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A close climbing location with lots of easy and moderate sport routes. A good place to learn to lead.
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
Sport Crags in Southern California, Climber's Guide to Southern California
Take I-10 East to I-15 South. After a mile or two, take 60 East to Riverside. Stay on the 60 as I-215 joins from the North and 91 intersects. Take I-215 South when it branches off. Follow this for about 10 minutes to Romona Expressway. Turn left and follow Romona past the Lake Perris dam and around the back of a large hill. Behing the hill at the end of the straightaway is a left turn. Park on this road just before the gates if you want to avoid parking fees. Walk down the road and turn left when you pass the fee collection site. Follow this paved road along the shore of Lake Perris until you see Big Rock on your left. A picnic table and outhouse are at the base of the rock. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Big Rock. The walk to the climbs is only about ten minutes.
Big Rock has 34 routes - almost all of them bolted. Most routes are in the 5.6-5.9 range, but a few 5.10's and 5.11's exist. See the guidebooks mentioned above for route descriptions (Sport Crags is better). The rock is a giant slab so almost all the routes are face climbs, although one crack and 2 dihedrals can be climbed. Some of the routes up the middle are two pitch (considered different routes by the guidebooks). Most routes can be top-roped, but must be led to do so. Pro is needed above The Roof, Boogaloo, Boogaloo Direct, and Wednutt to set anchors. Big Rock can be very crowded on weekends. Go on weekdays or leave early unless you want to wait in lines. The rock overlooks Lake Perris and extensive bouldering opportunities exist. Camping is allowed at the less-than-pristine picnic area between the parking area and Big Rock. The sites are for groups only and must be reserved in advance. The trail above the climbing area is used by mountain bikers, but is very short.
Watch for poison oak (especially at the base of the right most climbs). Rattlesnakes are also very common at Big Rock. If you leave food out while you climb squirrels will be happy to help you finish it.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/22/2009