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Guide To Outdoor Rock Climbing In Southern California

Climbing the walls at work? Instead of activating the emergency slide, try out some of Los Angeles' most scenic rock climbs. Get your exercise, fresh air and frustrations out in one fell swoop. Win!

Echo Cliffs

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
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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.

Point Dume
Point Dume in Malibu is popular for hiking, rock climbing and its tidepools (credit: Darleene Powells/CBS)

Point Dume

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.

Stoney Point

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.

Vasquez Rocks

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.

Devil's Punchbowl

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.

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