San Diego Rock Climbing Guides

San Diego County & Specific Crags

Lake Ramona Climbing
First Edition
Lake Ramona Climbing
Second Edition

Aden Parker put together San Diego's most recent guide. The second edition significantly expanded upon the first, compiling an expansive 800+ climbs. Aden handles distribution himself, accepting orders through a Google Form.

This website was a long running fixture for climbers in San Diego. Maintained by Chris Hubbard from 2007 until 2021, the site offered an experience that well suited San Diego climbing: Its handmade, welcoming feel encouraged hours of exploration and offered frequent gems. Fragements are preserved on the Wayback Machine, but the work as a whole isn't available.

San Diego County Climbing Guide
San Diego County Climbing Guide
Second Edition

By Dave Kennedy (and illustrations from Chris Hubbard in the first edition). It covers a healthy sampling of San Diego area crags. Copies can be found on eBay, but sells for the premium that many OOP guidebooks demand when they're without a successor.

San Diego Climber Pocket Guide

This neatly-done guide was once offered as a spiral-bound book, but today is only available as a PDF from the Allied Climbers Website . It's a breadth-first approach to climbing at our three backcountry walls: It touches on many climbs across Eagle Peak, Corte Madera, and El Cajon Mountain, but offers little more than the name, grade, and location on the wall. more than enough for the demographic.
Sales benefit Allied Climbers of San Diego.

Mt.Woodson Bouldering

This concise summary of Woodson from Professor Keith Brueckners limits itself to the mimimalism typical in a 1980s climbing reference. But is organized with the attention to detail that you would expect from a published professor. It's featured on a local blog (page 6 is missing!).

Crags and Boulders of San Diego County

Metioned and described on the MountainProject Forums, but I know little beyond that. An anonymous but seemingly genuine user states that there were only 400 copies printed. A different user makes it sound like quite a collaboration (4 authors, 3 illustrators, 1 editor, and 8 other credits).

Scumbag Digest
volume 1 issue 1

Mentioned in the MP Forums as the informal precursor to the red book.

Mission Gorge
A Climbers Guide

I haven't found much about the books contents, but Werner R. Landry was a geologist in San Diego and quite a capable climber. An author well versed in sport and science, plus the striking cover art really makes you wonder what the book could be hiding.

Deerhorn Valley
Deerhorn Valley Topos

An attractive guide by Ray Olson, the area's pioneer. I first learned of this guide when Randy Vogel offered copies as incentive to donors when the land was acquired by a local climber who intends to keep the area accessible. You can climb (and camp) here with a reservation on Hipcamp. UNRELATED

Mt Woodson

Matthew C. Fischbach released this is 2012. It's marked $7.99, a fair price for a well done guide to a popular area. Despite the quality and price, I've never seen evidence of a hard copy — just a download link on MountainProject.

Ramona Wall Climbers' Topo

Mark Schlocker released the first version in 2010, then updated in 2018. This guide comes with a strong feeling of a PowerPoint presentation, and carries the strengths of the format PowerPoint; they're straightforward, easy to follow, and convey a solid idea of the subject. Ramona Wall's 1.5 mile approach and long raptor closures are significant obstacles to this semi-suburban destination. Mark's freely available guide is a major force in keeping Poway Crags and Ramona Wall a relevant local area.


These topos are a product of Martin Veillon's 1990s tear across the midsized cliffs in San Diego's stretch of the Peninsular Ranges. His guides are unbound collections of US Letter paper. His detailed drawings (rarely to scale) are assembled into large collages large 8.5×11 sheets. The text content, written by typewriter and updated by hand, offers names, grades, and notable early ascentionists. In 2012, Martin shared these guides online.

Written in 1993 and updated in 2022, Ron Amick shares his first-person collection Mt. Woodson's of routes and boulders. Ron offers free compies via email!

El Cajon Mountain Wall

There's little trace of this Chris Hubbard guide online, but the design points towards it being a tangible guidebook (or at least intended as such). The cover was shared by Chris Miller, and noted as a 2005 publication, dating it to just a couple years before the earliest records of Hubbard's


I researched [...] and was contacted by Mike Paul who made the first topo for [South] Woodson
mentioned casually by Chris Hubbard in a deleted thread with a antagonistic user on South Woodson's Wild Goose
I have a copy of the original Mission Gorge guidebook by Eric Beck but can't load a photo of it.
Michael Pauls 1985 guide was the most comprehensive and first real guide to woodson, but was only published in craig fry's southern california bouldering guide
from Ron Amick on MountainProject's page for Mt. Woodson

Regional Guides

Southern California Rock Climbing
by Tom Slater
is still in print
Southern California Bouldering Guide
by Craig Fry
(second edition in 1995)
Southern California Sport Climbing: The Guide
by Troy Mayr and Anthony Sweeney
Southern California Sport Climbing 3rd Edition
by Troy Mayr
SoCal Select
by Randy Vogel