Auburn Quarry — the first place I led outdoors back in August of 2014. It was hot, small, and I didn’t climb much. The rock isn’t exceptional and it’s a fairly small area. But don’t let that stop you! I had a blast, and I think you would too.
At only 2.5 hours, it’s a quick jaunt from the Bay and the location (near Sacramento) makes this a viable spot year-round. Winters can get pretty wet depending on the year, but summers can be a scorcher. A dry winter (like this one, yikes!) gives way to some nice 80 degree heat in late March. It can get fairly crowded for how small it is, so a Friday or Sunday is your best bet for uninhibited climbing.
The crag is a good walk from the parking lot, about 45 minutes or so. The signs are easy to spot, so don’t fret there. There’s also a path up to the upper level a bit sooner than the main one, so feel free to venture up that way if you want.
COST: 10$ to park if you stay at the lot.
CAMPING: Really nothing in this general area, especially during winter. You’re looking at at least a 30 minute drive to the one of the nearest campgrounds, Mineral Bar. I didn’t have luck here last time since we got in so late (130AM?). If you plan ahead in the summer you can probably reserve something near Tahoe.
MAPS: There’s an out of date topo here. I’m not sure when they’re going to update it with new walls and routes, so check Mountain Project before you go.
PARKING: Don’t screw around here! They are very strict about the “sunset” rule — you must be AT your car and leaving by sunset or you will be ticketed.
A combination of newbie outdoor climbers and an injured shoulder leads to an easy set of routes. I highly recommend venturing up to the top level of the quarry where there are fewer people. It’s quite a steep hike, so be prepared for members of your group to curse and scream at you for packing so many beers.
The rock is generally solid but weight the holds before you go for it. There are more loose rocks on Wreckage Wall than others as it’s a newer wall.