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Utopian Vistas

Climbing Area
Google map view of climbing areas – mjh

This is a new area and there can be loose rock or holds. Please consider a helmet.

A mixture of sport and trad lead climbing. Some anchors are accessible for top roping.

A nice collection of quality climbing on iron hard pocketed basalt. There is something here for everybody and a few more to come. From vertical to overhanging jug-hauls, to technical corners, powerful roofs and thin fingers. Mostly sport, some mixed and a few classic trad pieces in sound, clean stone. Set above the "Rock Garden" of the Rio Grande Box, this area is surrounded by climbing areas, rafting, fishing, camping, and mountainbiking all about 20 miles from the town of Taos. Expect solitude, which means low traffic and no chalk marks.

Best Access and Parking Areas

West Rim Trail & Dead Cholla Climbing area parking

From the south side of town, drive south on 68 to Pilar, please watch your speed in town. Turn north west at Pilar toward the campgrounds of Orilla Verde Recreation area and drive over the bridge across the Rio Grande and up the other side of the gorge. Once you hit the paved road, take your 1st right that will take you over to the trailhead to park. Then hike down about 300 yards and you will be over the top of the crag.

From the North side of town, take 64 toward Tres Piedras. Just after you cross the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and the rest area on the left, take your first left, 115. This road can be a washboard of tooth-rattling madness, so it could take awhile to drive the 10 miles to the paved road. Once on the paved road, continue south and look to the left for the turn off to the trailhead. If the pavement ends, just turn around and take your first right. The parking area can be seen for the sat shot.

From the Dead Cholla (trailhead for the West Rim Trail) parking, it's about 15 minutes along the West Rim Trail to the wash on the rim -- if you continue past there to where the power lines cross the gorge, you've gone too far (maybe half again too far).

Best Seasons for Climbing

4 Seasons

Pet Friendly Notes


Nearby Places