Rock Climber’s Loop Trail

La Mesa, California

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One of San Diego’s best rock-climbing sites lies within view of the Mission Trails visitor center: a series of near-vertical walls of smooth granitic rock overlooking Mission Gorge and the San Diego River. The Rock Climber’s Loop trail was built (and is steadily being improved) by the climbers who practice their sport here. From the trailhead, an initial breathtaking climb (in the sense of heavy breathing, and also the airy view that quickly unfolds) takes you to the base of some crags known to the climbers as “Middle Earth.” From that vantage, a downward gaze toward “Lower Earth” and a little imagination shows how, over millions of years, the San Diego River has carved a sinuous gorge through these durable mountains.

Rock Climber’s Loop Trail Professional Review and Guide

"One of San Diego’s best rock-climbing sites lies within view of the Mission Trails visitor center: a series of near-vertical walls of smooth granitic rock overlooking Mission Gorge and the San Diego River. The Rock Climber’s Loop trail was built (and is steadily being improved) by the climbers who practice their sport here. From the trailhead, an initial breathtaking climb (in the sense of heavy breathing, and also the airy view that quickly unfolds) takes you to the base of some crags known to the climbers as “Middle Earth.” From that vantage, a downward gaze toward “Lower Earth” and a little imagination shows how, over millions of years, the San Diego River has carved a sinuous gorge through these durable mountains."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: La Mesa
Distance: 1
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: .5 hour
Season: All year
Accessibility: Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Mission Trails Regional Park
Local Maps: USGS La Mesa
Driving Directions: Directions to Rock Climber’s Loop Trail

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May 2018