Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.47074°N / 119.25098°W
Additional Information County: Ventura
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 1530 ft / 466 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Both formationsThe Main and the satellite formations
Foothill Crag

Foothill Crag, also affectionately known as “The Foot” is located in the hills just to the north of the town of Ojai, California.

The history of technical climbing on Foothill Crag is, at best, somewhat sketchy, but it’s safe to assume that climbers noticed and may have used the crag for rappelling as early as the late fifties. Yvon Chuoinard, the founder of then “Chouinard Equipment” that later became “Black Diamond” lived in Ventura in the 1960’s. With a well documented reputation in the annals of rock climbing, and the fact that lived only thirteen miles away, it is safe to assume that he was probably one of the first climbers on Foothill Crag. I personally climbed on this crag as far back as the late eighties.

Foothill Crag is made of two separate formations, a larger one on the left and a smaller one on the right, yet the name indicates a singular rock. Typical of all the formations close to the Pacific Ocean, this formation was very gritty and covered by lichen for the most part and for most of its history. According to the guide book to this area, by Steve Tucker and Kevin Steele, the late Reese Martin was the first person to recognise and explore the true potential for rock climbing on Foothill Crag in the 1980’s. A number of bolts, still on the formation, date back to Reese Martin’s time.

Views on the approach
Views on the approach
views on the approach
views on the approach

Climbs of Foothill Crag

Routes of the main formationThe Main formation

On my latest visit to Foothill Crag in 2009, I was impressed by the amount of the work that local climbers had put into developing this crag. The bolts looked safe and well-placed. The anchors are made of the latest and safest hardware available in the market today. Typical for any sport climbing area, the anchors are placed just below the top of the rock. On Foothill Crag additional bolts have been placed on the large boulders on the top to secure a belay or for setting up a rappel station without bending over the top to reach for the face anchors. Safety seems to have been the main concern on the minds of these few local climbers.
Routes of the smaller formationRoutes of the satellite formation

The rock itself is sandstone and faily soft on the hand. The routes are, for the most part, under 90 degrees and slabby. There are, however, a few overhangs for those looking for a greater challenge. With five anchors on the left formation, and two on the right one, you can set up top rope on virtually every climb on Foothill Crag. The majority of the climbs on Foothill Crag are in the 5.8 to 5.9 range. There are, however, two 5.10s that seem to win the greatest praise from climbers. These two climbs are “Ruthless Poodles, 10a” and From The Ashes, 10b” both put up by Reese Martin with “ground up” and self belay technique.

Important Note:

Although Foothill Crag could be considered as a sport climbing area, the bolts are quite sparce and the distances between them greater than you expect. Taking a supplimentry rack is highly recommended.

The best way to get to the top of the rock is via a great trail on the left side of this rock. There is a gully that divides the two larger and smaller formations. Forget about using that one for descent. It’s loose, steep and dangerous.

Climbs of Foothill Crag
ABijou, 10a, 2bolts to a ledge. If you climb to the top past two more bolts, it will be 10c, Standard rack
BChummin' For A Splatter 11b, two bolts and a standard rack
CI Love LA, bolts and a standard Rack
DRuthless Poodles, 10a, bolts and standard rack
EThe Crack, 5.6, standard rack
FClean Sweep, 5.9, 3 bolts and standard rack
GSob Story, 5.8, 2 bolts and standard rack
HBlown Out, 5.9, standard rack
IOverblown, 5.8, Rack up to 3.5 inches
JMoon Doggies, 5.8, Rack up to 3.5 inches
KTeetering On The Edge, 10d, a few bolts
LFrom The Ashes, 10b, a few bolts, standard rack

Profile View of Foothill Crag
#1 left to right
#2 from left to right
#3 left to right
#4 from left to right


Ruben s Burritos
If you are thinking about having your lunch in downtown Ojai, check out Ruben’s Burritos righ on Signal Street just to the north of its intersection with the main street. You will get a burrito to last you for a week.


views on the approach

Unlike in the mountains of Santa Barbara, there are a number of campgrounds along Highway 33 on your way to Foothill Crag. Wheeler Gorge Campground is up Highway 33 and not far from here could be used. If you want to camp closer to town, there are many State Beach campgrounds along the beaches of Ventura County.
The following links should help you find a suitable spot for camping.

Ventura/Ojai weather

Ventura Beach Camping

Wheeler Gorge Campground/Ventura, Ojai camping

Emma Wood State Beach

How to get there

Sign pointing you...
Trail sign
Take Highway 101, in the city of Ventura, to Highway 33 and drive north for 14 miles to the town of Ojai. From downtown Ojai take Signal Street, note: Rube’s Burritos is to your right, and drive north until it jogs past Grand Avenue. Turn left at the sign reading “Pratt/Foothill Trailhead” about .8 miles from downtown Ojai. Drive for another .3 miles past a large water tank to your right and the trailhead parking area.

The trail to the crag is abvious and passes by many houses’ backyards and porches, all private properties. There are a number of signs to keep you on the right path. You will eventually connect up with paved Foothill Road. Walk up Foothill Road till you see the sign indicating “ Foothill Trail 22W09/ Pratt Trail 23W09.” Take the trail that heads right and you will see the crag. The hike will take about 30 minutes.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Crags of OjaiMountains & Rocks