Santa Monica Mountains, Yerba Buena Road at Pacific Coast Highway
Echo Cliffs is an exhilarating, yet moderate climb for experienced climbers. Newcomers can get to the trailhead by taking the 101 Freeway’s Westlake Boulevard exit. Expect a good 45 minute hike to get to Echo Cliffs. Echo Cliffs is considered to be one of Los Angeles County’s only backcountry crags.
Malibu Creek State Park
1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas
Malibu Creek State Park, also in the Santa Monica Mountains, has rock climbs for every experience level. Among the most popular are the Planet of the Apes Wall – named for the 1960’s TV sci-fi movie that starred Charlton Heston – and the picturesque Rock Pool.
7103 Westward Road, Malibu
Point Dume is what you might picture if you’re thinking of the sunny, beachy Los Angeles. Point Dume State Beach is punctuated by Point Dume, a high seaside cliff right on the beach. Weekends can be crowded, but some climbers have been known to share bolted anchors.
Off the 118 Freeway at Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Chatsworth
Stoney Point is one of the closest and most popular areas for boulderers. The area is great for year-round climbing, except after rainfall, when climbers should wait a few days. There’s little shade, so climbs are probably best in the early morning or late afternoon. Stoney Point has no bathroom facilities nearby.
10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce
Rock climbers may experience some déjà vu when they climb Vasquez Rocks. The otherworldly scenery has been the backdrop for countless Hollywood productions, including Star Trek and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The park features 30 marked climbs, but if you’re in a group of 10 or more, you’ll need a permit. Climbers are limited to top roping.
28000 Devils Punchbowl Road, Pearblossom
Devil’s Punchbowl is popular for sport lead and top rope climbers. Breathtaking desert and mountain views stretch as far as the eye can see and it may be a thrill to know you’re literally climbing on top of the infamous San Andreas Fault.