• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Climbing

A view of the Echo Cliffs from the Mishe Mokwa Trail. Here climbers from around the world visit to experience the nation's largest urban national park.
A view of the Echo Cliffs from the Mishe Mokwa Trail. Here climbers from around the world visit to experience the nation's largest urban national park.

The Santa Monica Mountains close proximity to Los Angeles has made it a preeminent destination for rock climbers of all skill levels. Local crags, from Echo Cliffs to Malibu Creek State Park, increase in popularity every year. With this in mind, the National Park Service and outdoor enthusiasts must work together to ensure these spots remain enjoyable and unimpaired for future generations.

Here there is something for everyone to enjoy. Unique volcanic geology, various plant communities, wildlife viewing possibilities, and world class climbing opportunities all await those visiting from afar or those on day trips from the surrounding Ventura and Los Angeles areas.

Climber scaling the face of a rock at Echo Cliffs.

Preparation

Every effort is made to protect the park's natural resource, cultural assets, and wilderness values. To ensure success in this mission, some degree of preparation is demanded on your part. Knowing the necessary gear, planning your routes, and utilizing good climbing techniques will make your park experience an enjoyable one and a responsible one.

Use the links to the right to educate yourself about recommended sites, areas that are closed to climbing, etiquette and climber safety.

Did You Know?

Backbone trail hikes lead to views of mountains, canyons, and the Pacific Ocean.

Piece by piece, a trail is forging its way along the "backbone" of the recreation area. California State Parks took the first step toward a 65-mile Backbone Trail in 1978. With 5 miles left to go, single track trails and fireroads will unite this patchwork of public parklands from east to west.