Follow winding mountain roads behind Ojai into this spectacular gorge area for some of the most exciting climbing spots. After driving through three short tunnels puncturing through the jagged, rocky landscape, you will come to a turnout on the left side of the road. Park there and venture down the creek with climbing gear in tow to reach the walls. Though the water can be high after heavy rainy seasons, the walls are typically accessible from the creek level.
What Makes It Great
With around 21 named routes in the gorge, one can experience a diverse day of climbing on the sandstone, green schist, and conglomerate rock surfaces. The difficulty ranges from 5.8-5.12 on these sport climbing routes. In warmer weather, a dip in the creek can also be quite refreshing after some difficult climbs or hiking in the area. Camping is available at Wheeler Gorge Campground or further up Hwy 33 in the backcountry for more remote backpacking and car-camping spots.
Who is Going to Love It
The climbing here is skewed towards intermediate to expert routes, but there are a few easier lines as well. The shady setting and nearby creek help keep things cool.
From the intersection of Hwy 33 & Hwy 150, in the town of Ojai, drive North on Hwy 33 for 7 miles. 150 yards after passing through the third tunnel (the second of two in quick succession), look for the pull-out on the left. Park and walk back through the first tunnel to access most routes. A climbers trail drops down on the right between the two tunnels.