April 6, 2022

6 Places to Go Rappelling in San Diego

by Bernice

Rappelling in San Diego is quite interesting. Typically, the activity is one of the unique adventures invented by man. It is an activity that is almost an ultimate complement to rock climbing.

Many rock climbers will go rock climbing for fun when rappelling. Rappelling is also called abseiling in some countries.

Rappeling involves descending a mountain or a cliff using a rope that is usually hooked to an anchor on the top of the mountain or the cliff.

The rappelling method is critical in helping rock climbers to descend canyons, waterfalls, caves, mountains, or cliffs more quickly and efficiently.

Typically, climbing down a rock features unique challenges since climbers cannot see the holds and are exhausted from the ascend. These are eradicated with rappelling. 

However, recent days have seen most adventurers explore rappelling as a distinct sport. Rappelling is further significant to lower a slot canyon, spelunking (caving), and access to unreachable locations by the military in emergency rappel or by rappelling from a helicopter.

One thing to note is the risk involved in rappelling, which commands interested parties to learn from trained professionals rather than the commonplace DIY.

Furthermore, when going rappelling, it is vital to bring along the essential rappelling equipment to enhance safety, some of which include the gear listed below.

Last update on 2022-09-30 // Source: Amazon Affiliates


Table of Contents

The Top 6 Places to Go Rappelling in San Diego

This is a list of the six most popular places for rappelling in San Diego.

  1. Mission Gorge
  2. San Diego River Gorge
  3. Mount Woodson
  4. McCain Valley
  5. El Cajon Mountain
  6. Santee Boulders
Places to Go Rappelling in San Diego

1. Mission Gorge

Mission Gorge is located in the middle of San Diego and, more particularly, in Mission Trials Regional Park. Here there are numerous trails for biking and hiking.

The rock climbing or rappelling area is divided into three parts: the farthest north serves as the main wall area, the middle as the limbo area, and the south as the middle earth. 

Mission Gorge is almost 400 ft. above sea level and contains the greatest concentration of granite rock climbing in San Diego.

It is the most excellent sport for rock climbers and rappellers since it has more than two hundred diverse rock climbs.

Rock climbing enthusiasts can explore various kinds of climbing here, including sport climbing and trad climbing.

When rappelling at Mission Gorge, carrying along the necessary climbing and safety equipment is important. These may include a rope and harness, among others. 

Last update on 2022-09-30 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

2. San Diego River Gorge

San Diego River Gorge is another great rappelling destination in San Diego that may involve a short technical five-mile day hike.

Here, adventurers have the advantage of two to three rappels. The rappelling location can also be quite technical, involving up to ten miles.

It is important to note that the Gorge contains oaks that have poisonous sap and should therefore adorn long-sleeved tops and long pants.

They should also carry some soap or alcohol wipes that they can use to clean off and neutralize the poison oak sap.

Some essential equipment includes a hundred ft. long rope, pull cord, light descender, and 50 ft. webbing. Here, three falls provide great rappelling opportunities. 

Last update on 2022-09-30 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

3. Mount Woodson

Mount Woodson is another great location where rappelling enthusiasts can go for exploration. It is an excellent location containing numerous granite boulders where rock climbers can explore multiple ascending styles

Here, numerous adventurers engage in hiking on their way to the mountain top. Afterward, numerous decide to engage in the fun activity of descending the mountain by rappelling. The mountain is 1805 ft. above sea level and requires precision to climb or rappel. 

4. McCain Valley

McCain Valley is a vast recreation spot located in Eastern San Diego. The spot is notable for various bouldering spots that adventurers are yet to explore.

It is perfect for both bouldering and rappelling. Like other rappelling locations, it is important to bring along the necessary equipment for rappelling. 

Rock climbers have an opportunity to create a name by finding the perfect line since the location does not have many recorded ascends.

Off-roaders frequent visits to the Lark Canyon area, though there are only a few campgrounds. The area has relatively high temperatures, making the late fall to early spring the perfect canyon rappelling season. 

5. El Cajon Mountain 

El Cajon Mountain is an excellent rappelling location renowned by most rock climbers. The locals of this great mountain refer to the mountain as El Capitan and offer various kinds of climbing, with multi-pitch climbing commonplace.

It has an elevation of about a thousand and nine hundred miles, providing an excellent challenge for determined adventurers. 

Climbing and rappelling El Cajon requires excellent knowledge and skills. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to bring along the equipment and gears for the exploration to guarantee safety.

El Cajon provides San Diego with the most iconic face, providing numerous exposure and views that are not interfered with. Apart from the adventure, explorers should bring cameras to record the fantastic event. 

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6. Santee Boulders

Santee Boulders are another perfect spot for adventurers. Here, adventurers often engage in rock climbing, though rappelling enthusiasts visit the destination solely for the thrill of rappelling.

The rappelling spot is located in Mission Trails and is usually renowned for mantels and slab faces. It is easily accessible, making numerous who visit feel like they had just gone for a gym experience. 

Important Aspects to Put into Consideration when Rappelling in San Diego

When going rappelling, there are things that one should consider, which are critical to ensure a successful rappel. It is important to ensure that one brings along the essential equipment and rappelling gear.

  • Ensure to check that the essential gear is in place.
  • Set the ropes appropriately at the tip of the route to ensure safety.
  • Set the rappel. 
  • Make the descent.

A successful rappel does not occur in a day. Adventurers have to practice frequently and seek further rappelling information from courses professionals.

Before rappelling, it is important to warm up by engaging in cardio and dynamic stretching to avoid injuries when descending. Finally, ensure to breathe and maintain the focus by keeping a clear mind when in mid-climb. 

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About the author 

Bernice

Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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