Big Rock (Lake Perris, CA) will be Closed to Climbing 2011


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Mountain climber
Aug 22, 2013 - 10:52am PT
Heard it was open.

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Aug 22, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Lake Perris will be closed on the 27th but open before and after.


edit: yes Jon you're correct, should have added that detail. Looks like the craggin' is good to go.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 22, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
I can see the thing here from work. It's about a billion degrees (100+ when I got off yesterday at 4), take some sunscreen and a couple gals of water.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Aug 22, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
Roxy - it looks like only the lake is closed (to vessels) on the 27th.

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Oct 12, 2014 - 11:29pm PT
It took a while, but it appears this week's the week.

This just in, courtesy of the Riverside Tattler:
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Oct 13, 2014 - 05:18am PT
Well that sucks,
early 70's all over again.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oct 14, 2014 - 11:27am PT
State response to letters re Big Rock closure

Dear Big Rock Climbers:

Director, Mark Cowin, and Chief Counsel, Cathy Crothers, have asked that I respond to your letter regarding the Perris Dam Remediation Project.

In 2005, Department of Water Resources (DWR) identified potential seismic safety hazards in the foundation of the dam. While there was no imminent threat to life or property, in the interest of ensuring public safety, DWR lowered the reservoir water level while undertaking the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and designing repairs.

The State wants to bring the lake back to full capacity, and the areas of concern must be retrofitted. That is the purpose of the Dam Remediation Project.

Construction on the project will begin this year and is currently estimated to take about 3 years to complete. Due to the construction being limited to the Bernasconi side of the dam, Bernasconi, Big Rock, and much of the southern side of the park/bike trail will be closed for the entire construction project.

In June of 2014, DWR staff met with representatives of the climbing community, at the site, to discuss concerns regarding the Lake Perris Big Rock climbing resource. The meeting addressed two concerns: 1) Protection of the climbing resources from construction impacts; and, 2) Access to the Big Rock climbing area during construction. We have discussed both concerns internally and with our partners at California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), the department with responsibility of management the State Recreation Area, and we have reached the following conclusions.

First, as demonstrated in DWR’s Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR), DWR recognizes the importance of this recreational area and is committed to providing adequate protection to Big Rock and its adjacent staging area, to the greatest extent possible. In fact, protecting this resource was one of the considerations that resulted in DWR’s decision to reroute the permanent haul road north of Big Rock. In response to the June 26, 2014 letter from the Access Fund requesting further protections of the Big Rock climbing area, DWR has prepared and will issue a change order to the construction contractor to adjust the alignment of the temporary haul route to the north to further protect the Big Rock climbing area from any potential construction impacts. We will also place a K-rail barrier along the haul road adjacent to the Big Rock area with a six-foot cyclone slatted fence on top of it. DWR has also received a request to re-route the temporary access for the drilling and blasting equipment to the west side of the hill to limit impacts to the Big Rock staging area. We have not received a submittal from the Contractor depicting their means and methods for installing this access road. We are unable to address this request, until we have that submittal.

Second, access has been requested to the Big Rock climbing area during construction. DWR evaluated the environmental impacts of this project in the Perris Dam Emergency Release Facility EIR. In that document, DWR identified the impact to rock climbing as temporary but significant and unavoidable, and adopted a Statement of Overriding Considerations that was issued on November 18, 2011 by Director Mark Cowin. A Notice of Determination was also filed with the Office of Planning and Research, State Clearinghouse on November 18, 2011.

DWR and DPR have reviewed and considered the proposal for access and determined that access cannot be allowed during the construction period. DWR originally determined that closure of the area was necessary to protect public safety, and, in the interests of site security, combined with concerns regarding the limited access of DPR law enforcement and emergency personnel, to the area. Notwithstanding project changes designed to heighten protection to the rock climbing area, DWR has determined that these changes do not reduce the safety or security risks to the point that access can be accommodated.

While DWR understands and appreciates the importance of this area to the rock climbing community, we hope you can also appreciate that DWR needs to complete this important public safety project in a manner that is safe to the public during the potentially hazardous three year period which will require major rock hauling and heavy construction activities. DPR plans to close the south side of the park, including the Big Rock area, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. The area will be re-opened to recreational enjoyment once the construction is completed. For additional information on the project and park recreation resources, please visit the website

Thank you,

Joe Royer, Chief
Geotechnical Services Branch
Perris Dam Remediation Project Manager


Mountain climber
Tustin, CA
Oct 15, 2014 - 03:12pm PT
Received the same response..closed until they're done.

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Oct 15, 2014 - 05:50pm PT
At least they didn't find an army of yellow legged mountain frogs anywhere near it. We would have to close it for over a decade, maybe forever.

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 15, 2014 - 08:29pm PT
The reply from DWR seems reasonable to me. Big Rock isn't going anywhere. It'll certainly be there once we've all become food for worms.

I remember being seriously stoked after leading those two flakes. Lots of good memories there.

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Apr 28, 2018 - 07:59am PT
In the wake of that milestone, John Rowe, Perris sector superintendent for California State Parks, said park officials on Saturday, April 28, will lift closures on about 3,000 acres of the 8,800-acre Lake Perris State Recreation Area near Moreno Valley and Perris.

Does that mean today's the day? Hard to tell by the way it's written, but that's how this rag does things.

3 1/2 years. It didn't take much more time than that to build the Hoover Dam.

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Apr 28, 2018 - 10:00am PT

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 28, 2018 - 10:14am PT
It didn't take much more time than that to build the Hoover Dam.

Probably not much more money either, and 1/3 as many bureaucrats were involved.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Apr 28, 2018 - 05:51pm PT
Maybe they'll patrol that side again to prevent car break ins.

Haven't really been back since.

Trad climber
May 16, 2018 - 03:38pm PT
Now you get to actually watch the meth heads break into your car instead of walking back and finding out after the fact. Very convenient.

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
May 16, 2018 - 04:21pm PT
^^^ Wow, parking was never like that when I climbed there. I'm flat-out jealous. I got broken into down by the highway multiple times. Even bringing a worthless beater didn't keep them out; nothing to steal, but they were compelled to try.

Did I mention jealous!?!

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
May 16, 2018 - 05:04pm PT
Fact. That sh#t hole parking area was a theft waiting to happen.

At least now you can see it happen.


Trad climber
San Fernando Valley
May 16, 2018 - 08:33pm PT
"You mean you can actually park at Big Rock now rather than parking
at the campgrounds???"

That photo was taken at an Access Fund/SCMA cleanup day back in March, before the park was open to the public. I'm guessing parking now will still be back beyond the campground, but at least they repaved the road.
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