Valle Azteca is small rock climbing area in Baja California, Mexico. A fairly short one hour drive South of the San Diego border and 2 miles East of the Pacific Ocean is “La Mísion”, a small village 28 miles North of Ensenada. The rock climbing site is seen from anywhere in the village as it thrones above the valley floor. Taking a first glimpse at the rock, you may not expect much but in fact, there are some quality lines. About 50 routes in all difficulties up to 5.12 can be climbed on volcanic rock with nice features. Many of the routes have very thin but positive ledges and edges that creates some sweet technical face climbing.
From town take a right turn at the OXXO store and navigate your way through the dirt roads by using the cliffs as your visual anchor point. Eventually you park at the last few houses on the hill side (left of main cliff). The locals are somewhat used to see climbers from San Diego or Ensenada and they are ok with climbers parking. From there walk further uphill to where the trailhead starts soon.
The approach is very short including a 10 minute hike along the hillside. The parking is almost level with the base of the cliffs so there is barely any uphill hiking required. All climbs are North slightly Northeast facing and therefore receive lots of shade which is ideal for hotter days.
Luckily it is easy to find the more popular rock climbing routes right next to the trail. Climbs like “Tenochtitlan, 5.9” or “Montezuma, 5.12a” are considered classics for the area with certainly great moves. In the 90’s Randy Vogel published the “CLIMBER’S GUIDE TO VALLEY AZTECA” which these days it is harder to come by since it is out of print.
Please be aware of a slightly higher number of rusting bolts, hooks and chains at Valley Azteca. Since this area is right by the Ocean, hardware unfortunately corrodes more than usual. Despite the small size of the area you will find highly enjoyable routes. For visitors from San Diego it is highly recommended to also check out the surf spots nearby such as K58 or La Miguel. Due to the proximity of the Ocean it is well doable to go surfing and rock climbing in one day.