Day 4; Part 2 Rock Climbing Gibraltar Rock in Santa Barbara

Amazing Views, Perfect Temperature and Great Company

View from Gibraltar

View of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean

There is something to be said about rock climbing in Santa Barbara – The American Riviera. This amazing place has not been given this name haphazardly, but it really has earned the right to be one of the premier destinations in California. With the beach less than 10 minutes from every home within the city limits and beautiful mountains just a short drive away, The American Riviera boasts some of the most gorgeous scenery around. Not to mention, a world class climbing playground right in our back yards. Santa Barbara is home to hundreds of sandstone formations from the non-aggressive V0 boulder problem to lead climbs rated at 5.13a, Santa Barbara is a place for any caliber of climber. For me, enjoying the climbing required finding a partner.

Through, I found the The Santa Barbara Outdoor Adventure Meetup with over 600 Adventure Fun-Addicts! all interested in the same thing I am – an Adventure in Paradise. Immediately after signing up, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a climbing excursion for that weekend was already being planned for Climbing at Gibraltar Rock.

Climbing at Gibraltar Rock in Santa Barbara

The South Face of Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock in Santa Barbara is the name of the main rock formation in a series of lesser known crags that are all part of the Gibraltar Rock Area. Map of Gibraltar Rock. Gibraltar Rock also has very easy access, located in the hills directly behind Santa Barbara, the rock is situated just off the road after driving about 5 miles up Gibraltar Road. There is easy parking on the side of the road and about 10 crags with varying degrees of difficulty ranging from a 5.1 up to some burly 5.12’s. As with 90% of Santa Barbara rock, Gibraltar is a Sedimentary Sandstone and provides for some excellent climbing year round if the weather permits. The other rock formations that are part of the Gibraltar Rock Area include the Warrior Crack, Hole-in-the-Rock, Cig-Arete, Bolt Ladder, Sweating Buckets, Pseudomania, Upper Gibraltar, Crank Shaft and The Toxic Waste Wall which is one of my favorites [1].

The Meetup that was schedule for that weekend was for a day of Top Roping at Gibraltar Rock and there were going to be about 16 people attending. I jumped at the opportunity and shared multiple ascents on a 5.8 called Klingon with my climbing partners Cliff and Trevor. A painless route but a good one to warm up on and get back in the groove.  We had a great time, challenging each other and setting new standards with each ascent. Not to mention that there were two other top ropes that were being shared by the remainder of the group. Although I had to leave early in the day, it was definitely a great adventure and it was made all the more worthwhile to be climbing with a great group of people.

Trevor and I Setting our Anchor


Some of the Meetup Group Members


Klingon Crux - Me

Until another groovy weekend!


[1] Edwards, Steve. “Rock Climbing: Santa Barbara and Ventura.” 2000, Morris Book Publishing, LLC.

3 Responses to “Day 4; Part 2 Rock Climbing Gibraltar Rock in Santa Barbara”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] my first full day of climbing and was able to hangdog on a 5.8. However, the highlight of this day Climbing at Gibraltar Rock was that I met Trevor and Cliff who became two of my closest climbing […]

  2. […] on each ascent. With that said, I got to climb with couple guys who I connected with through a group and on the forums. Although they were both better climbers than me, and my ego was […]

  3. […] After a week of surfing the Climbing Forums on and purchasing a few new pieces of climbing gear, I am getting anxious to get back out rock climbing in Santa Barbara. Some of the more notable spots I would like to get out too are The Playground and the San Ysidro Canyon wall in Montecito.  The Playground is a sport climbers paradise of bolted perfection and the San Ysidro Canyon wall makes for some very good multi-pitch climbing practice. With the forecast from predicting that there will be two days of rain this weekend, my hopes to get out and climb are shot. One option that I can consider is to go to the UCSB Climbing Gym. This could make for a good day cranking on some plastic. For now, I will have to settle for some more great pictures from the Rock Climbing day at Gibraltar Rock. […]

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