Juan Tabo Canyon has its headwaters in the huge west-facing amphitheater south of North Sandia Peak. The north side of the canyon is prominently defined by the massive wall of the Shield. The southern margin of the canyon is formed by the ridge that connects The Needle with The Prow.
Depending on which crag you are targeting, or, sometimes, even which side of the crag you are heading for, the approaches to the climbs in Juan Tabo Canyon may involve either hiking down from the Crest or up from below. For example, the lower crags like UNM Spire and the Prow are commonly approached from below, using the Piedra Lisa Trail to access either the Fletcher or Movie Trails, respectively. Climbs on the eastern side of the Shield are commonly approached from above, from the North Crest Trail, but they may also be reached from below via the Fletcher Trail. Routes on the western end of the Shield may be better approached by the Piedra Lisa and Rincon Spur Trails. Similarly, the Needle may be approached by either dropping down from the North Crest Trail or by coming up from below, going up the Movie Trail or Waterfall Canyon.
17 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Juan Tabo Canyon:
Featured Route For Juan Tabo Canyon
Southwest Ridge 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 NM : Sandia Mountains : ... : The Needle
Longest route in the Sandias. Around 1300 vertical feet of climbing after a brutal 2+ hour approach. Plan for 10-15 hours car to car depending on your speed. Take a machete for your approach.[Pitch-by-pitch descriptions below by G.Perkins; numbers coincide with Sandia Rock but I'd recommend linking or shortening pitches as I suggest below]P1: Beginning at the very bottom of the ridge, climb easy cracks to reach a good ledge where the arete steepens. You can also get here by c...[more] Browse More Classics in NM
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