Jailhouse - Climbing

Made possible by




The Jailhouse offers some challenging climbs on steep, craggy basalt.

Written by

Fynn Glover


0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

102.0 miles


4 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

0 hours


All Seasons

Dog Friendly


Fees Permits




Located on private property, Jailhouse offers challenging and steep climbing routes. Previously closed to the public, the Access Fund has worked diligently to secure permission for climbers to return to the rocks. The only legal access now is off O'Byrnes Ferry Road west of the prison.

What Makes It Great

You'll need a code to get through the gate at the end of the road, so contact the Access Fund for this code before your trip.  Once there, climbers can spend the day at Jailhouse challenging their skills on steep, craggy basalt. Classic routes to try are Soap on a Rope, Fugitive and Jailbait. Jailhouse is popular in the winter, spring and fall when the craggy face is out of the direct sun. In the summer, the climbing gets hot.

Who is Going to Love It

Most appropriate for intermediate to advanced climbers, there are a very few routes for beginners. Depending on the season, some of the beginner level routes may even be closed to protect raptor nests. Routes start at 5.11c and increase to 5.14.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Please follow these detailed directions from the Access Fund to reach the crag:

From the Bay Area, take I-580E and continue on I-205E. Take I-5N to CA-120E. 24 miles after downtown Oakdale, turn left on O’Byrnes Ferry Rd/ CO Rd E15 (this is less than one mile before the Yosemite Junction, where Highways 108 and 120 diverge). 

Drive 3.7 miles and turn right at a double gate. DO NOT TURN INTO THE "SHOTGUN CREEK ESTATES" GATE (this is private property). Continue past Shotgun Creek Estates to the following double gate on the right hand side. Enter the gate code and close the gate behind the vehicle. Do not park outside this gate at any time as the owner does not want to draw attention to this gate. Turn left and follow the dirt road ¼ of a mile to a fenced parking area on the right and close the gate after entry. Otherwise, your vehicle may become a tasty treat for a curious horse.

Similar Local Climbing Spots

See all

More San Francisco Activities

View San Francisco

More Jailhouse Activities

San Francisco Recommendations

Local San Francisco Stories



Sonora, CA,
37.907, -120.5582

Get Directions