Panic Town Crag - Climbing

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Good crack climbing can be hard to find along the central coast, but thanks to dedicated work from some local climbers, there are now more than 60 trad lines at the Panic Town crag. Don’t let the longish approach deter you from truly quality climbing.

Written by

Kara Kieffer


0.1 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

4.1 miles


5 of 5 diamonds

Although the majority of the grades here are moderate, the area requires a strong knowledge of anchor building, and the rocks may be loose at points due of lack of use.

Time To Complete

1 days

Be prepared so spend a whole day out.


Spring, Fall, and Winter

Dog Friendly


If your dog is a chill crag dog and can hack it on the 40 minute approach, then they are welcome.

Fees Permits


Land Website

Panic Town Crag



Panic Town is a dedicated trad crag which consists of five south-facing walls and offers sustained moderate-grade climbing less than an hour from the heart of Santa Barbara.

What Makes It Great

Southern faces that are laced with dozens of crack systems, steep walls with moderate grade climbing, and nearby pools that make for a perfect post-climb cool down. This area has all the appeal of a backcountry crag, with a substantially shorter approach, and the knowledge that you can be back to you car and have a beer in hand less than an hour after you finish your day on the wall.

Additionally, this is one of the few local areas where climbers can get some nice long routes in. Several of the routes are more than 100 feet long, and What Dumb-asses! (5.8+) and Shark Ride (5.8R) reach more than 160 feet up and can be done as multi-pitch routes.

Who is Going to Love It

This area is perfect for trad climbers looking to test their skills on some virgin rock. Be aware that this area has only been regularly tended since around 2012, so while most of the routes have been cleaned, there is still some gardening to be done.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Possibly the easiest way to find this place is with the coordinates: Latitude/Longitude: 34.47856, -119.70599, as the hike can be a little convoluted.

From downtown Santa Barbara head north towards Foothills Road. Turn left onto Tunnel Road and follow it to it’s end. This is also where the hike to Inspiration Point starts. The approach follows the Jesusita Trail toward Mission Creek and Three Pools. Once you arrive at Three Pools take the 3rd class 15-foot scramble. From above Three Pools follow the creek bed another quarter of a mile until you reach the base of the first wall. If this is your first time at Panic Town, expect the approach to take at least 45 minutes.

Crag Code: This area has been developed as a trad-only spot, so we ask you not to consider bolting routes on these walls. There are a few belay station anchor bolts that have been placed on some of the longer routes.

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Panic Town Crag

34.47856, -119.70599

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