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Added by Trevor Cox

The Gorge is a year round climbing crag in the Los Padres just 7 short miles outside of Ojai. No it’s not your Yosemite Granite, or your Red Rocks bomber sandstone, but Wheeler Gorge offers a memorable experience, 30+ Sport Climbing routes, and three totally different types of rock to climb: sandstone, conglomerate cobblestone (similar to Malibu Creek), and green schist. 

Grab a dozen quick draws, your 60m rope, and head up Highway 33 out of Ojai for 7 miles (One of the routes here describes the crag perfectly, a Riparian Daydream). Drive through one tunnel, and continue on for another mile or two until you reach two tunnels in quick succession. The crag is in between those two tunnels, just below the bridge in the creek. You can park before you reach the two tunnels, or after you drive through them. Both of the turnouts are on the left side of the road so keep a lookout for oncoming traffic. Regardless of choosing before or after, grab your gear and head toward the tunnels. 

Walk through one of them, and in the middle of them, you’ll need to hop over a small side of the bridge and head down the climbers trail. All climbs are rather condensed, so you won’t need to walk more than five minutes from the bridge in either direction to scope out routes. Use a Rock Climbing guide/app such as Mountain Project for specific route information, or just choose what looks good to you! 

Almost every route at Wheeler Gorge has cool history, inspiring movement, and a unique rock type. For the avid sport climber, there’s plenty of stuff to climb for a day trip, and difficulty ranging from 5.8 to 5.12. As a last note, don’t be afraid to come if it’s summer, for the creek down below acts as a natural swamp cooler! Wind funnels down the corridor and keeps you cool as you climb.

Please respect our local crag, and pack out what you pack in. Don’t pee in the creek, and please seek someone who knows the area well before you try to make any additions. Enjoy!

Afterwards…I recommend Don Lalos for tasty Mexican Food, Papa Lennon’s for delicious Italian, or Farmer and the Cook for organic goodness. If you’re looking for a brew, head downtown to Ojai Beverage Company.

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