Santee Boulder Field

  • Grades: US
  • Approach time: 5min
  • Photos: 28
  • Ascents: 186


Bring your impeccable footwork - you'll need it on the slabs, thin faces, and occasional mantel and crack problem that cover these granitic boulders.


Two hillsides with scattered granite boulders up to 40' tall hold 200+ boulder problems from easy to hard.

Generally the problems tend towards slabby and thin. Many of the boulders have flat landings, and easy walk-offs, so it is very reasonable to boulder solo, even without a pad. Also, since the boulders are obvious and easy to find, it is comfortable to just wander around looking for bits to climb, without bothering to have or bring any sort of guide.

In fact, most of the "problems" don't have names, just descriptions. "Center of the slab" or "crack on the right". Grades also tend to vary, but have always traditionally used the YDS system, rather than the V-grades more common for boulders. And, given how long this area has been climbed, most any start, variation, or possibility you spot will probably have been tried by someone already. This does make any listing of problems a bit odd, since most anywhere you can vary the start, the middle, the finish, or the sequence to make things harder or easier.

Access issues

Land is privately owned by large developers, but no signs are in place restricting access. Tagging and littering are common issues and groups including Allied Climbers of San Diego regularly hold clean-ups.


Park at West Hills Park across Mast Blvd. and CAREFULLY cross the street to the boulders. The boulder field will be completely obvious from the parking lot, and from the street.

Where to stay

This is an urban crag and unlikely to be someone's destination unless they're local.


Be sure to wipe dirt from your shoes before climbing to reduce the polishing of footholds. Chipping is unacceptable.


View historical timeline

The Santee Boulders have long been a training ground for local climbers. Climbing interest in the Santee Boulders grew in the '70s and '80s with few problems remaining unclimbed after those decades.

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Check out what is happening in Santee Boulder Field.