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La Cueva Canyon, Upper

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Andy Boy Wall 
Chaos Crag 
Donald Duck 
El Paisano 
Fin, The 
Fire Hydrant 
Hole in the Wall 
Lost Spectacle 
Mexican Breakfast Formation 
Middle Way, The 
My Secret Garden 
Paired Pole Pillars 
Pulpit, The 
Rat's Rock 
Science Friction 
Slot, The 
Thumb, The 
Trail Crag 
Windward Wall 

La Cueva Canyon, Upper Rock Climbing 

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Location: 35.2063, -106.452 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 38,899
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Jason Halladay, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Anthony Stout on Jan 22, 2006


61° | 47°

60° | 47°

59° | 47°

60° | 48°

61° | 49°
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BETA PHOTO: Overview Map of Upper LaCueva and Chimney Canyons.


The La Luz trail, running from the foothills of the Sandias to the Sandia Crest, runs directly through this canyon. There is a high concentration of stellar routes on the rock within Upper LaCueva Canyon. Also, in comparison to many other routes within the Sandias, the approaches can be shorter and easier.

Getting There 

Though the routes within this canyon can be accessed from the lower part of the canyon (Juan Tabo Picnic Area in the foothills of Albuquerque), it is much easier to access them from the Sandia Crest. The La Luz trail begins on the South end of the Sandia Crest parking lot.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.7 miles from here

103 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',9],['3 Stars',45],['2 Stars',32],['1 Star',16],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in La Cueva Canyon, Upper

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for La Cueva Canyon, Upper:
Northwest Ridge   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 1000'   The Thumb
The Cave Route   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 360'   The Pulpit
Beat Around the Bush   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   Estrellita
Northeast Corner   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 80'   Donald Duck
Miss Piggy   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 220'   Hole in the Wall
Estrellita   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 110'   Estrellita
The Happy Gnome   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 700'   Yataghan
Aviary Ort Overhangs   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches   The Thumb
Mexican Breakfast Crack   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 150'   Mexican Breakfast Formation
Mountain Momma   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   Torreon
Sorcerer's Apprentice   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 300'   Torreon
Shine On   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 110'   The Slot
Bitch's Brew   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   Torreon
Body Nazi   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches   Hole in the Wall
Good Clean Fun   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, Alpine, 2 pitches, 220'   Windward Wall
Global Warming   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 115'   The Slot
Sister Sledge   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   Hole in the Wall
Voodoo Child   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 500'   Torreon
Wizard of Air   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600'   Torreon
The Sorcerer   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b PG13     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 600'   Torreon
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in La Cueva Canyon, Upper

Featured Route For La Cueva Canyon, Upper
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo of Aviary Ort Overhangs, 5.9

Aviary Ort Overhangs 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  NM : Sandia Mountains : ... : The Thumb
The guidebook "Sandia Rock" lists this one as "One of the best of its grade in the Sandias". I will have to agree with this! This is a summer route, if it's 95 in Albuquerque, chances are, temps will be perfect to even slightly chilly on this route. It sees about one hour of sun per day. To get there, start on the La-Luz trail. The Thumb is an obvious formation, just keep on the trail until it is right in front of you. You will pass a scree/boulder field that the trail goes through. When you get...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of La Cueva Canyon, Upper Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview of some of the features on the south side...
BETA PHOTO: Overview of some of the features on the south side...
Rock Climbing Photo: From The Pulpit
From The Pulpit
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama of Upper La Cueva Canyon with The Thumb t...
Panorama of Upper La Cueva Canyon with The Thumb t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper La Cueva Canyon looking southwest
BETA PHOTO: Upper La Cueva Canyon looking southwest
Rock Climbing Photo: Donald Duck & Fire Hydrant
Donald Duck & Fire Hydrant
Rock Climbing Photo: La Luz trail view, Upper La Cueva Canyon
BETA PHOTO: La Luz trail view, Upper La Cueva Canyon

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