I Visited All Eleven Hangar 18 Climbing Locations – Here’s a Quick Review of Each One!

I will spare you a long-winded story about how I got into climbing and jump right into a review of each location I’ve been to. Please note that I (5’3″ female) climb mostly V3-V4s – I can do most V3s, some of the easier V4s, and only a small handful of the easiest V5s. For top rope, I’m a solid 5.10+ and can go up to 5.11s. I’m better at technique-based problems that challenge balance and flexibility over strength. It is based off of my own skill level that I’ll rank the difficulties for each location.


Address: 305 N Santa Anita Ave, Arcadia, CA 91006

Parking: Good sized parking lot

Size: 7000 sq ft. Appears small at first but has a wide-open space towards the back.

Type: Bouldering and auto-belays.

Difficulty: Quite hard! I was surprised at how hard the routes were given I’ve been climbing for a year. I think this place is about half to one grade higher than some of the easier locations. Not beginner friendly.

Ceiling Fan: Yes

Overall: I didn’t try out the auto-belays but they looked pretty fun, especially with the slanted walls. Short auto-belay routes, but tall bouldering routes. I thought there were a lot of “intermediate” problems from V2-V4, but all were tougher than other locations.

Hawthorne (South Bay)

Address: 4926 Rosecrans Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

Parking: Decent sized lot.

Size: 12,000 sq ft. Pretty large size with plenty of routes.

Type: Bouldering, top rope with auto belays, and lead climbing.

Difficulty: The setters are making things gradually harder over time! About half a grade harder than Long Beach, but still tons of problems that are doable. I can do most V3s here and a number of easier V4s, though slowly I’m finding all V3s becoming harder and it’s knocking my ego down.

Ceiling fan: No

Overall: The top rope is great! So much variety, and one wall is slightly slanted so that you can focus on technique. This is most well-balanced gym with the type of bouldering and top rope problems, and includes a small fitness area and Kilter board.

Long Beach

Address: 2599 E Willow St, Signal Hill, CA 90755

Parking: Small parking lot that gets packed in the evenings after work.

Size: 12,000 sq ft. Feels small but is not the smallest location.

Type: Bouldering and top rope with auto belays

Difficulty: Easiest out of all the locations I’ve been to. I can do all V3s and the highest number of V4s here. I’ve completed 2 V5s at the time of writing this post 🙂

Ceiling fan: No

Overall: My home base and probably the most beginner-friendly location. One particular wall has a majority of the technique-based problems, and the others vary in strength. Top rope leaves some to be desired but it will do! There’s also a Kilter board and fitness area.

Mission Viejo

Address: 23812 Via Fabricante, Ste. A4, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Parking: Decent sized lot with designated spots for Hangar 18, but I’m fairly certain you’re able to park in neighboring spots.

Size: 7000 sq ft. Felt like the smallest Hangar 18 location.

Type: Bouldering only

Difficulty: A wide range of beginner-intermediate friendly routes! There’s a good mix of harder variations of a single grade and easier ones.

Ceiling Fan: No

Overall: This was the final location I visited and it didn’t leave much of an impression.


Address: 1547 W Struck Ave Suite A, Orange, CA 92867

Parking: Difficult to find within the lot. Lot usually full with aggressive “no Hangar 18” signs painted everywhere else. There’s a map posted on the door to show alternative parking spots.

Size: 9000 sq ft. This location is one of Hangar 18’s largest.

Type: Bouldering only

Difficulty: They use color-coded tags instead of the usual V’s, and I find the difficulty around the same as Upland or Rancho Cucamonga, maybe a bit harder. I can complete most red tags here, which are the equivalent of V2-V4.

Ceiling fan: No

Overall: Since this is a bouldering-only gym, there’s a wider variety. There’s a huge center and back corner for overhangs, and one smaller wall dedicated to technique-based problems (my favorite)! Sometimes this gym will feature competition or partner problems.

Rancho Cucamonga

Address: 9004 Hyssop Dr, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Parking: Plenty of space in the lot.

Size: Decent size compared to others.

Type: Bouldering only

Difficulty: One of the harder location I’ve been to. Less beginner-friendly in my opinion, but I went back recently after gaining more experience and I’d rate this easier than San Clemente but a tad harder than Upland and Hawthorne. I can do most V3s here.

Ceiling fan: Yes

Overall: A good variety! Got me consistently sweaty the last time I went – will be back soon.


Address: 6935 Arlington Ave, Riverside, CA 92503

Parking: Decent sized lot but can I see it filling up during peak hours.

Size: 13,000 sq ft. Good open space and is the largest facility. Bouldering is limited to just the free-standing boulder in the middle.

Type: Bouldering, top rope with auto belays, and lead climbing.

Difficulty: Pretty hard! Some of these V1s aren’t beginner-friendly, and I found limited V2s and V3s. There are plenty of problems V4+ so better for more advanced climbers. I was able to complete a fun 5.10+ auto belay though!

Ceiling fan: Yes

Overall: Almost all sections for bouldering are sloped, with very few routes geared for technique. I found the V2-V3s to be limited and difficult. There’s more amenities here with a fitness room, a lounge area near the bathrooms, and even a lounge area at the top of the free-standing boulder!

Riverside (East)

Address: 2111 Iowa Ave Suite A, Riverside, CA 92507

Parking: Nice lot, but can be difficult to find. Enter the address into your Maps app and the building is towards the back.

Size: On the smaller size but still a good variety of intermediate routes.

Type: Bouldering and auto belays. No top rope.

Difficulty: Harder than average! The V2s were on the harder side, and most routes are inclined. Good for intermediate to advanced climbers. I thought the V1s would be difficult for beginners.

Ceiling Fan: Yes

Overall: I would probably frequent this location the least as it’s further than the other Riverside location plus it’s smaller. There’s a second level where there’s some gym equipment, a Kilter board, and where you can top out on some problems.

San Clemente

Address: 1031 Calle Trepadora Unit A, San Clemente, CA 92673

Parking: Small parking lot but pretty suburban area

Size: Second to smallest location,

Type: Bouldering only

Difficulty: Probably the hardest location, but I went when I was still kind of new to climbing. I struggled to complete a V1 here a few months into training, but was able to do other V2’s. The overhangs here make me sweat just looking at them.

Ceiling fan: No to the giant fan, but yes to some smaller ones

Overall: Other Hangar 18 locations can get warm without AC and even with the fan on, but since this is at a seaside city, it was pretty cold inside. It’s among the smallest location. Will need to return as I’ve progressed in my grade.


Address: 256 E Stowell St, Upland, CA 91786

Parking: Small lot but suburban area makes parking easy to find.

Size: 12,000 sq ft. Good size with a section in the back.

Type: Bouldering, top rope with auto belays, and lead climbing

Difficulty: A bit harder than the Hawthorne location potentially equal in difficulty. I can do nearly all V3s and recently completed a V4.

Ceiling fan: No

Overall: This is my second home base so it’s been nice being able to switch routes up between here and Long Beach.

Victorville (High Desert)

Address: 15315 Cholame Rd, Unit D, Victorville, CA 92392

Parking: Small lot but suburban area.

Size: 7000 sq ft. On the smaller side.

Type: Bouldering and autobelays, no top rope.

Difficulty: Rivals Hawthorne and Upland. Plenty of intermediate routes and I was able to do a V4 here!

Ceiling fan: No

Overall: Tons of problems! A good variety despite smaller real estate. The mats seem relatively new compared to other locations.


My verdict (easiest to hardest): Long Beach, Hawthorne, Upland, Victorville, Rancho Cucamonga, Mission Viejo, Orange, Riverside, Riverside (East), Arcadia, San Clemente.

Best for Bouldering


Best for Lead Climbing

Hawthorne or Riverside

Best for Top Rope


Best for Beginners

Long Beach

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