|Black Velvet Canyon
Sunrise over Red Rocks taken from the drive-in app...
Black Velvet Canyon could well be called the crown jewel of Red Rocks. The black, varnished rock is of the highest quality and its walls host a high concentration of excellent and longer trade routes. With walls over 2,000 feet high, the canyon receives little sunlight and as such can be quite a bit cooler than other areas. Area classics include Epinephrine (V 5.9, 12-18 pitches), Prince of Darkness (5.10c), Frogland (5.8), Triassic Sands (5.10c), Dream of Wild Turkeys (5.10a), Yellow Brick Road (5.10a), Refried Brains (5.9) and many others that I haven't yet climbed. As expected, the classics tend to be crowded (especially Frogland, Prince of Darkness, and Epinephrine). It is recommended to have an alternative in mind should there be a queue for your desired route.
Many routes require two ropes to rappel.
Camping is NOT permitted at the trailhead (parking area) and violators will be ticketed. Legal camping can be found 2 miles east of the Visitor Center on Hwy 159 for $10 per night per site.
IMPORTANT: Waste bags are provided by the Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council in order to reduce human waste issues at the crags and boulders. Please feel free to take one, use as directed, and dispose of in any trash receptacle. Please do not leave them lying around, and do not throw them in the toilets at the parking areas. The project was funded primarily by the American Alpine Club's Cornerstone Conservation Grant, with additional funding from the Access Fund and Mountain Gear. Please do your part to be a good steward of this amazing climbing area.
Unlike much of the Red Rocks area, Black Velvet Canyon is NOT accessed via the Scenic Loop Road. Instead, from the Red Rock Canyon Campground (a.k.a. "13 Mile Campground"), drive southeast on Hwy 159. At the intersection with Hwy 160 (gas station w/ good beer selection), turn right (west) for approximately 4.5 miles towards Pahrump. Be on the lookout for a pullout and road on the right-hand (north) side. There is a paved parking lot here (called the "Latenight Trailhead" by the mountain bike set) with rest rooms. Follow the dirt road north from the parking area. After a mile or two the road makes a left turn (west) at a usually closed gate and ends at a parking area near the mouth of the canyon. Although fairly bumpy, 2WD vehicles **should** be okay on this road. Park and follow the well-defined trail from here. Count on a half hour to 1 hour for approach.
Browse More Classics in Black Velvet Canyon
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Black Velvet Canyon:
Featured Route For Black Velvet Canyon
5.13a PG13 NV
: Red Rock
: ... : The Monument
An inspired linkup of Scumby 5.8, Desert Crack 5.12D, and Desert Reality 11c. Classic route with a spectrum of desert climbing situations: chossy sugar cookie face and crack leads to a bolt protecting a circuitous traverse into a steep splitter defined by an overhanging ringlock crux to a 14-foot widening perfect hand crack roof. If it gets any better than this, I wanna know where!...[more] Browse More Classics in NV
Waste Bag Dispenser on the BVC trail 1-9-12 thanks...
Anthony fiddles above the crux moves on the 4th pi...
BETA PHOTO: Black Velvet Overview
Black Velvet Canyon.
Photo by Blitzo.
Desert Mariposa-Black Velvet Canyon.
Photo by Blit...
Utah Penstemon-Black Velvet Canyon..
Photo by Blit...
Even when the lights are too low and funky to see ...
A local checking out what all the noise is about
The good, the bad, and the ugly after 6 days of cl...
On the approach trail to Black Velvet.
A busy day chasing the shade in Black Velvet Canyo...
An early morning moon over Black Velvet Canyon.
Sunrise in Black Velvet Canyon.
The early morning coil. Everyone who has climbed ...
Sween sunrise from the trailhead to Black Velvet.
BETA PHOTO: Black Velvet from the nearest telephone.
Climbers on Sour Mash, I believe. Photo taken Oct ...
Black Velvet Canyon
Black Velvet Elder
Early start for Epinephrine
|Comments on Black Velvet Canyon
|By Chad Stebbins|
Mar 22, 2004
There are 2 dirt roads in close proximity. If you reach mile marker 16, you have gone to far, it's the previous dirt road.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Sep 3, 2005
Well, someone finally got around to paving the Black Velvet turnoff. When you get out there on 160, just look for the nicely paved right hand turn that turns into a dirt road after about 150 feet....
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 15, 2009
The turn-off and the dirt road in can be seen quite clearly in Google Earth, which is even capable of rendering a few cliff details (worth a look if you will be descending Black Velvet Peak and also Windy Peak, for example).
The turn-off is at (36 deg 00 min 35.5 sec) North, (115 deg 25 min 55.55 sec) West.
Apr 30, 2009
The last time I was visiting Black Velvet canyon, the entrance was still being re-paved. Is the roadwork now complete and is the original access to BV canyon now open? Last Spring I had to take a 4WD detour to get back there...thanks in advance. JE
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 30, 2009
The roadwork is finished, all is back to normal ... back to the usual program of seeing how far your rental car can get.
|By Peter Lewis|
From: Bridgton, Maine
Nov 3, 2009
The dirt road is fine. We did it in 20 miuntes in a tiny economy rental car in October 2009. Just go slow.