Rock Climbing in San Diego: 3 Easy Access Climbing Spots

Ever want the climb but not the hike? Here are 3 outdoor climbing spots in San Diego County I have come across that take little effort to get to.

The purpose of this post isn’t to give you extremely detailed information on each of these climbs, as there is already an abundance of information on these spots a simple google search away; however, it will hopefully persuade you to checkout some of San Diego’s best climbing!

In no particular order of preference:

Dixon Lake, Escondido


For “easy access” it doesn’t get any easier than the climbing at Dixon Lake! From parking you walk maybe 100 yards and you’re already at your first climbing opportunities. Here you’ll find multiple styles of climbs (mostly cracks),ranging significantly in difficulty making this a good opportunity for any climber.

Don’t get too set on the first climbs you come across! Keep heading down the trail and more and more climbs appear. Here you can really work on your whole arsenal of climbing skills, whether it be top-roping, lead-climbing, or bouldering (minimal opportunities)  Dixon Lake has it and it’s easy to get to!


Cougar Crag

Granted this is probably a bit of a drive for most people, being located in North San Diego County off Highway 76, it’s still a very easy to access and awesome spot to climb. The setups are a little more time consuming than Dixon Lake, but you definitely get some lengthier climbs out of it! Be prepared for some serious hand and forearm endurance training.

There’s plenty of climbs to go around (even though there’s usually very few people here at any given time) and they range in difficulty. Most are on the moderate side, but there’s plenty of climbs for the more experienced (lots of 5.10s).


Mount Woodson


Now if you’ve been here you’re probably thinking I’m crazy for thinking this is easy access…

It’s located near Poway, home of the famous “Potato Chip Rock”. Technically yes, getting to most of the climbs is a bit off an uphill trek, but the beauty of this spot is you can find climbs all the way up, and it’s a paved rode the whole way! (From the backside). Whether you feel like walking far is totally up to you.


Here, like the other two spots, you’ll find a wide variety of climbs. Some of my favorite cracks are here (like the one I’m climbing to the right) and they’ll really put your forearms to the test!

You probably won’t find a better spot in San Diego if you’re looking for quantity of short climbs. If your preference is for bouldering, than out of the three spots I mentioned, this should be your go-to! Upwards of 100 bouldering opportunities here.

If you want to see more pictures like the ones in this blog then feel free to checkout my Instagram

If you want more detail on the climbs in these spots and how to get to them, search them on


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