Valley of the Moon
Land Ownership: BLM
Access Issues: Wilderness
Climbing: Sport/Trad Cragging
Valley of the Moon is San Diego’s own little Joshua Tree. Routes tend to be bolted leads up vertical, well featured faces. Traditional lines also exist on coarse grained granite. A high clearance vehicle is recommended and a 4WD vehicle is a must if you plan to drive all the way in. While visiting, be careful you don’t walk into Mexico because it is entirely possible—the border is that close. Valley of The Moon is located within the El Centro District of BLM managed public lands.
When to Climb:
At 4000′ elevation in the high desert of San Diego, you can climb in Valley of the Moon year-round. Winter days can go from pleasant to bitter cold in a matter of hours, and even Summer days can be very climbable on the shady sides of the formations. Check the forecast before you go, and once you’re there, select a crag that faces a direction that will give you the sun or shade you desire.
Directions: From San Diego, head east on I-8 to In-Koh-Pah Park road exit. The climbing is located near Elliot Mine at the end of a dirt road on the South side of the freeway (stay left at the first broad saddle and head towards the mine—look for the ‘tailings’ on a knoll to the southeast).
- San Diego County climbing guide by Dave Kennedy and Chris Hubbard.
- Valley of the Moon on www.MountainProject.com is a great resource for route beta, photos, comments, etc.