Special Feature

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Outdoor climbing can be a difficult world to get into. While there are some climbing spots in protected areas, or natural parks with accompanying parking fees or closures, finding a location doesn’t have to be a headache. We’ve put together a few climbing spot recommendations for you below. Before you begin, please be aware that outdoor climbing is inherently dangerous; help is often far away and the conditions are not always ideal. Also remember that all outdoor climbing areas depend on folks like you to keep it clean and undamaged for future generations.

There are many spots an hour and a half away from Long Beach in national forests and state parks. Malibu Creek State Park is a climbing and hiking area with a several good spots. Our recommended areas include Planet of the Apes and Stumbling Blocks. Planet of the Apes is a popular climbing wall and spots fill up fast in the mornings with little to no shade in the afternoon, so get there early! Stumbling Blocks has a longer approach including a traverse along the border of a few pools of water. Be sure to bring appropriate shoes, or wear climbing shoes on the traverse to avoid taking an unexpected dip in the waters.

Echo Cliffs is a sport climbing hotspot with a winding approach that crosses multiple hills and a dry riverbed, so be ready for a hike. There are many routes as you walk along the bottom of the cliff. We recommend having your climbing app of choice open, or utilizing a guidebook like “Sport Climbing in the Santa Monicas” by Louie Anderson. Horse flats is another climbing spot most known for its bouldering and being a short hike from additional campgrounds. Check to make sure the campgrounds are open for the season before heading out and be aware of any fees for day-use or camping.

And if you’re looking for more nearby climbing options, look at Point Dume, or Stoney Point. The further you are willing to go, the more options you will have. Driving for two to four hours brings you to popular places such as Texas Canyon Rock Climbing area, Joshua Tree National Park and New Jack City. These are just a few of the places you can find on Mountain Project; a free resource for finding areas, routes and information on how to get to each location. For more recommendations, feel free to visit the SRWC Rock Wall to talk to our experienced staff and get their pro-tips!

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