The Calaveras Ranger District contains almost unlimited rock climbing opportunities including vertical granite outcrops as well as boulder fields perfect for rock hopping (bouldering) and scrambling. View Bear Valley area climbing map for more information. Much of the information on this page has been provided my Mountain Adventure Seminars (MAS), the local experts!!
Calaveras Dome, 1.5 hours northwest of Bear Valley via 4x4 roads, offers big granite for serious climbers.
70-100 foot climbs characterized by moderate crack and face climbing ranging from 5.5-5.9. Park at the dirt pullout 0.4 miles east of the Bear Valley junction with Highway 4. Cross the stream and follow a vague trail downstream. Shortly before the creek jogs westward follow the foot trail left into the forest. The main cliff is on your left.
Spicer Road Crags
Several opportunities are scattered along the northeast side of the Spicer Reservoir Road, at milepost 0.8 (a few overhanging direct aid problems, A2-3); milepost 2.3 (a set of twin cracks, 5.10); and milepost 2.4 (a west facing buttress with two cracks, 5.9-10). (Note: all mileage is measured from the junction of Spicer Reservoir Road and Highway 4.)
3 tiers of mostly steep cracks, ranging from 5.7 to 5.11+. Park at the end of Spicer Reservoir Road below the dam. Walk across the bridge and follow downstream. After crossing the spillway take a sharp left and parallel it until reaching the first large boulder. Follow a climbers' trail to your right uphill for 5-10 minutes. After crisscrossing a stream bed the trail deposits you at the west end of the lower tier.
School House Boulders
Moderate slab problems to more challenging edging and pockets. Either climb the hill behind the Community Center in Bear Valley or park at the Box Canyon pullout and walk 100 yards west down Highway 4 until adjacent with the large perched boulder. Head north staying slightly west of the ridge line.
Moderate to difficult crack and face climbing. Park at the Highway 4/Salt Springs Road junction 2.3 miles west of Bear Valley and follow the slabs uphill to the obvious boulders. Most problems can be found south of the power lines.
Park at the Hells Kitchen vista point 3.5 miles west of Bear Valley and follow the foot trail.
Two large boulders, one with a bolted top rope anchor. Park at the Big Meadow Picnic Area, head south crossing the creek, then bear right.
Stanislaus River Boulders
Steep face climbing. Walk 15 minutes downstream from the Stanislaus River Campground (2.8 miles down the Spicer Reservoir Road) until reaching the waterslide.
Moaning Cavern Adventure Park has a new, custom climbing tower that is 32 feet high and includes climbing routes from beginner to challenging. It's suitable and fun for the entire family! The tower can accommodate 10 people at a time, and includes a belay system - just climb and then jump back for a smooth, automatic descent. Participants are geared up in climbing harnesses, then clipped on to the route of their choice. Routes include life-like rock features and overhangs, making it one of the most competitive climbing surfaces available today.