in order to avoid high temperatures often exceeding a 100 degrees.

Mission Gorge has mixed rock climbing with completely or partially bolted routes. To fully enjoy the diversity of the climbing it is recommended to bring a single Trad-rack. And if you plan to climb the infamous”Mission Gorge Traverse” a double rack is helpful. Classics of the area are:

“Mission Gorge traverse” (5.8) – long traverse-only route from start to end. Great exposure! double trad rack.

“Mission Control” (5.8) – fully bolted face climb equipped with a 2-bolt anchor

“The Tower” (5.7) – fully bolted face climb and 2-bolt anchor (may require medium size gear for first piece)

“The ramp” (5.7) – small to medium trad gear only with 2-bolt anchor. Aesthetic line and must do route!

“Suzie’s Wild Ride” (5.8+) – excellent meandering face climb equipped with bolts and great 2-bolt anchor.

“Escapade” (5.11a) – striking bolted line over some steep rock with slab sections.

Also Check out Chris Hubbard’s free PDF Topo for Mission Gorge on his website.