Southern California, and all of California actually, is known for its amazing landscapes and climbing destinations. Everything from bouldering, top rope, trad, or big wall, California has it all. Of course, California is rather large in size so it makes sense that the state would have a lot to offer. However, when winter hits in southern California then it means more climbing areas open up!
California has a significantly large section of desert and we don’t recommend that you try climbing in the 120 degree weather, but then again, you know your limits better than we do, so if you can hack the 120 degree heat, then more power to you! If you are one of the few people who would rather be climbing in the scorching hot, this particular crag might be enticing to you during the summer also, but for now, you’ll only find us there in the cooler times of the season.
The name of the crag is New Jack City. Back in the day, which was a Wednesday (according to Dane Cook), New Jack City was a place similar to the wild, wild west. We, personally, liked it better back then, but just like everything else there are pros and cons. After a few too many “accidental shootings” (aka murders), the government cracked down and developed the area into a full camp ground with a host. As of now, the camp ground is still free and first come first serve with a couple of very nice drop toilets, coal BBQ pits, fire pits, picnic tables, and covers as well.
I will admit that I was a little taken off guard when I pulled into New Jack and a whole campground had been built!! I quickly turned around and drove back to the large board that stated the rules of the area since I thought there were no rules to begin with. Of course the camp host and his wife made sure to point out to me that when I turned around quickly it was a little TOO quickly! Either way, with the development of the area brought some very nice dirt roads. You used to only be able to get back there with high clearance vehicles but now a sedan can make it very easily.
When you roll into the area you’ll find lots of single route sport climbs. The entire area is a Mecca of development with great bolts and anchors. I advice you to pick up the climbing guide book Southern California Sport Climbing as it has all the beta you need for the area.
New Jack City is an amazing place to teach and learn! Seeing that it’s all bolted and all single pitch, it makes it a little easier to critique new climbers and makes for a welcoming environment to learn. There is basically ZERO approach here, which makes it much more appealing to new climbers in Southern California and our east coast friends. If you’re looking for something easy head over to the Boy Scout Wall…
Oh ya! And one more thing… the greatest thing about this place is that there is pretty much always some place to climb in the shade!